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Top Hat
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Title: Top Hat
Identifier: 993.1.28
Donor: Thompson Adamson
Item Date: 1900
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Bradley Museum

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Description: A black silk top hat. The hat has a shiny fur-like finish. A 2.5 cm wide band of grosgrain ribbon surrounds the hat at the rim line. The ribbon ends at a flat bow on one side. The bow is torn in one place. The same ribbon borders the curved edge of the rim. There is a 6.5 cm wide leather band inside the edge of the hat, which is stained and stiff. Inside the crown is a manufacturer’s mark stamped in brown. It contains an eagle's wings, two hats on a hat stand and the words, "VICKERS/13 North Division St./Manufacturer/Buffalo/N.Y."

Originally belonged to the donor's father-in-law, Mr. Harry Moss of Sarnia (?) Ontario.

Tommy was born and raised in Mississauga on a dairy farm that is now the present site of Erindale High School. Tommy was the first historian of St. Peter’s Anglican Church and the Bell Tower Museum which was created out of the many things he had collected. Tommy and his wife, Jean Gladys, were both avid historians for the Mississauga area and both wrote books on local history. The two married on March 12 1942.

"Top hats started to take over from the tricorne at the end of the 18th century. By 1830 top hats had become popular with all social classes, with even workmen wearing them. At that time those worn by members of the upper classes were usually made of felted beaver fur; the generic name "stuff hat" was applied to hats made from various non-fur felts. The hats became part of the uniforms worn by policemen and postmen (to give them the appearance of authority); since these people spent most of their time outdoors, their hats were topped with black oilcloth."

"During the 19th century, the top hat developed from a fashion into a symbol of urban respectability, and this was assured when Prince Albert started wearing them. In 1850 the rise in popularity of the silk plush top hat possibly led to a decline in beaver hats."

"From about the 1850s, people started adopting bowler hats and fedoras, which were more convenient for city life, as well as being suitable for mass production. By the end of World War I, it had become a rarity, though it continued to be worn daily for formal wear, such as in London at various positions in the Bank of England and City stockbroking, or boys at some public schools." _
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