Last week I was out looking for vintage treasures when I ran across this piece of folded felt. You might be able to tell already that this is a hat. I unfolded it:
And on the inside:
When I got home I started looking for information. The Knox Hat Company was a very well-known maker of both men’s and women’s hats. The company was established as a hat store, Knox the Hatter, by immigrant Charles Knox in 1838. By the late 1800s under Charles’s son Edward, Knox the Hatter was producing their own hats in a factory in Brooklyn. Edward Knox retired in 1913 and sold the business which continued to grow and do well. Unfortunately, like many other hat makers, Knox did not survive the 1960s, the era when wearing a hat was no longer necessary in order to be well dressed.
Because the label reads that a patent had been applied for, I hoped to get lucky and find it. But evidently the US Patent Office did not issue the patent, as I’ve search and could not find it.
But the Tuxaway name did prove to be a bit fruitful. I found an ad for a men’s Tuxaway. It dates from 1948.
Travelers! Adventurers! This belongs to you! A hat so light, fine, flexible, you can roll it up, tuck it away in the new Knox travel kit, take it out at the next airport, and wear it smartly and proudly.
And take a look at the little cylindrical carrier with the Knox emblem. Now if you ever find one, be sure to remember this little folding hat.
I think the ad over-sold the qualities of the hat a bit, but you can see that after only a few minutes of being unfolded, the creases were beginning to fall out. And this from a hat that has been folded for around 65 years.
I’ve not been able to find an ad for the woman’s hat, which is what this hat is. I still have a few more late 40s magazines to look through though.
Ad photo from ebay seller mirluck.