I didn’t mention hats last week when I wrote about vintage clothing storage, probably because I do not like to think about it. Hat storage is one of my biggest problems. Hats take up quite a bit of room, they often have to be supported from inside the hat, and then you have to worry about putting them where the light won’t hit. I have a built-in cupboard that I use along with hatboxes.
These problems with storage actually have a positive side. They have made me be very, very selective about any hats I acquire. But I simply had to have the modified boater you see here.
It is probably the hat of a teen or a young woman, as the fit is quite small. The ribbons are bluer than they appear in my photos. I can see this with a white and blue striped cotton, with a sailor collar and a billowing skirt.
This pretty detail is slightly moth-eaten.
The label reads “New York Straw Works, and there are some initials – S L and C. I was surprised to actually find some information on the firm, but I’ve come to realize that Google Books is the researcher’s friend. According to a book titled History and Commerce of New York, 1891, New York Straw Works was founded in 1874 and was located on Bond Street. They processed all kinds of straw, braiding, dying and pressing it into the latest styles.
The book’s author had this to say about Mr. E.F. Platt, the company’s owner:
Mr. Platt is a young man of excellent business ability, and justly merits the success he has achieved.
The last mention of the New York Straw Works I found was in 1913, but the company could have been in business even later. Interestingly, there is also mention of a company by the same name in San Francisco in the 1880s. I have no idea if there is a connection between the two.
Any additional insights are very welcome.