Craving an OLD HAT

I love these old hats. I've mentioned before that I have one that belonged to my grandfather. I long ago tore out the inside band so that it looks now more like a hillbilly hat than a nice gentleman's chapeau. For years I wore the hat in the mountains when I went hiking. Now I wear it when I go for walks on cold days. The hat must date back to at least the 1940s, possibly earlier. That silly old hat means a lot to me. Another one I had was stolen from the cabin. Curse the imbecile who took it. May they have nothing but bad luck beneath its brim.

So first we have a man who "...knows where he's going." I'm thinking he's at a stoplight watching a pretty young thing in the crosswalk. John Hancock Insurance is not on his mind. The light turns green and he suddenly remembers where he's going.

(SOURCE: The American Magazine, October, 1936)

He's going to the Mallory Hat Company factory located in Danbury, Connecticut.

(SOURCE: The American Magazine, October, 1936)

I love this illustration. Sadly there's nothing to indicate who the illustrator was.

Now wouldn't you know that there's all sorts of information online about the Mallory Hat Company. I'll let you do much of the digging, but I'll throw you a few crumbs.

Click here to see a few hats at the Metropolitan Museum.

Here is an image of the old factory in 1884.

((Photo courtesy of the Danbury Museum and Historical Society )
An 1884 photograph of the Mallory Hat Company factory in Danbury, one of the many hat manufacturers situated along the city's Still River. Mallory finally closed its doors in 1965.

At a library in Wisconsin they have an old brochure about the company. Below are a few pages. The illustrations were done by Edward Penfield. Do you notice anything wrong in the photos?

Here's an article about some union problems from The Day, September 1, 1951.

Now, as to this product on the hats called "Cravanette." I love the name...crave a net. Of course, perhaps the person who invented it was named Cravanette. Then it just sounds like a candy bar. Click here to read an article about Cravanette, the waterproofing stuff, not the candy bar.
Some thirty-five years ago, a woman n “Merrie England,” that fog-famous land, dreaded alike the wetting of her clothes and the odor of rubber coats and mackintoshes.
Said she, “Deception is the better part of valor;” and being afraid, as aforesaid devised an innocent deceit. Taking a piece of woolen cloth, she treated it to a process of her own invention, and—the cloth was more than cloth, it was waterproof.
From that cloth was made a coat which led an unusual double life, unusual is that both lives were good. On rainy, foggy days it was a waterproof, and preserved her clothes. ON sunny days it was a stunning long overcoat and preserved her pride. Incidentally, by serving a double purpose, it preserved her pocketbook also. (SOURCE: America's Textile Reporter)
Of course, a man went on to market it and the woman's name seems to be another lost to history...herstory.

To read an article about a court case regarding Cravenette click here. And to buy a box of Raisentes.

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