Today is January 15, 2018, which means it’s National Hat Day! The hat is one of the oldest accessories, with the first pictorial evidence of a hat-wearing dating as far back as 3200 BC, although it is believed hats were worn even farther back than this. Many famous characters throughout history (both fictional and non-fictional) have helped to shape the history of the hat. So how will you celebrate National Hat Day? Today we are going to celebrate by taking a look at some interesting hat facts.
What Is The Purpose of a Hat?
For an accessory with so much history, what purposes do hats serve? There are actually many functions hats have served over time; they have protected the wearer’s head, formalized or dressed up a look, indicated a religious preference, hidden a lack of hair or a bad hairdo, or indicated a position of power or status, among many other reasons.
Examples: chef hat indicates someone who cooks food; a yarmulke is worn by Jewish men as an act of piety.
Hats Throughout History; Some Fun Facts
- The art of hat-making is known as millinery. The term “milliner” became popular in the 18th century when the art of hat-making was established as a profession.
- Mad Hatters: We’ve all heard of the “The Mad Hatter” from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, but this term was actually in existence before the story was written. Where did it come from? Mercury poisoning, which affected milliners far more than anyone else. Fur was turned into felt by using mercury, and felt was what was used the majority of the time for making hats. Symptoms of mercury poisoning include shaking, loosening of teeth, slurred speech, memory loss, and irritability.
- Mad Hatter day is on 10/6. The Mad Hatter was drawn with a hatband reading 10/6 on his hat. This was essentially the price tag, as the cost of a hat back then was 10 shilling and 6 pence.
- The was first top hat invented in 1797 in London.
- Umpires in the 1950s wore top hats.
- “Who wants to see me pull a rabbit out of my hat?” Louis Comte, also known as “the king’s conjurer” was a royal magician and the first to pull a white rabbit out of a top hat as a trick.
- John Duns Scotus was the originator of the “dunce cap.” He modeled this cap after the hats worn by wizards, and the purpose of the dunce cap was to connect the wearer to a higher power and funnel knowledge to the brain. These hats were worn as a badge of honor by followers of Scotus’ teachings in the late 1200s. These followers were called “dunsman” which was eventually shortened to “dunce.” It wasn’t until the 1500s when his teachings became seen as overly complicated, and followers of Scotus’ teachings who still wore the conical hat became viewed as ignorant and moronic.
Celebrating National Hat Day
How will you celebrate National Hat Day? Perhaps you could find a tutorial online and try your hand at making your own headwear. Or enter into a local hat-contest! Your celebration of the holiday could even be as simple as donning your favorite bowler, fedora or snap-back. Whatever your chosen style or preferred method of participation, be sure to let us know! Snap a picture and tag us on Instagram at @effective.coverage and make sure to use #nationalhatday as the hashtag.