2 of 3
2
Mad as a hatter
Posted: 19 October 2017 12:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  731
Joined  2013-10-14
languagehat - 18 October 2017 09:50 AM

Most likely exported.

Are you still clinging to your idea after it’s been comprehensively refuted?

Please elaborate, where has it been comprehensively refuted and when was it my idea? I just submitted other sources that recognize 1510 as being the date that hats were first manufactured in England. Do you have more reliable sources that dispute that claim? I’m amenable to any information that would have more credibility. Regarding the mad as a hatter phrase no one seems to know its origin. It was for this reason that I submitted my first post; I thought perhaps someone might know.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 October 2017 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1166
Joined  2007-03-01

I just submitted other sources that recognize 1510 as being the date that hats were first manufactured in England. Do you have more reliable sources that dispute that claim? I’m amenable to any information that would have more credibility.

A quick Google search shows that these assertions come from Arithmetical questions: on a new plan: intended to answer the double purpose of arithmetical instruction and miscellaneous information ... Designed for the use of young ladies by William Butler, published 1811.

Where the good Doctor got his information, he doesn’t say - and we all know that any encyclopaedic compilation by a single man isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on if he doesn’t cite his sources, since he can’t possibly be a master of a fraction of the subjects covered. Haydn and Lewis simply pirated his assertions not merely uncritically but more or less verbatim. And they are absurd. ’Hats for men were invented in 1404‘? Get real: the Greeks and Romans wore hats, and from then throughout the Middle Ages hats were daily wear for peasants, pilgrims and travellers of both sexes (people who couldn’t possibly have afforded to buy imported headgear): and from the 13th century onwards hats were worn by the elite as well (alongside the hoods and caps which this class had been wearing for centuries).

What is not clear is when mercury started to be used in hat-making. I have yet to find any reliable sources on that.

The mercuric nitrate solution used was called secrét in French; the process of using it was secrétage and in English also carroting (because it turned the fur orange). Alison Mathews David states on p 55 of her book Fashion Victims: the Dangers of Dress Past and Present that ‘the exact date of its introduction are unknown, but hatters probably understood mercury’s felting properties during the 17th century. Yet it was outlawed by the [French?] hatter’s guild statutes in 1716 to maintain the quality of the final product, and perhaps to protect the workers’ health. This prohibition was not to last long. Protestant Huguenots, many of whom were master hat-makers, supposedly took their “secret” to England when they fled, but various stories recount that it was instead a French hatter who reported it to Paris just over a decade later’. She cites as her source a paper by T. Le Roux in Economic and biological interactions in pre-industrial Europe, from the 13th to the 18th centuries, pub. Florence 2010.

And the reason it started to be used is this:

Felting (making textiles by matting fibres together) is prehistoric in origin, quite possibly older than weaving. Fleece from most ‘woolly’ animals can easily be felted, and most felt in early and medieval Europe was woollen felt. Fur is harder to felt, except that of the beaver, muskrat and similar aquatic mammals, the hairs of whose under-fur has microscopic barbs that mesh readily into a fine, dense, waterproof, durable felt that keeps its texture and shape well. Any hatter or felt hat aficionado will tell you that even today good-quality beaver makes the very finest felt hats. We know that beaver hats were sometimes worn in late medieval England:  for example, Chaucer’s Merchant wore a ‘flaundrissh bever hat ‘. (The hat or at least the fur to make it was Flemish because the English beaver had already been hunted to extinction; not so much for its fur as for castoreum, a secretion from the testicles of the male beaver which was hugely prized in perfumery and medicine.)

In the 15th century and the first three quarters of the 16th, European high fashion called mostly for smallish soft headgear - caps, bonnets, berets and the like. These could be made in wool felt, fulled woollen cloth, velvet and other pile fabrics, or silk. But around 1575 the mode swung to the opposite extreme, and everyone who was anyone wanted bigger hats with stiff brims and crowns. For indoor wear this could be achieved by lining soft materials with stiffening, or painting with glue or size; but obviously that couldn’t be made weatherproof. To cut a dash out of doors, the fashionable man or woman needed a beaver hat. And beaver was seriously expensive; even in continental Europe the species had become rare. Great was the joy when it was found that North America was just full of beavers; for over a century the desire for beaver fur was a major driver of exploration, and a beaver pelts made up a significant proportion of the total imports from the New World; as a result big beaver hats were worn by everyone who could afford them, from puritans to cavaliers and French musketeers. But so great was the demand that eventually even the North American beaver population fell alarmingly, and European hatters had to try to make mock-beaver felt as best they could with low-quality beaver fur and less natural amenable furs such as rabbit, hare and cat. That’s where mercuric nitrate came in, to break down the keratin in the hairs and help them mesh.

- I’m going to have to break here and continue in another post.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 October 2017 10:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1166
Joined  2007-03-01

As for references to bad effects of the process on hatters’ health, Matthews David cites:

- this being argued in a Marseilles trade dispute in the 1730s

- a French doctor, Jacques-René Tenon, who reported after visiting the six principal hatting workshops in Paris that - except for one which till very recently had worked only with high-quality beaver fur which were not carrotted, and even after they started carrotting used a much more dilute solution - hatters were rarely fit to continue working past fifty, that their children mostly died aroud the age of 4, that ‘most of their hands trembled in the morning’, that they sweated abundantly, coughed up viscous matter, were feeble and skeletal, and only made it through their working day by drinking spirits. He was quite clear that mercury was to blame for this.

- In 1776, the Gazette du Santé described the use of mercury as ‘unnecessary, harmful and abusive’, and the national academies of Arts and Sciences in both Britain (1778) and France (1784) launched competitions for an alternative chemical process, but without success: mercury use continued unabated for over a century and a half; good practice in costume museums dictates that felt hats dating from the 17th to the mid-20th century should be considered as dangerously toxic and handled and stored accordingly.

The reason why most of Mathews David’s sources are from France may simply be that she got most of the material she needed from a couple of French publications. It’s clear from the prize competitions that doctors and scientists in both countries were well aware of the effects of mercury on hatters.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 October 2017 09:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  731
Joined  2013-10-14

Where the good Doctor got his information, he doesn’t say - and we all know that any encyclopaedic compilation by a single man isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on if he doesn’t cite his sources, since he can’t possibly be a master of a fraction of the subjects covered.

Actually, it was not compiled by Mr. Lewis; it was “compiled by a staff of scholars and statisticians under the editorship of Charlton T. Lewis, Ph.D with more than one hundred thousand references to subjects in the realms of literature, art, and government.”

Haydn and Lewis simply pirated his assertions not merely uncritically but more or less verbatim.

Why would you proclaim that they were “his” assertions? I don’t understand how you can make that “assertion”. The encyclopaedic compilation was compiled by scholars and others, and the information was obviously attained by research from other sources.
Furthermore, you failed to challenge the two other sources, which I presented.  As I said, there are numerous sources that concur with the 1510 and 1404 dates. 

E.g.

The Americana
A Universal Reference Library Comprising The Arts and Sciences, Literature, History, Biography, Geography, Commerce, ETC., of the World.

Hats and Hat-making. It is difficult to state just when hats were first worn, but it is a fact that fur-felt hats now form part of the attire of civilized man the world over. There is no record as to when or where the first hat was made.  We find head covering in one form or another in vogue in the earliest times referred to in history.  The first modern hat, as we now know this article of men’s wear, was made in Paris about 1404 by a Swiss manufacturer, but it was not until 49 years afterwards that the French adopted any sort of a head covering.  Charles X11., upon his entry in triumph into the city of Rouen in 1453, wore a huge hat made of fur, lined with red velvet, from which protruded a great feather.

And two more links below that concur with all these assertions.

First Link

Second Link

And they are absurd. ’Hats for men were invented in 1404‘? Get real:

The reality is what is documented.  Keep in mind, there were various mutations of hats, but the year 1404 was when hats were invented in its present modern form. Caps, bonnets, and helmets are not traditionally considered hats.
Are you implying that all these sources are “absurd”? Also, are you disputing the various sources that claim that the first hats that were manufactured in England was in 1510? Do you know when the first hats were manufactured in England?

[Links embedded--dw]

[ Edited: 23 October 2017 03:26 AM by Dave Wilton ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 October 2017 12:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3968
Joined  2007-02-26

I came so close to being nerdsniped into this bullshit. There I was, in the belly of the beast ...

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 October 2017 04:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6297
Joined  2007-01-03

This date and declaration has been recognized by all the sources below and perhaps many more.

Haydn’s Dictionary of Dates
Harper’s Book of Facts, A Classified Encyclopedia of the History of the World. From 4004 B.C. to 1906 A.D.  Charlton T. Lewis, Ph.D. Formerly Professor at the State Normal University of Illinois and at Troy University, and Lecturer at Yale, Harvard, Cornell Universities, Etc. Etc.
Harvard College Library
The New International Encyclopedia

First, libraries are not sources. They’re places where you find sources. So listing “Harvard College Library” as a source only tells people that you don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to research.

Second, as for Harper’s Book of Facts, general encyclopedias are, overall, not reliable sources. They’re useful for quick lookups, but even the best (Britannica, Wikipedia) are superficial and full of errors. I tell my students that it’s okay to use encyclopedias for general background on a subject, but you can’t rely on them for research and if you want to cite information you find them, find it in another more reliable source. And encyclopedias (or, with rare exception, pretty much all secondary sources) from one hundred years ago are useless.

Third, Charlton Lewis died in 1904 (he was a noted scholar of Latin, but I don’t think he had any credentials relating to hats), and this edition was published two years after his death. This is a later edition of a book compiled by a Joseph H. Willsey. It appears that the “staff of scholars and statisticians” were merely adding new info to the work done by Willsey. (Earlier editions of the book say nothing about a “staff,” it’s just Willsey.) Before getting to the entry on hats, I lighted upon the entry for Alabama, which gets the etymology of the name wrong. It’s a bad sign when you open up a book and the first thing you notice is an error. As for the entry on hats, it’s just a listing of facts that are only related in that they have to do with head-wear and not a coherent discussion of the topic. The 1510 bit actually reads: “Hats were first manufactured in England by Spaniards in 1510–Stow.” Who “Stow” is, I don’t know. The book doesn’t list its sources (another damning sign.) It’s pretty clear from a casual reading that this fact is either just wrong or taken so far out of context (e.g., a particular type of hat was first manufactured in 1510) that it has become plain silly. The entry is word-for-word the same as the one in the Willsey’s 1895 edition. In short, this is an utterly unreliable source.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 October 2017 09:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1166
Joined  2007-03-01

Actually, it was not compiled by Mr. Lewis

Why would you proclaim that they were “his” assertions?

I didn’t. If you read my post again a bit more carefully you will see that ‘the good Doctor’ is Dr Butler, and they are his assertions; which first Haydn and then Lewis (and his helpers) simply retailed without acknowledgement. As for your other ‘sources’, from the way they simply repeat the assertions virtually word for word without any substantiating detail, it is clear that they are simply repeating what they had read. (If any of them knew, or thought they knew, who the ‘Swiss manufacturer’ was, or what evidence there was for his existence, do you really think they wouldn’t have included that?) A whole string of encyclopaedia-compilers repeating each other (and I’ll ask you to notice that none of the works you mention is by or for anyone remotely specialist in costume or industrial history) does not add any weight at all to the original statement. I could produce any number of printed works stating that the nursery rhyme ‘Ring a Ring o’Roses’ is a memory of the Black Death, or that Henry IV spoke no French - but that wouldn’t prove that either statement is not nonsense.

Keep in mind, there were various mutations of hats, but the year 1404 was when hats were invented in its present modern form.

But it wasn’t. I don’t know how you would define ‘the present modern form’ of hats: but a whole slew of 20th-century hat styles (e.g. the top hat, the bowler, the homburg, the boater, the bush hat, the trilby, and that’s only male styles) didn’t exist till centuries later. Conversely, the basic concept on which all these are ultimately riffs - a crown and a brim in one integral piece - had already existed for many centuries before 1404. Nor was there any noticeable change in NW European hat styles around that date: the commonest hat type of the 14th century, the ’bycocket‘ or ’chapeau à bec’, familiar to us as the ‘Robin Hood hat’ worn by Errol Flynn, continued to be worn long into the 15th.

Also, are you disputing the various sources that claim that the first hats that were manufactured in England was in 1510?

I certainly am! As is Professor Harry Duckworth of the University of Manitoba, who followed up his research into the history of beaver trapping in Canada with this paper about the early history of the felt hat- and cap-making industry in London, written for the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers. According to Prof Duckworth, the only significance of that date is that in that year the Haberdashers’ company combined with the Hurers, Cappers and Hattermerchants to form (briefly - it renamed itself in 1510, and the hat makers, as opposed to the hat merchants, after years of struggle finally broke away and got a charter for their own company, the Feltmakers, in 1604) the Company of Merchant Haberdashers.

Do you know when the first hats were manufactured in England?

No, and neither does anybody else. Hats (in the sense of items with a brim) and brimless caps were already being worn by the Bronze Age Celts in c 500 BC, made out of various materials such as felt, cloth, birch bark and leather. We know that because actual hats from that period have been excavated. But this doesn’t mean they weren’t already being made a millennium earlier in the Neolithic.  You might as well ask, ‘when were the first shoes manufactured in England?’ Anyone who confidently gave you a specific answer to either question would be kidding either themselves or you.

[ Edited: 21 October 2017 09:15 AM by Syntinen Laulu ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 October 2017 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  731
Joined  2013-10-14

First, libraries are not sources. They’re places where you find sources.

That’s understood. I don’t think I claimed that libraries were sources; however, it’s debatable, because libraries are institutions where one obtains information; therefore, they’re a functionary source for information. It’s a semantic punctilio.

So listing “Harvard College Library” as a source only tells people that you don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to research.

But I did not do the research, I only submitted links, or information, from those sources. Furthermore, the link associated with Harvard College Library was a publication from that library; therefore, it’s a source, perhaps unreliable, according to you, but nevertheless a source. But since nobody seems to know when hats were first manufactured in England one can only surmise that 1510 might be the approximate time.

Hats were first manufactured in England by Spaniards in 1510–Stow.” Who “Stow” is, I don’t know. The book doesn’t list its sources (another damning sign.) It’s pretty clear from a casual reading that this fact is either just wrong or taken so far out of context (e.g., a particular type of hat was first manufactured in 1510) that it has become plain silly. The entry is word-for-word the same as the one in the Willsey’s 1895 edition. In short, this is an utterly unreliable source.

I believe this is who he might have been: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stow

Below is a link to a book that does list its sources. Also, not all the sources that concur with the 1510 date come from encyclopedias.

Another link

My OP and primary interest was in the origin of, mad as a hatter, apparently it is still unknown. The links and information I’ve provided seem to be unreliable; therefore, we are at status quo; there is no reliably documented date for the first hats made or the first hats manufactured in England. Unless I obtain more reliable information on those dates I’m desisting in the discourse. Thanks for the input.

[Links embedded--dw]

[ Edited: 23 October 2017 03:23 AM by Dave Wilton ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 October 2017 03:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  731
Joined  2013-10-14
Syntinen Laulu - 21 October 2017 09:08 AM




I didn’t. If you read my post again a bit more carefully you will see that ‘the good Doctor’ is Dr Butler, and they are his assertions; which first Haydn and then Lewis (and his helpers) simply retailed without acknowledgement. As for your other ‘sources’, from the way they simply repeat the assertions virtually word for word without any substantiating detail, it is clear that they are simply repeating what they had read. (If any of them knew, or thought they knew, who the ‘Swiss manufacturer’ was, or what evidence there was for his existence, do you really think they wouldn’t have included that?) A whole string of encyclopaedia-compilers repeating each other (and I’ll ask you to notice that none of the works you mention is by or for anyone remotely specialist in costume or industrial history) does not add any weight at all to the original statement. I could produce any number of printed works stating that the nursery rhyme ‘Ring a Ring o’Roses’ is a memory of the Black Death, or that Henry IV spoke no French - but that wouldn’t prove that either statement is not nonsense.

But it wasn’t. I don’t know how you would define ‘the present modern form’ of hats: but a whole slew of 20th-century hat styles (e.g. the top hat, the bowler, the homburg, the boater, the bush hat, the trilby, and that’s only male styles) didn’t exist till centuries later. Conversely, the basic concept on which all these are ultimately riffs - a crown and a brim in one integral piece - had already existed for many centuries before 1404. Nor was there any noticeable change in NW European hat styles around that date: the commonest hat type of the 14th century, the ’bycocket‘ or ’chapeau à bec’, familiar to us as the ‘Robin Hood hat’ worn by Errol Flynn, continued to be worn long into the 15th.

I certainly am! As is Professor Harry Duckworth of the University of Manitoba, who followed up his research into the history of beaver trapping in Canada with this paper about the early history of the felt hat- and cap-making industry in London, written for the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers. According to Prof Duckworth, the only significance of that date is that in that year the Haberdashers’ company combined with the Hurers, Cappers and Hattermerchants to form (briefly - it renamed itself in 1510, and the hat makers, as opposed to the hat merchants, after years of struggle finally broke away and got a charter for their own company, the Feltmakers, in 1604) the Company of Merchant Haberdashers.

No, and neither does anybody else. Hats (in the sense of items with a brim) and brimless caps were already being worn by the Bronze Age Celts in c 500 BC, made out of various materials such as felt, cloth, birch bark and leather. We know that because actual hats from that period have been excavated. But this doesn’t mean they weren’t already being made a millennium earlier in the Neolithic.  You might as well ask, ‘when were the first shoes manufactured in England?’ Anyone who confidently gave you a specific answer to either question would be kidding either themselves or you.

The link above is another source(evidently unreliable) with the same information. I can’t imagine how those unreliable facts can be worded differently; therefore, they’re submitted in the same fashion. By the way, I’m in agreement with you, it’s quite obvious that hats were made before 1404 and 1510. I was just interested in understanding why all the sources that I’ve read adhered to those dates and also the fact that nobody knows when hats were first manufactured. I would like to know where and when those dates first materialized. Perhaps these sources are referring to a particular kind of hat; the kind of hat that we today identify with. I don’t know, but I appreciate all your information, thanks.

[Link embedded--dw]

[ Edited: 23 October 2017 03:25 AM by Dave Wilton ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 October 2017 06:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3968
Joined  2007-02-26

A - What’s it like outside?
B - It’s a gloomy night. As black as your hat.
A - “As black as your hat”? What weird kind of idiom is that?
B - Surely you’ve heard the phrase “A darkness that could be felt”.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 October 2017 06:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1577
Joined  2007-03-21

please consider inserting long links using the @ function rather than dumping them raw into a message.

Like this: Link

[ Edited: 22 October 2017 06:31 PM by Oecolampadius ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 October 2017 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1166
Joined  2007-03-01

The 1510 bit [in Harper’s Book of Facts] actually reads: “Hats were first manufactured in England by Spaniards in 1510–Stow.” Who “Stow” is, I don’t know.

The relevant part of William Butler’s assertion on hats in his 1811 book reads thus: 

No. 550. A hat is a covering for the head, worn by the men throughout the Western part of Europe. Hats for men were first invented at Paris by a Swiss in 1404. They were first manufactured in London by Spaniards in 1510. Before that time, both men and women in England commonly wore close-knit woollen caps*. F Daniel relates that when Charles II (of France) made his entry into Rouen in 1449, he had on a hat lined with red velvet, and surmounted with a plume or tuft of feathers…

* Stow’s Chron.

This at a guess would be the Chronicle of England by the Elizabethan writer John Stow(e) - he spelled it both ways indifferently. Except I have read his whole entry for the year 1510 on Google Books and there is nothing at all about hat manufacture there. Though I suppose it’s just possible that Dr Butler meant only that he had got the information about medieval English people wearing caps from Stow’s Chronicle, and that the compilers of Harper’s Book lifted just two sentences from his book but kept the reference which related not to either of those sentences but the following sentence.

My OP and primary interest was in the origin of, mad as a hatter, apparently it is still unknown. The links and information I’ve provided seem to be unreliable; therefore, we are at status quo

Not wholly. I think I have shown, which was queried earlier, that:

(a) the utility of mercuric nitrate to felt inferior types of fur was discovered, quite likely in France, by the end of the 17th century, and was introduced into the process of felt hat making in England during the first half of the 18th. Matthews David says (Fashion Victims, p48) that at her request several major museums tested their holdings of felt hats for mercury, and got a positive result in a substantial proportion of hats, from a mid-18th century tricorne in the Museum of London through to hats from the early 20th. In a note on p 69 she adds that “the majority of the hats tested at the Museum of London between 1800 and 1850 had mercury, but those from the second half of the century were free of it. The Royal Ontario Museum found mercury in hats dating to the first two decades of the 20th century.’

(b) that the effect of mercury on hatters’ health was a matter of public concern in Britain by the 1770s (the Society of Arts wouldn’t have offered a prize if it hadn’t already been recognised as a major problem), and must have been visible in many hatters till the mid-19th century, as there is clear evidence that mercury continued in use in Britain at least up till that time.

So, at least the dates do fit the first sighting of the phrase mad hatter pretty well.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 October 2017 05:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3968
Joined  2007-02-26

Ötzi the Iceman’s remains were found in the Alps in 1991. He was wearing a bear-skin hat at the time of his death, in the fourth millennium BC.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 October 2017 02:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1166
Joined  2007-03-01

But Oetzi’s headgear, being brimless, it what we today would generally classify as a cap, rather than a hat. This is the distinction that Dr Butler (who as far as we can tell seems to have started this whole hare in 1811) was making, and which Logophile is also insisting on. The difficulty is that medieval people didn’t make it*, at least not in the Latin in which they wrote most of their records: the words capellus and capellarius can be translated as either ‘cap, capper’ or ‘hat, hatter’. Indeed, in his paper Dr Duckworth reckons that the London craftsmen referred to in the records as the Hatters, Cappers and Hurers may not in fact have been separate crafts at all, but associations which each used different names to distinguish themselves from others engaged in much the same activity.

As far as I know the birch bark hats found in a number of Hallstatt Celtic graves - e.g. this one from Hochdorf in Germany - are the earliest brimmed headgear yet known from Western Europe. But of course that’s not to say that such headgear wasn’t made long before. In Oetzi’s culture it might perfectly well have been usual to wear a shady brimmed hat in high summer: we just can’t know.

(BTW, the significance of Spaniards in London hat- and cap-making in the 16th century was that only Spain had merino sheep. ‘Spanish wool’ from merino sheep, being finer and softer than any other kind, was not only highly prized for woven textiles, but also felted more easily: merino wool felt is still prized for its high quality. It certainly was being imported into England, and specifically into London. So it would be entirely unsurprising to learn that in 1510 some Spaniards came over to set up a hatting workshop in London using their own imported product. But it’s equally plausible that in 1510 a firm of native London hatters decided to start a workshop specialising exclusively in making fine felt hats from Spanish wool, and were naturally described in writing as ‘Spanish wool hatmakers’, and later the adjective was understood as qualifying ‘hatmakers’ rather than ‘wool’.... Written history is full of misunderstandings like that.)

*And in fact we don’t make it consistently, either. Most of us (I think) would assent to the general proposition that hats, caps and bonnets are slightly different categories of headgear (hats have brims, caps are soft and may or may not have a peak, bonnets are stiff and may or may not have a peak) and yet, fore example, when we go skiing and cram on to our heads a brimless knitted article, we call it a ski / beanie / bobble hat.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 October 2017 05:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4491
Joined  2007-01-29

I have to say, this is one of the more ridiculous arguments we’ve gotten into.  And I say that as someone who loves hats (and caps)!

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 3
2
 
‹‹ Stick / microphone?      Nimrod ››