The History of Hats

Exhibit Location: Horace Greeley House

Exhibit Year: 2014

My name is Emily Simon and I’m a senior at Horace Greeley High School. For my Senior Experience, I decided to intern with New Castle Historical Society. Initially, there were several projects I could initiate; however, hats intrigued me and I felt that there was a story to tell. Hats have been worn for centuries. Why did people begin to wear them? Why did people stop? How have they changed? All these questions helped to shape my project. Originally, I had nothing more than a topic. All the research, assembling posters, and finding hats culminated in The Evolution of Hats exhibit.

Have you heard the old saying, “If you want to get ahead and get noticed, then get a hat”? Hats are the most noticeable accessory a person can wear. Women’s hats play a role in fashion, history, and protection from the weather. Why do hats increase and decrease in size throughout history? What were hats like during wartime? The Evolution of Hats exhibit at the Historical Society will give you the answer to all these questions and more. Some of the featured hats include: cloches, pillbox hats, bonnets, and others. Information about other types of hats will be displayed as well. While hats might not be as essential as they used to be, they are still stylish and will most likely never go out of fashion. Instead, they will continue to evolve. What is next for the woman’s fashion hat?