Portis 15 cowboy hat

Now on eBay! LINK

This hat was made in the 1950s by Portis.  It sold new in the 1950s for $15, which bought a high quality hat at the time.  It is marked 2X beaver, but the X system is meaningless, as it varies manufacturer to manufacturer and year to year- that is to say, a vintage 2X by one manufacturer could be the same quality as a vintage 5X by a different manufacturer as a 30X by a modern manufacturer.  It has Portis’s Swans Down finish.  It has a high quality leather sweatband with a backing membrane to stop perspiration from staining the felt.  It has a relatively low crown, which is creased in a fedora style diamond crease.  It has a three cord ribbon with a fancy bow.  Very nicely done trimming on this one.Size: 7-1/8Brim Width: 3-1/4″Crown Height: 5-1/4″Ribbon Width: 3/8″
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Eddy Brothers Cowboy Hat

Now on eBay! LINK

This vintage cowboy hat was made in the 1960s by Eddy brothers of California.  It is marked a 5X beaver quality.  The X system is, unfortunately entirely meaningless, as it differs wildly manufacturer to manufacturer, model to model and year to year.  It is marked “water repellent” and has a red liner.  The felt has stains, pen marks, a few small moth bites, and it looks like someone had a pin in the front of the crown.  It has a two cord band, a flat brim and a cattleman’s crease.

Size: 7-1/8
Brim Width: 3″
Band Width: 1/4″
Crown Height: 5-3/4″

   
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Bergen White Homburg / Top Hat hybrid

Now on eBay! LINK

This is one of the most unusual vintage hats I’ve come across.  The hat is made of high quality white fur felt.  The crown says top hat, or at least flat top porkpie.  But the brim says homburg. If it were black, it would be like Johnny Depp’s hat in Dead Man.  But it’s white.  With a purple band.  And yet- this is no costume piece.  High quality felt, with equally high quality trimmings.There’s a bit of light staining that should be easy to remove. It’s white and everything shows.  It has a wide, supple russet leather sweatband, marked Bergen Custom Made Hats.  Bergen was located at 2982 Hudson Blvd, Jersey City, NJ.  This hat was “Styled in the English Manner” and is of 4x ( XXXX ) quality felt.  (Those of you in the know know that the the X system is meaningless as it differs arbitrarily: manufacturer to manufacturer and year to year). The liner logo is similar to that of Mallory, with the array of medals, but is otherwise very different.  Definitely an oddity of a hat.  
Size: 7-3/8Brim Width: 2-5/8″Crown Height: 4″Ribbon Width: 1-1/2″
   
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Early Temple boater hat

Now on eBay! LINK

This vintage hat was made in the 1910s or 1920s by the Temple Hat company.  It is marked XXX quality.  It has a gray green ribbon with huge early style bow.  It has a bold weave with triple ply weaves.  The sweatband is heavily textured and is still soft and supple.  The lining is half mesh and half silk, with a screened logo.  
Size: 7-1/4Brim Width: 2-1/4″Ribbon Width: 2-1/4″Crown Height: 3-3/8″
   
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1960s Imported Braid Milan

Now on eBay! LINK

This vintage straw hat was made in the early 1960s.  It is a cross between a porkpie and an optimo blocking, with a snap brim.  It has a mused brown, blue and yellow puggaree. About an inch and a half of stitching on the braid has dropped at the top of the porkpie crown near the front.  It doesn’t show when wearing, and could be fixed easily with several stitches.  The hat has a fabric sweatband.  It is only marked “Genuine Imported Braid” and “Custom Made”.
Size: 7-1/8Brim Width: 1-3/4″Band Width: 1-3/4″Crown Height: 6″
   
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1940s 7X Clear Beaver Stetson

Now on eBay! LINK

This vintage fedora was made in the 1940s by Stetson.  It is their 7X Clear Beaver Quality. Pure, undyed beaver, with a mode edge.  When it was new, this hat would have cost $50, a lot of money at the time.  It has a reeded sweatband, with the 1940s version of the Stetson Crest.  The sweatband is deeply blind embossed “mode-edge”.  The hat was originally sold by Charles of Atlantic City, located at 1627-29 Boardwalk.  There is a moth bite on the brim at the reed seam, and some staining on the wind string button.  The crown has a diamond crease.  The liner is Rayon Satin of Celanese yarn.

 Size: 6-7/8
 Brim Width: 2-5/8″ 
Ribbon Width: 1-7/8″ 
Crown Height: 5-5/8″
   
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1930s Steefel fedora

Now on eBay! LINK

This vintage fedora was made in the early 1930s by “D H Co”. Danbury Hat Company, maybe? It was sold by Steefel Brothers of State Street, Albany, New York – Specialized Shops for men, boys and girls. It has typical early to mid 1930s dimensions, tall, straight sided crown, short, raw edge brim, wide ribbon. The liner has great double pleated detailing, and a wide leather sweatband. It is unreeded and, as typical of sweatbands of that era, has dropped some stitches. The leather itself is still in great shape. The back seam is taped instead of stitched, as was common in the 1930s. There are a few shallow moth bites on the brim, but they are only noticeable upon close inspection.

Size: 7-1/8
Brim Width: 2-1/4″
Ribbon Width: 2″
Crown Height: 5-3/4″
Sweatband Width: 2-3/8″

   
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1950s Adam Pana-Brisa

This vintage panama hat was made in the 1950s by the Adam hat company.  It is a cuenca weave and is marked “Pana-Brisa”.  It has a perforated leather sweatband, which has dried somewhat, but nothing too bad. It is “Royal Quality”. There is a thin black ribbon with an Open Road / Stratoliner style bow. The crown has a blocked in teardrop crease.
Size: 7-1/4
Brim Width: 2-3/4″
 
 
   
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Before and After

I do a lot of my buying, as well as my selling through eBay. Unfortunately, what I get isn’t always what I’m expecting. This hat for instance, dated from the 1920s or early 1930s, but it had been packed in a flat priority mail box- one of the one that’s about three inches tall. Problem is, a hat like this is about 6 inches tall, and while all hats are crushable, the un-crushable part of things is where most struggle. A bit of steam and a bit of water, though, and it’s amazing the difference. Not quite perfect- that would require a full set of hatters blocks, but a world better.
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This photo illustrates the difference between buying from most sellers and from vintage-haberdashers. This is the same hat, as I bought it, and as I sold it. I did a bit of minor cleaning and shaping, but mostly its the photography. I buy a lot of hats that are kind of a pig in a poke. One or two pictures, no real clear description. Some times they work out. Some times they don’t- but that’s the nature of the game. When you buy from me, you know what you’re getting. Clear pictures with accurate color, and all possible details documented. Size, crown height, brim width, ribbon width, all measured.
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Deadstock canvas shoes

I have a big lot of deadstock canvas shoes. Keds and Red Ball Jets, mostly. They’re all very small sizes, women’s 4 through 5-1/2.
Want a pair? Make me an offer.
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Never even tried on or laced up!

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