1930s Ben Parkoff Fedora hat

http://www.ebay.com/itm/401024331310

This vintage hat was made in the early 1930s for Ben Parkoff of Brooklyn, New York and is their “The Parksley” model.  It is a rare style, briefly popular in the early ’30s, the snap brim homburg, flanged with a sharply curled homburg type brim curl to the back, and a more relaxed one in the front, allowing it to be worn up brim or snapped. It has the feathered edge to the bow that was so popular at this time, and the twisted dip to the reverse side of the ribbon which was also a short lived trend.  It has a center crease with pinches and a bound 2-1/4″ brim.  It has a wide sweatband with a taped rear seam and a fancy pleated lining. The original store size tag is still in the ribbon.

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1920s Gimbel homburg hat

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271775601883
This vintage hat was made in the late 1910s-1920s by Gimbel. It is a shallowly flanged homburg style, made in lightweight fur felt, and creased with a center dent and pinches. It has a wide ribbon with a feathered trailing edge, as was the fashion of the time, and narrow binding. The has has an unreeded sweatband with a taped rear seam- the stitching of the sweatband is still in tact. It is tagged a size 6-7/8.

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1920s Warwick Homburg hat

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271654547693
This vintage homburg was made in the 1920s by Warwick. It is made of forest green fur felt, with a center dent and widely spaced front pinches. It has a wide ribbon with a feathered trailing edge, as was the popular style of the day. The hat has an unmarked unreeded sweatband and a silk lining.

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

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1940s Adam Homburg

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271262932483
This vintage homburg was made by the Adam hat company in the late 1940s. It is gray fur felt, with a black ribbon and wind string and a bound brim. The hat has a brown leather sweatband, marked “Adam Executive, Cushioned for Comfort”, and “A product of Adam – America’s famous hatter”. The hat has a fancy pleated lining with the Adam logo. The size tag also bears the Adam name, and indicates that it is a 7-1/4, though it seems to have shrunk slightly. The hat has a center dent and front pinches. Despite the formal reputation that hats like this now have, at the time, they were worn in a variety of situations, from casual to semi-formal. The pinches dress the hat down a bit.

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

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1920s Stetson raw edge homburg

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271221600245
This vintage hat was made in the early 1920s by the John B. Stetson company. It is an interesting transitional style. At the time this was sold, it probably would have been designated as a fedora style – at that point, “fedora” had a broader definition. It has a curled edge brim- the same curl used on Boss Raw Edge westerns of the period – this is the first I’ve seen it on a dress hat like this. With the proportions it has, and its curled brim, today it would be called a homburg or a “Lords Hat”. It has a wide ribbon with a frayed-edge bow. The frayed trailing edge was a popular styling cue on hats of this era. Inside, the hat is unlined. The sweatband stampings indicate that it is a “Select Quality” felt, which sold for $7 in the early 1920s. This made it an expensive hat for the time period. It was sold in Jackson, TN by the G.H. Robertson Co.
Size: 7-1/4
Brim Width: 2-3/4″
Crown Height: 5-1/2″
Ribbon Width: 2-1/8″

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1910s Stetson overwelt homburg

http://www.ebay.com/itm/281120385608

This vintage Stetson was made in the 1910s. It is a medium brown fur felt, in a transitional style somewhere between a fedora and a homburg. It has an overwelt brim edge (typical of fedoras), but with a more typically homburg style flange to the brim. There is a wide brown grosgrain ribbon. The trailing edge of the bow has a frayed edge, as was the style of the day.
Inside, the hat has a dark rose colored lining, with gold colored piping, and a detailed “Gold Medal” style imprint. The sweatband is a creamy beige, with a gold embossed Stetson logo, touting their gold medal victories in 1876, 1878, 1889 and 1900. The hat has premier quality felt. It was sold by Jos. Polczynski hatters, 9307 Jos Campau, near Holbrook, Hamtramck, MI. This would later become Henry the Hatter.

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

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271202841266

This vintage homburg hat was made by Italy’s premier hatmaker, Borsalino. It is a classic, understated homburg style, with a relatively wide brim and beautiful soft fur felt. It was made for the European market and sold by Fratelli Cevini, P. Borsa 4, Trieste. As such, it is sized in the European “Punti” system. A “Punti” 7 equates to a US 7-1/2. While the felt and trimmings are in great shape, the inside of the hat has some issues. The reed has come through the reed tape, and stitches are dropped around the sweatband, so I would recommend replacement. The liner’s crown protector is missing, and there is a hole through the tip logo.

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

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Simplified Hat Photography

Most of my shots are done professionally in a studio by Michael G. Stewart, but those of you at home can get good looking results with a minimum of cost or effort.
Here’s how.

01: A hat stand of some description is important for photographing your hat while maintaining the shape of its brim. This purpose made one cost $5. The backdrop is a sheet of 18″x24″ paper from an art store.
02: To minimize shadows, shoot outdoors on an overcast day, or at the very least in shadow. Make sure what you’re shooting does not hang over the edge of the white.
03: In photoshop (or GIMP, it’s free), white balance to the lightest point of the white backdrop.
04: Use a brush tool to knock out all the non-white sections of the photo.
05: Select the shadows and white balance that selection separately to eliminate them.
06: Crop.
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