Monday, September 3, 2012

The Straw Bonnet Maker

Monday, September 3, 2012

Loretta reports:

In honor of Labor Day, and as part of my series on historical occupations, we’re looking at hats, and the making thereof.  The job description in the book is another page longer.  If you’d like to read the whole thing, you can find it here.

Detail from 1813 Ackermann fashion plate

—John Souter, The Book of English Trades: And Library of the Useful Arts, 1818

Please click on the text to enlarge to readable size.


Janet said...

Nice post. See mine on the subject at

QNPoohBear said...

Supposedly, the straw bonnet industry in America was started by a Rhode Island girl named Betsy Metcalf. Her family couldn't afford imported straw bonnets and when her aunt showed her how to braid straw, Betsy showed her friends and an industry was born. It was the first (one of the first?) all female industries in the U.S. I've seen pictures of her bonnet but it's not on display.

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