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When Everyone Wore A Hat...

oldMohawk

master brummie
Some nice hats in this link to one of Lyn's pics which is in the Old Street Pics thread.
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mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
On antiques roadshow tonight there is the descendent of a hat factory owner. His edwardian ancestor took around 500 photographic plates of his factory, workforce and people in hats
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Yes Mike I watched that programme too. Hadn't realised what a hazardous job it was. Not only was it hazardous because of machinery used (as were most factories of the time), but the use of mercury in the process of making hats (to produce felt?) was highly dangerous to workers health too. We might moan about H & S requirements these days, but you can see why these restrictions came about. Viv.
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
I was somewhat surprised by the use of mercury in the manufacture - grabbed a couple of pics off my iPad as I watched it. Amazing quality after such a long time. They had style in those days.
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Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Two great photos from the programme. Would have loved to have seen more of the plates. Surprised at the plates being valued at only £1 a piece. A great piece of history. Viv.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Yes Mike I watched that programme too. Hadn't realised what a hazardous job it was. Not only was it hazardous because of machinery used (as were most factories of the time), but the use of mercury in the process of making hats (to produce felt?) was highly dangerous to workers health too. We might moan about H & S requirements these days, but you can see why these restrictions came about. Viv.

Hence the expression as mad as a hatter". Remember the mad hatters tea party? :biggrin:
 

norfolk brummie

gone but not forgotten
It looks like a good old 'knees up' from the young girls at the front. Perhaps the youth of the past, were not so different from the youth of today. Eddie
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Most kids in this pic are wearing fairly reasonable looking hats except for the lad in the sailor suit but maybe he had no choice looking at his mum's hat as she stands behind him. Looks like one of those games at fetes where a ball is thrown into a tilted bucket and if it stayed in they won something from that interesting jumble of prizes. I vaguely remember trying the game at funfairs, it looked easy but it wasn't. None of them seem to have noticed the camera taking their pic c1900.
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sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
True, a good selection of hats Phil, but even more intriguing is trying to fathom out the prizes in the bottom right quadrant!

Maurice
 

norfolk brummie

gone but not forgotten
They look a bit like tin railway carriages, or trams, Maurice. Cannot be sure, but one thing is certain,worth a fortune on E bay to-day!!

Eddie
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Hi Maurice - they certainly look interesting and I think I can see a steam engine next to the yacht. Crockery prizes if only one ball stays in the bucket and maybe the yacht if three stay in. The lady about to throw the ball looks determined !
Phil
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
Eddie,

You were thinking along much the same lines as me and until you look at the ordered row of boxes closest to the competitors, they look as if they have been very much dumped there. Whatever, a very interesting photo, Phil.

Maurice
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
All wearing sensible hats in this c1900 pic except that little chap in the centre. The interesting item however is that contraption from which an elegant lady is serving drinks. She has to fill the glasses somehow and it looks to me that those two tubes which curve out of the top on each side could be the only outlets unless there is a tap hidden from view round the back. But if a tap is in use what are the tubes for? How it works is a puzzle to me but at least the two youths on the right look slightly puzzled also.
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sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
That really is a contraption and a half! The serving lady appears to be filling from a tap on the front - that would seem logical - but I don't know the reason for the tubes nor for that sort of "bag" on the top. Aeration perhaps? We need a catalogue dating from that period by a manufacturer of lemonade dispensers or something like that. And old industrial catalogues are somewhat of a rarity. For some years I've been promised one by a person who was a salesman for a Birmingham maker of ships and railway lamps, but I'm still waiting. Of course, I'm also aware that this item is probably worth its weight in gold to someone in the antique business!

Maurice
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
It looks as if there might be taps on the ends of the tubes but that would mean syphoning out the drinks and I can't imagine that.
 
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