Friday, December 8, 2017

And while we are at it 'Billycock'

History of Bowler Hat

hat is a hard felt hat with a narrow brim and a rounded crown. It was also known as bob hat, billy coke, billycock, bombin and derby. It was first made in 1849 for Edward Coke, British soldier and politician and the younger brother of the 2nd Earl of Leicester. He ordered it from the hatters Lock & Co. of St James's as a sort of hard hat, to be close-fitting and to have a low crown so it can protect heads of Coke’s gamekeepers so when they ride they don’t hit their heads in braches of the trees that hang low. Before bowler hat, gamekeepers wore top hats that were too high, got knocked off a lot and used to damage when they hit the ground. Bowler hat was designed to solve these problems. Lock & Co. gave job to its chief hatters Thomas and William Bowler (hence the name). Story says that when bowler hat was finished, Coke came to London on 17 December 1849, placed it on the floor and stomped on it two times. When he saw that it withstood the test he was pleased and paid 12 shillings for it. Until recently, it was believed that it was William Coke who ordered and designed the bowler hat but a nephew of the 1st Earl of Leicester presented research that proves otherwise. It is now common belief that it was Edward Coke who designed and commissioned the hat. Lock & Co. called it “Coke” hate (it reads as “cook”) after its common practice to name hats after the one who ordered a custom hat. That explains why after that, the hat was called “billy coke” and “billycock”. In years after that it was call bowler hat after the Bowler Brothers who produced it.

No comments:

Post a Comment