Hatpins reached a peak of popularity between the 1890s and 1920s, as music hall actresses like Lillian Russell and Lillian Langtry fueled the popularity of large elaborate hats without bonnet strings. Having originated in the 1850s to secure straw hats, hatpins became longer and more ornate over time (1910 was the height of hatpin length, with the stems alone reaching 10 to 12 inches).

The mass produced white or black bead on a pin was the basic 'working girl' hatpin, but many high end hatpins were made by jewelers of brass, copper, sterling silver, gold, or gold or silver wash. Other materials included Carnival glass, rhinestones, hand blown molded glass, micro mosaic, or hand painted or transferred porcelain like the Japanese Satsuma. There were also hatpins made with ivory, emeralds, stone, amber, tortoise shell, jet, celluloid and other plastics, mother of pearl, and coral.

Key hatpin manufacturers included Unger Brothers, Lincoln, William Kerr, Alvin Manufacturing, R. Blackington and Company, Day and Clarke, and The Sterling Company. Notable hatpin designers included Charles Horner, Louis Tiffany, William Codman, James T. Wooley, Barton Jenks, and George Gebelein.

Hatpins spanned many styles including Baroque, Etruscan Revival, Greek Revival, Egyptian Revival, Oriental influence, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau and even Art Deco, before waning around WW1 when metals became scarce and hats got smaller.

Collectors also seek specialized hatpins, including hallmarked hatpins, hatpins that serve vanities, opera hatpins, and compact hatpins that have a mirror and a powder puff. Amethyst and pearls are popular, as well as Plique-a-Jour enamel. Hatpin holders are also sought after.

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The Scrap Album

The Scrap Album

Malcolm Warrington’s The Scrap Album is a handsomely organized site, as you’d expect from an articulate champio… [read review or visit site]

All About Jewels Dictionary

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Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry

Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry

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Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery

Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery

With its vast galleries featuring clear images of jewelry and style, this site really covers it all! Divided up by … [read review or visit site]

Jewel History

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Clubs & Associations

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Recent News: Hatpins and Hatpin Holders

Source: Google News

Agent Carter Recap: "Smoke & Mirrors"
The Mary Sue, February 3rd

Sounds like crap to me — Jack saw those fake newspapers at the Hatpin Club last episode, so he should know by now that this case is legit, and Peggy should stick around Hollywoodtown until it's squared away. Sousa hands Peggy the file on Whitney that ...Read more

Escape from Snowmageddon
W Magazine, February 3rd

Later we met up for crafts — Tye Dyeing, led by the Baja boys, and making hat pins, led by Ms. Burris. Fellow “counselor” Thaddeus O'Neil was there as well. Tall as a surfboard and gorgeous as a Hemsworth, he also looks like a Harlequin Romance cover, ...Read more

Hillary Clinton Would Be Smart to Focus on Stirring Up Fears of a GOP Victory
New York Magazine, February 2nd

After an Iowa caucus in which most observers (as is typical in a caucus state, and especially in Iowa) focused on mechanics, the “ground game,” turnout strategies, and “enthusiasm,” it's natural to see political observers pull the hat pin out of their...Read more

Canada Gets Twiztid
Pollstar, January 28th

Twiztid heads north of the border beginning in mid-March as the Detroit-based, hard-core hip-hop duo plots an Ontario to British Columbia run. Destinations for the “Juggalo Invasion Tour” include London, Winnipeg, Calgary, Red Deer and Vancouver...Read more

Agent Carter Recap – "Better Angels"
The Mary Sue, January 27th

While looking through the rest of Jason's papers, Stark finds the same hatpin/key/whatever that keeps popping up everywhere on this show – the “Arena Club” pin, Stark calls it. Remember all the old guys putting out candles? “The Council”? That's the...Read more

James Lileks: Do we need a shopping app added to our grocery lists?
Minneapolis Star Tribune, January 24th

It beats having someone follow you around and jab you in the thigh with a hatpin and say "get whole wheat." But not by much. I always buy bread, because no one ate the last loaf and it's now stale. But you have to have bread. If someone wants to make...Read more

Senior Scene: As Time Goes By: To succeed in life, be sure to take good notes
Oneonta Daily Star, January 15th

The other day while shopping I was assailed by an eager fan who asked why my life was so funny and theirs so drab. I told him that my success was based on my ability to take good notes. For example, a while back I mentioned my successful battle against...Read more

American Women in the 1900s Called Street Harassers 'Mashers' and Stabbed Them ...
Smithsonian, October 2nd

Five years later, a woman named Marguerite LeBlanc stabbed a man who put his arm around her on the street with her hatpin. A notorious masher, E.L. Dickson, came to the wrong end of a hatpin in 1910 when he grabbed the arm of Martha Taylor in a ...Read more