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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Galleries honor Cleveland history with exhibitThe Cauldron (subscription), February 8th
The featured artifacts in "CSU Celebrates 150 Years of Euclid Avenue's Greatness" are mostly on loan from the Kent State University Museum. As visitors walk through the gallery and see the Jazz Age hats, extravagant hatpins and dated photos, they can ...Read more
Is the US ready for a socialist president? Sanders might be about to find outThe Guardian, February 6th
Bernie Sanders speaks at the 2016 McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club Celebration in Manchester, New Hampshire on Friday. Photograph: Adrees Latif/Reuters. Dan Roberts and Adam Gabbatt in Manchester, New Hampshire. Saturday 6 February 2016 08.33 EST ...Read more
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 SnowmageddonW 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 VictoryNew 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
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 notesOneonta 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