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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Recent News: Hatpins and Hatpin Holders

Source: Google News

Mother's Day 'Hat Pin' event reception slated for May 9 in Lambertville
NJ.com, April 15th

At the event, guests are invited to pick a pin (from hundreds of vintage hat pins, stick pins, and European advertising pins) and 'pin' one of ten original oil. At the end of the event, one lucky 'pinner' goes home with the original oil painting...Read more

If the drought doesn't kill your lawn, zombie gnomes will!
San Jose Mercury News, April 15th

Be sure and leave your pointy dog-collar jewelry at the door -- no hat pins, please, and keep your sharp wit in check -- when you attend "BLOW UP," an exhibit of giant inflatable sculptures at the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek (www.befordgallery.org)...Read more

Bena Mae's Kitchen: Hairnets, Hatpins and Old Nostalgia
The News Journal, April 14th

Many people of my generation remember with fondness and sadness the glory days of the dime stores...McCrory's, McClellens's, Grants, Kresses and other names too numerous to mention. Included among these retail stores back then that were the hub of ...Read more

Ridgewood's Schoolhouse Museum showcases early 20th century hats
NorthJersey.com, April 8th

In the early years of the 20th century, hats were required attire for almost every occasion; the bigger the hat, the better. The millinery was ornate and lavishly embellished with feathers. Women would use hatpins, many as long as 12 inches, to secure...Read more

It's All Happening: Warm Spring Weather Today And Tomorrow
Gothamist, April 2nd

The final numbers are in and, to nobody's surprise, March was a cold month in New York. Last month was 4.4 degrees cooler than normal. The average temperature of 38.1 degrees made it the 48th coldest March in Central Park since records began in 1869 ...Read more

'Hey Jude!' Muskegon man's collection of The Beatles memorabilia on display at ...
MLive.com, March 29th

a feature of the museum for more than 15 years, features the collections of Muskegon County residents and is changed twice a year. In the past, everything from Pez dispensers and GI Joes to Sherlock Holmes, canning jars and hat pins have been featured...Read more

Hat, Pins Stolen from Pocono Marine Veteran
wnep.com, March 10th

STROUDSBURG — Someone in the Poconos stole a hat from a gas station in Stroudsburg last weekend, but it's not just a hat. On it were three invaluable pins that belonged to a retired Marine. Daniel Jeffreys of Delaware Water Gap works at the Weis Gas ...Read more

"The Hatpin Peril" Terrorized Men Who Couldn't Handle the 20th-Century Woman
Smithsonian, April 24th

A St. Louis schoolteacher drove her would-be attacker away by slashing his face with her hatpin. Such stories were notable not only for their frequency but also for their laudatory tone; for the first time, women who fought back against harassers were...Read more