A ladies’ hat in 1906 was a thing of wonder, an elaborate headgear adorned with ribbon and feathers and flowers. The problems of wearing such an architectural monument were also legendary, and the font from which poured a billion cartoons, vaudeville routines, and wheezy jokes, not to mention a few angry letters to the editor.

The other story reminds that chapeau love isn’t only a woman’s province, as Mr. Skaggs must convince a haberdasher to reopen his store late at night because he couldn’t be seen at the ball game without a derby on his noggin.


Editor Republican: Will you assist the long suffering men at public assemblies who desire to see the speaker and help us to get an ordinance to require women to remove the glaring sky scrapers and upturned things now in use? I sat behind one and just as I got a peek of the speaker through the loop of a sinuous twisted thing that crowned the feather head piece, away bobbed the owner’s head and I had to squint alongside the head where the so-called hat rim shoots skyward, holding a bunch of something to prop it up. My limited view of the speaker was interesting, could I have kept it, but a baby at the far end of the room began to rattle a paper and away went the head and spoiled my view.

An ordinance should be passed requiring females to remove their hats at all public assemblies and require the posting of notices in all halls and churches.

At the jubilee concert ladies removed hats on request, but some who came in later sat in their selfish flaring glory (?) the entire evening.

Why will a woman be a lady everywhere else but at a public assembly? Let us have an ordinance and a policeman, if necessary, but have the menace abated at any cost. Has the practice a single defender? [signed,] A SUFFERER.

– Santa Rosa Republican, December 4, 1906

William W. Skaggs was the victim of a peculiar mishap Saturday evening. While seated at the theater on Main street enjoying the performance the seat in which he rested suddenly gave way beneath his weight. Skaggs struck the floor amid the wreckage rather hard, but this is not the part that worried him most. Beneath the seat was his derby hat and when Skaggs had raised his two hundred pounds off the crown of the hat it resembled a pancake more than anything else. He had been planning to go to the ball game at Petaluma Sunday afternoon and when he left the theater after the performance all the stores had closed. He rustled around and after much persuasion succeeded in getting an accommodating hatter to sell him another skypiece. His friends are making the most of the unpleasant predicament at Skaggs’ expense.

– Santa Rosa Republican, November 26, 1906

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