Saturday, 28 December 2013

Uncle Tom's Top Hat

He was in the 2nd Border Regiment (or is that the second battalion of the Border Regiment? I'm not sure). I have his brass prismatic compass. The top hat case is a fixture of my mother's house, but it comes from my father's side, the Proctor side.

The baggage labels: the "Jamaica Direct Fruit Line Ltd.". Time frame: the 1920s.

The hat itself, in its glory. Still pristine after all these years, because unused.

And here he is. On the left. I'm the one in the middle. My father, Peter, is on the right. This is taken at Lyndhurst.

Me again, and my mother, and Great Aunt Jess. Who isn't actually my great aunt, but I can never remember the true relationship.


  1. Uncle Tom's precocious concern for his albedo footprint is evident in his choice of headgear. By removing a beaver from circulation, he put paid to the one hectare hole full of black water it might otherwise have punched in the Great North Woods.

    On the other hand, he may just have used it to smuggle rabbits into Jamaica.

    1. William, can you tell us what the hat was made of? According to this source, after 1900 top hats were made from silk plush rather than beaver felt.

    2. I'm not there now, so can't check, but: (a) there were no date marks on it, but I'd guess it was bought after 1900, (b) if I had to guess, I'd say not-beaver; the nap is quite regular. But then again, I've never stroked a beaver:-)