Friday, 7 September 2012

The Man in the Bowler Hat - Sepia Saturday

Having looked at a variety of hats before (hold-on-to-your-hats) and top hats (here) I decided it was time for the bowler.

Self Portrait with Bowler Hat - Paul Cézanne - 1883-87
(Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Dantes Plads 7, Copenhagen, Denmark.)
 I wonder whether C√©zanne saw himself like this:



A bowler is a sturdy hat with a rounded crown. The brim of the hat extends out a few inches and is similarly rounded. The origins of the hat date back to approximately 1850. The bowler hat got its name from the makers of the hat – Thomas Bowler and William Bowler. 


The hard felt hat with a rounded crown originally created in 1849 for the  politician Edward Coke.The bowler  was popular with the working class  in the Victorian times it came to form the official work uniform of bankers. Later in the United Kingdom, it has been worn as work dress by the officers of the Queen's Guards.


 Foremen in various industries also took to wearing bowlers before the advent of hard hats. Once  considered a British Icon, the bowler was also part of the American Urban culture of the 19th Century.. One of the gangs that roamed the streets of New York City, around this time, were called the Plug Uglies. The Uglies were never without their bowler which they wore as their signature piece and to protect their heads during scuffles with rival gangs. 

Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy were famous in their bowler hats and Oddjob's razor-edged bowler was a lethal weapon in Goldfinger. 

I've never worn a bowler; the nearest I can claim is to have been a leg break bowler in my cricketing days. I've also resisted taking up 'old man's marbles' - well so far anyway.

Bowlers at the East Brisbane Bowling Club - 1906
I have however had a go at the tenpin variety.

Lone Bowler (not me) - UK Superbowl, Hartlepool
Lately I seem to have spent a lot of time in the garden digging holes which brings me Bernard Cribbins.



Now I guess, like Barbar, it's time to tip my hat ans pass you on to others at sepia-saturday-142

 

23 comments:

Wendy said...

You have certainly changed my opinion of the Bowler. Its place in history and culture is rather interesting. (Unfortunately, I couldn't see the video - I got a message saying it was blocked because of copyright.???)

Peter said...

Thanks for a bit of history on the bowler hat. Sort of missed John Steed in your list. But it has taught that there is no connection with cricket, as someone tried to tell me years ago.

Bob Scotney said...

Which video, Wendy? There should not be a problem.
If anyone else has trouble please let me know.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Loved the pics and the history presented here, Bob. The last picture is so cute and cheerful. In answer to your question, it is the last video that we can's see ... something about copyright infringement caused it to be blocked. I wonder if we will be seeing more and more of those on You Tube videos?

Kathy M.

Christine H. said...

Bob,
I couldn't see the video either. It's a matter of copyright in the US, so others can probably view it with no problem.

I love the Cezanne painting.

Bob Scotney said...

Shame about the second video. I can view it OK. Will someone not from the USA confirm whether or not they can.

TICKLEBEAR said...

Same thing in Canada. EMI blocked it!! Interesting nonetheless and it was cute that you ended your post with Babar!! That brings back old memories.
:D~
HUGZ

Titania said...

I always thought the bowler hat was called a bowler because of its shape. Now I know! Never liked the shape, but it was popular with the men. Umbrella and bowler hat was the outfit. To bowling in Brisbane, a girl from Switzerland who stayed with us for a holiday, saw the bowlers all dressed in white and asked me what are all the doctors doing there? Because in SWL it was custom for doctors to wear a white coat.

Titania said...

Bob, both videos worked well, fun to listen and watch. Thank you.

Michael J. McCann said...

Hello, Bob. New follower. I agree with Peter that a bowler always makes me think of John Steed. And Horace Rumpole too, I suppose.... Thanks!

The Overnight Bestseller
http://michaeljmccannsblog.blogspot.ca/

smkelly8.com said...

Who can resist a bowler hat? Wonderful post.

Joy said...

The bowler hat seems to symbolises so many different things in history and seems to continue to be used in popular culture.

Rita said...

If you have noticed the "Hat Parade" on my sidebar then you know I have a thing for a man in a great hat. I even did a lengthy post on hats a few years back.

This was a very interesting post. Had some hat info I did not know. Thanks for teaching me something new today.

Dee said...

Interesting history on the bowler hat.

Dee @ Shakin' the Family Tree

Prenter said...

I was able to see the second and last videos. The first and third however are grey. I'm in Netherlands, Europe.

I enjoyed your interesting story about the bowler hat.

Karen S. said...

He just might have, but I know he thought he was quite the ladies man I bet! What an interesting and delightful story about such a common old thing, and you are at your best again with such fun videos. I hope you're enjoying the last days of summer! Because you know what is lurking around the corner with a mighty cold wind....and lovely leaves!...and pumpkins and such!

Little Nell said...

Lovely post Bob and all the way through I was singing the Bernard Cribbins song so I wasn't surprised to see you'd posted it. Both videos worked fine for me - I wonder if the problem is peculiar to the USA.

Jana Last said...

Interesting history of the bowler hat. I learned things I didn't know before. Thanks for sharing!

(Queenmothermamaw) Peggy said...

Great post and I could not see the last video either. All of the US folks have said no. Makes me want to see it more. LOL
QMM

Mike Brubaker said...

Another superior compilation on a theme, Bob. In the 80s, when I lived in London, there were still a few odd gentlemen in the City financial district who would appear dressed in blue suit and bowler. But rather than fit into the crowd of similarly hatted men, they really stood out.

Nancy said...

Interesting history of the bowler. Who knew it was named for its creators?! I enjoyed your post and your humor. Thanks!

Tattered and Lost said...

I did not know the history of the bowler. That it's name derived from the makers is fascinating. I assumed it was the bowl shape. Learn something every time at Sepia Saturday!

Peter said...

Bob, both video's work fine in Holland.