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Thursday, 20 February 2014

Behatted!




I didn't think I had very many family  photographs of hat wearers, but in fact discovered quite a number of them, although not really in groups of the same style, so here they are.


The blurry photograph above is believed to be of Joseph Featherston, 1864-1914. It's the only one we have of him, and was received by email from a distant cousin some years ago. It looks to have been cut from a larger photograph, but sadly I don't have that, and know very little about Joseph. He and wife Margaret, nee Neilson, of whom we have no photographs, lived at 65 Eureka St Ballarat. Joseph's occupation was recorded as groom on the last electoral roll before his death, and as carter in previous rolls.


Here are Joseph's eldest son Joseph Henry and his grandson Robert, who was born 3 years after his grandfather died. Joseph Henry Featherston was a fireman who worked with the Victorian Railways, and whose health was much affected by his occupation, looks small next to his son the returned airman. Joe died in 1951 aged 59. I imagine he was justly proud of his son Bob, who served in the RAAF and RAF and survived 3 years as a prisoner of war in Poland. For more about Bob, see Swimmers with arms folded.


Here are Joseph Henry Featherston with wife Grace and daughter Dawn a little later, about to attend son Robert's wedding in 1947. It looks like Joe could well be wearing the same favourite hat as in the previous photograph, although here he is naturally more formally dressed to suit the occasion.

To my side of the family now, and here is my grandfather Oliver Cruickshank, sporting a smart hat and looking quite rakish on his wedding day in Wellington NZ, together with with his new wife Myrtle.
Oliver and Myrtle Cruickshank, Wedding Day, 7 April 1921

Oliver with son Ian, circa 1925
 This photo has featured before, but then the focus was on the braces worn by both father and son.

Here's Myrtle with son Ian - are she and Oliver sharing the same hat? The photos don't seem to  have been taken at the same time, as I think young Ian may be wearing different clothes, but I'm not sure, maybe they were.

Myrtle, Ian and Oliver Cruickshank, at son Ian's graduation from the University of Canterbury, NZ in 1947. Both Oliver and Myrtle are once again proudly wearing their best hats.  It's unfortunate that there's something behind Myrtle, perhaps part of a gate, that looks as if it's attached to her hat, but of course it is not.

Myrtle and Ian are looking very smart here. Ian with his hat and briefcase may have been on a break from work, but Myrtle appears to be out shopping, wearing her fur coat again, with another elegant hat. This photograph was probably taken in Christchurch, as the family lived in the nearby town of Rangiora. It's similar in style to one I posted of  my mother an her aunt last week (Busy, busy, busy..) and I think it must have been common for photographers to set up their cameras in the city streets and take pictures of passers-by, and perhaps for people to dress up specially and seek out such a photograph. The  picture below from Jean's album is labelled 'Street Photo 1949'. Keeping the picture on theme,  a couple of hatted gentlemen can coincidentally  be observed in the background.

Here are Ian and Jean out for the day at some popular event, with some friends. Ian is wearing that hat again, at a similar jaunty angle.

Jean and Ian were always a well-dressed couple, but here they are, off to a garden party at Buckingham Palace, dressed up in sartorially elegant style. Meanwhile yours truly was off to be babysat - boo hoo!



Strahan, a great grandson of both Joseph Henry Featherston and Oliver Desmond Cruickshank,
 is a regular hat wearer, and shows that pork pie hats are back in style.


I'll close with this classic folk  rock anthem from the 60s:

On that note, put on your hat and coat, if you feel so inclined, and check out more hats etc  at Sepia Saturday 216

22 comments:

  1. Can't you tell so much about a man by the way he wears his hat ! Forward, back, on an angle, crumpled, sat on, smart !! You have a lovely collection.

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  2. In the past, one wouldn't be considered well-dressed without a hat.

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  3. Family history in hats -- nice job!

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  4. For years the only hat I wore was the hard variety; I've since graduated a baseball cap or a woolly to protect my bald head from the sun or cold. I have never worn any others though I like the look of what you have shown.

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  5. Isn't it funny how we think we don't own many pictures with hats only to discover we have a gazillion. Just goes to show that we often don't pay attention to every detail of our photos until we go looking for something in particular. As for Oliver and Myrtle wearing the same hat -- at first I thought yes, but now I wonder if such a hat would have had an adornment on both sides. Usually there was only one, I think.

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    1. no, but perhaps Oliver was wearing his wife's hat back to front, just for fun. He was a bit perverse like that - his eldest child's name was registered as Valarie, rather than the more regular Valerie, simply because Oliver didn't know the correct spelling at the time. He didn't purposefully intend it to be spelt differently, unlike a lot of parents do these days.

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  6. I can see the family resemblance in Strachan. He looks so like Robert.

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  7. It is pretty rare to see vintage photos of men in outdoor groups who are NOT wearing hats. That may be my favorite Steeleye Span song too. Best folk album ever!

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  8. lots and lots of hats...my favorite photo is of Myrtle and Ian while she is wearing that fur coat and crrying a basket. Somehow it's incongruous.

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  9. I enjoyed all your family pictures featuring hats - interesting what a theme will help pull together.

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  10. A lovely collection of family photos, Jo.

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  12. A lovely portrayal of family history told through hats.

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  13. Well, you sure pulled out a lot of cool hats! I especially enjoyed the cute little boy, not in a hat, but so adorable with a smudge of dirt on his cheeks.

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    1. Yes, and the little Ian scrubbed up quite well in later life.

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  14. Myrtle was such an elegant lady, indeed all your family are the epitome of sartorial elegance.

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  15. Makes me want to go through my pictures and find more hats!

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  16. Nice to see photos of young ones, and then, like magic, they are all grown up and making a life for themselves, great post!

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    1. My Dad didn't have many family family photos, so it really is just a matter of turning over a page or two in his old album and there he is, graduating from University.

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  17. A particularly fine collection of hats, such a shame that they have nearly vanished from the modern man's wardrobe.

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    1. Yes, these days if we see a man in a sharp suit and hat in our part of Melbourne, we can be pretty certain he is headed for the races, ie. Caulfield Racecourse, just across the road from where we live, or alternatively off to Flemington by train for the Melbourne Cup or some similar event. Hats are still de rigueur at the races, for both men and women.

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  18. I can see that Myrtle passed along her terrific style to Ian. Sharp dressed man!

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