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Clothing, Costume & Fashion Accessories

Black bowler hat

20th Century

The bowler hat is a hard felt hat with a rounded crown that got its name from its creators: Thomas and William Bowler of Southwark. The bowler hat was originally created in 1849 for Edward Coke, the younger brother of the 2nd Earl of Leicester. It was intended to protect the heads of his gamekeepers from overhanging branches of trees, and was closely fitting so that it would not easily fall off.  The keepers had previously worn top hats, which were easily dislodged and damaged.


The bowler hat was popular with the working classes in the late 19th century, and later became associated with the middle and upper classes in the UK, Ireland, and east coast of America. 


This bowler hat was made by Failsworth Hats, and was owned and worn by Thomas Scott-Ellis, the 8th Lord Howard de Walden.

Place of Production:
Failsworth Hats Ltd., England
The Dick Institute
Digital Number:
East Ayrshire Council

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