Hats started out hundreds of years ago, when they were called sugar loafs. They were fairly flat-brimmed, with maybe a pencil roll in the very edge of the brim, the crown itself was what we call "open" or "unshaped" - just round. People wore them just like that for years, but they way the grabbed the hat depicted over a period of time of what the shape would be. For example Hickock always grabbed his hat by the brim and it kind of got turned up over one eye when he would grab his hat and waved to people. So he became famous for having a wide-brimmed hat turned up over one eye.
Many of the other hat's crowns shape evolved from just where people would grab their hat to take it on and off. And then they found out the hat would shed water better if it was shaped certain ways so they started shaping hats in to shed water and of course, to look more stylish.
We're still changing the shapes of hats today, which is why it's very hard to create a brochure. There are so many different generic hat shapes or styles plus all the variations of those like color, material and embellishments. Some of the styles we create are bowlers, fedoras, homburgs (which are more city hats) and Tom Mix (the bigger more older western style hats). We make ladies hats of all different styles. All of the hats are made out of the same quality materials.
The term, "mad as a hatter" came from years ago when the felting process required the use of mercury. Mercury would get into the hatter's blood stream after a certain period of time and literally drive the hatter mad. Of course, the felting process has not used mercury for years.
The term "blockhead" came from back in the old country. Hatters carved each customer's head shape and size out of a block of wood and stored these blocks on a shelf. They would label each "blockhead" with the customer's name and address. If a customer wanted another had made, a hatter simply pulled the blockhead off the shelf and made the hat around that. Today, we use a styrofoam head shape.
Most hat bands we sell are hitched horsehair bands. They're very unique, very one of a kind. Hitched horsehair is a trade learned in the prison and has been passed down from the 1800's back when Tom Horn was in Wyoming. He hitched horsehair. Several of the hitchers that we use today make a living "on the outside" doing what they learned on the inside.