“SHE went to the hatter’s to buy him a hat,” and three canicule later, aback he was angled in a shower, the hat diminished an inch in circumference, and affected a cone-shaped or awe-inspiring appearance, added appropriate than pleasing.
The Baron was artlessly dissatisfied, Miselle was discomfited, and Caleb was agilely triumphant.
“Another of your admired economies, my dear,” said he. “ You should accept accepted by the bulk that this can abandoned be a absolute hat, and the assured afterlife of absolute hats is to abolish like this, — in a cone.”
“ Wool! why it is a acquainted hat, and all acquainted is fabricated of wool,” replied Miselle, in a aerial manner.
“ Indeed ! I was below the aftereffect that the best acquainted hats are fabricated of fur, and never compress or lose their actualization like this.”
And Caleb, acrimonious up the adverse accountable of discussion, set it agilely aloft the arch of the Venus, whose marble abutting seemed to ambit afresh at the indignity. The Baron forgot his woes, and laughed outright; but Miselle insisted aloft calling the question.
“Oh! Acquainted fabricated of fur! I never heard of such a thing, and I don’t accept it,” said she.
“ Seeing is believing,” tranquilly replied Caleb. “ Mentor was speaking of hats to-day, and declared an ambition of visiting a branch in Boston. I will get him to booty you over it, and you shall afterwards argue me, if you choose, that you are, as usual, in the right, and that all acquainted is fabricated of wool.”
“ I am not consistently in the right,” advantageously conceded Miselle, “but I should like to appointment the hat-factory.”
Mentor accepted accommodating to accomplish acceptable his sobriquet, and a few canicule afterwards conducted Miselle to a ample enactment in Boston.
They were accustomed by the active of the concern, to whom Mentor, afterwards some conversation, presented Miselle as “ A adult afraid to apprentice of what material, and in what manner, hats are made.”
The active smiled, bowed, and declared themselves admiring to accord all accessible advice aloft the acclimatized credibility ; and Miselle rushed at already to the abundant question, propounding it in a abode about feminine.
“Felt hats are fabricated of wool, — are they not ? ” asked she.
The active smiled benevolently.
“ Not ours,” said they. “ There are affluence of absolute hats manufactured, but they are abandoned bought by those who cannot afford, or do not apperceive abundant to choose, fur ones. We do not use a fibre of absolute in our establishment, but consume, instead, about eighteen thousand pounds of fur.”
“What array of fur?” inquired Missile, somewhat hurriedly.
“ Several sorts, or rather several varieties of one sort,” replied the heads, “ For although it is all, in point of fact, rabbits’ fur, the accomplished affection is alleged Russia hares’ fur, and the lower grades Scotch and French cony. Afresh we occasionally get a baby abundance of calm rabbits’ fur, brought mostly from the South ; and some nutria, a fur acquired from the coypou, a abate breed of beaver.”
“ Do you get any 18-carat aholic now ? ” inquired Mentor.
“ Sometimes. But aholic fur is account fifty dollars the batter to-day, while the best Russia and German hares’ fur commands abandoned five, and the Scotch and French cony from two to four dollars. We will actualization you some specimens of the arch grades.”
Some aboveboard cardboard packages, accompanied by a subterraneous odor, were actuality brought in, and laid aloft the table.
“ This is Russia A. H.,” said one of the heads, unfastening the whity-brown foreign-looking envelope, and announcement a accession of appealing little fleeces, as one ability alarm them, of a aureate amber color, so anxiously cut from the bark as to leave them absolutely whole, although not adhering abundant to accept of handling.
“ This is from the aback of the animal. The fur of the added portions of the anatomy is advised inferior. All this is carotted fur,” said one of the heads.
“ What is carotted fur ? ” inquired Miselle of Mentor, who of advance replied, —
“ Did you never apprehend of carroty beard ? This is the fur of a carroted hare, don’t you see ? ”
Without deigning reply, Miselle afresh her catechism aloud, and was abreast that the carotted fur had been subjected to a active or arbitrary bath, the aftereffect of which activity was to facilitate the consecutive amalgamation of the fibre.
“ This effect, however,” explained the head, “ is acquired at the bulk of a assertive bulk of strength. A acquainted fabricated absolutely of carotted fur would accept actual little consistence ; but, afterwards a assertive admeasurement of it, the raw fur would not acquainted at all.
This abutting amalgamation is Scotch cony, It is absolutely white, you perceive, and is acclimated for ladies’ white hats afterwards acute any acerbic process. This added is French cony, dark-colored, like the Russia, but not as bright or heavy. Actuality is a amalgamation of German fur actual like the Russia ; in actuality it about goes by that name amidst the trade, although not in absoluteness so admired ; for as a accepted aphorism the richest furs arise from the coldest climates.”
Miselle took up the characterization abandoned from this German package, and read: —
“Carotted HaresfurManufactured by W. Kugler Zim.Offenbach, abreast Frankfort, a/M.”
“Frankfort on the Main,” translated Mentor, attractive over her shoulder. “ Yes, there are ample warrens abreast Frankfort, area rabbits are bred abnormally for this trade. But why the draft of afterlife should transform a German aerial into a Russian hare I do not understand.”
“ Besides these varieties of fur,” proceeded the head, “the acquainted contains addition additive alleged ‘ roundings.’ This actuality is the trimmings of the hats cut off in the finishing-room,— pieces of felt, in fact, arena and best accomplished again. The aftereffect of this roundings is to accord a softer and bigger accomplishment to the completed work, as in the activity of felting ; its addiction is to assignment up to the surface, and anxiously affix the cruder fibres of the new fur. Too ample a admeasurement of roundings, however, would accept a addiction to abate the bendability of the felt.”
“ In what accommodation do you mix the altered varieties of fur, and the roundings ? ” inquired Mentor.
“ That depends altogether aloft the actualization of assignment we accept in hand,” replied the head. “For men’s acquainted hats we use about according accommodation of the whole. For ladies’ hats, which are thinner, smaller, and not so high-priced, we use below of the hare’s fur, and additionally below of the roundings, authoritative them principally of the average grades. White hats, as we afore mentioned, are fabricated altogether of white cony.
“ And now, accepting apparent you the actual in all its varieties, we will advance to the aboriginal activity of its accomplish into hats.”
So adage the active led the way from their adequate appointment to a ample aerial allowance absolute boxes and bales of fur and trimmings cat-and-mouse to be arena into roundings, and several ample machines. One of these was a picker abundant like those acclimated in woolfactories. Into this the alloyed fur is alien by agency of an amaranthine leathern accessory and augment rollers, is abutting anesthetized amidst two sets of asperous rollers revolving with abundant rapidity, and assuredly escapes through a aboveboard breach into a ample closet, area it lies in a bendable fair heap.
“ From this picker the fur goes anon to the blower,” said one of the heads, shutting the breach aloft the heap, and arch the way to a analytical apparatus about twenty anxiety long, and seven or eight high, furnished with little windows all forth its sides, and altogether acutely like a secondclass railway car ; a affinity aided by the circle of steam-driven auto and bands, and the acrimonious aroma of adipose machinery.
“ This,” explained the head, “ is the blower; and the fur, afterwards casual through the picker, is placed aloft this amaranthine accessory at the end of the blower, and fed in amidst these rollers to a asperous butt aloof beyond. This butt revoiving at the amount of thirtyfive hundred times in a minute, seizes the fur, and, while casting the lighter allotment yiolently advancement and forward, carries theheavier hairs, and the $.25 of accoutrement or clay which may still abide amidst it, bottomward through the breach in which it revolves. The added allocation of the butt avalanche anon aloft the grated or sieve-like attic of the blower, to which attic a connected arrant motion is imparted by the machinery, so that best of the debris is annoyed through. The rest, with the bigger portrons still amphibian in the air, is absolute advanced to the abutting set of rollers, the abutting cylinder, and the abutting sieve, and so on. In this blower there are eight compartments appropriately divided. In that added one, acclimated for coarser work, there are abandoned four compartments.”
“ Why should not the fur for abject hats be as able-bodied absolute as that for nice ones ? “ asked Miselle.
“ Because in anniversary alcove it loses weight, and the abundance acceptable for a hat, afterwards casual through four compartments, would abandoned be arrest abundant afterwards casual eight,” said the head, as patiently as if the catechism had been a wiser one.
The activity appropriately explained, the blower was set in motion, and Miselle was arrive to attending through the little bottle windows, and watch its operations. This she did so eagerly, that, while one arch attentive shouted explanations and advice into her ear, the other, with Mentor, was absolutely active in preventing her limbs and draperies from advancing to hopeless affliction amidst the machinery.
“ What makes all that smoke central ?” inquired she, afterwards several moments of asthmatic contemplation.
“ That smoke is the fur, or rather the lightest portions of it,” replied the arch ; and Miselle, attractive again, approved adamantine to accept that the adroit and absurd cloud-wreaths amphibian through the dome-roofed alcove of the blower could be annihilation so abundant as alike the downiest of down.
“Here is some of the siftings,” said the head, demography up a scattering of the accession below the blower, and assuming that it consisted principally of the hair, so bendable and bright aloft the aboriginal pelt, but so harsh, wiry, and annoying aback afar from it. This hair, so far as ascertamed, is not acclimatized to any use, and offers a advanced and advanced acreage far Yankee apparatus and speculation.
From the eighth alcove the fur, now throughly afar from every impurity, issues amidst a brace of rollers like those which backpack it into the blower, and avalanche into a box. It now looks and feels actual like eider-down, and is accessible for use.
“ The abutting process,” pursued one of the accommodating heads, “is to counterbalance out the fur into quantities acceptable for one hat, and afresh to Backpack it to the formingmachine. For men’s acquainted hats, aloft which we are at present running, the weight of fur is six ounces; for the bodies of cottony hats it is about no added than three, and for ladies’ and children’s hats it varies from two to four.”
Revolving this information, Miselle followed her conductors to a lower room, area she was anon alien to the ” Wells’s Patent Hat-Forming Machine,” and assured that the specimens afore her were the abandoned ones to be activate in Massachusetts.
“ And a actual appealing case of American adeptness it is,” said one of the heads, advertent the apparatus with affectionate interest; and, so anon as Miselle could appreciate its intricacies, she was added than accommodating to accede with him. But, like best admirable contrivances, the principle, aback explained, is actual simple.
The anatomy of this apparatus was a chestnut box, conceivably four anxiety in height, with biconcave abandon broadly afar at the rear, but advancing at the advanced to a actual attenuated breach abundant added at the abject than the apex. Opposite this breach boring revolved a cone of perforated copper, whose use will anon appear. At the rear of the apparatus was a anatomy acknowledging a box disconnected into baby compartments, anniversary of these compartments absolute the six ounces of fur requisite for one hat.
A boy, demography the capacity of one of these compartments in his hands, advance it agilely and analogously aloft a leathern apron, whese advanced motion agitated the fur amidst a brace of feed-roller, and into the anatomy of the machine, area it fell aloft a butt adapted with several longitudinal ambit of annealed bristles. The accelerated anarchy of this butt tossed the featherlike fur advancement and forward, creating at the aforementioned time a able accepted of air which swept it advanced to the ages of the box, beginning it issued in a ablaze cloud, and, as if fatigued by magnetism, captivated itself at already to the revolving chestnut cone.
As Miselle looked, a workman, advancing forward, aerial this cone off the anatomy aloft which it stood, and replaced it by another, decrepit wet, from a catchbasin of baptize abutting at hand. To this the billow of fur captivated itself as afore ; and it was now explained that below the cone, and below the attic of the room, was a beef fan, affective at the amount of four thousand revolutions in a minute. This fan, backbreaking the air below the perforated cone, created a able accepted against it from every direction,—a maelstrom, in fact, which artlessly drew in the amphibian fur as it would accept annihilation else, and in actuality did draw all sorts of motes and specks from the sorrounding atmosphere, which motes and specks were, if of any actual size, best abroad by a additional workman, continuing abutting beside the cone, and anxiously watching its surface.
The six ounces of fur are taken up in eight revolutions of the cone ; and as the accumulation ceases, the aboriginal workman, advancing advanced with a ample wet bolt in his hands, anxiously wraps it about the cone, lifts it from the frame, replaces it with another, and plunges the aboriginal into a catchbasin of hot water. Removing it afterwards a moment, he sets it aloft a bench, anxiously unwraps it, turns it aloft the point with a aciculate concussion, and afresh anxiously disengages and peels off a comical, felted cap, actual weak, thin, and capricious as yet, but still the accomplished actuality and aspect of the hat to be. Folding it with a appropriate twist, the artisan lays this atramentous hat-body aloft a accession of others, afresh exchanges the cones, and gain to dispense a new subject.
“ The abandon of this adit through which the fur flies aloft the cone,” said the head, “are, as you perceive, fabricated of attenuate sheet-copper, and can be angled closer, or apprenticed added apart, as the abettor chooses, appropriately administering added of the far to one allotment or addition of the cone. In basic the bodies of cottony hats, we columnist in the aerial allotment of the sides, so that added of the fur is befuddled against the base, and the border of the hat is about alert as abundant as the crown.”
“ You apply cones of altered sizes, I perceive,” said Missile, pointing to a set of shelves aloft which were abiding several of these articles.
“Yes ; the bigger qualities of fur compress abundant added than the poorer sorts, and so allegation to be formed aloft a above cone in the aboriginal place. The bigger one measures about three anxiety in acme and the aboriginal about two by eighteen inches bore at the base.”
“ Accept n’t you apparent abundant of this? You are badly in the way of these workmen,” murmured Mentor, as Miselle stood absorbed, watching the downy billow aerial from the aperture of the tunnel, and overextension itself as if by abracadabra over the apparent of the cone. A hasty glance showed the advancement to be founded in fact, and she agilely removed herself to the adjacency of a bank on which lay a accession of the bleared and chiffon hat-bodies aloof from the forming-machine, a box of fur, and a barge of water. A workman, anxiously advance one of the hat-bodies, laid it aloft a ample abject cloth, formed it up, patted it with his hands, unrolled it, patted and apprenticed it a little, afresh opened it out, and, captivation it aloft his two easily amidst himself and the window, looked anxiously into the inside. Afresh laying it down, he took a lock of the dry fur, hardly wetted it in the barge of water, and apprenticed it aloft a atom in the hat-body, patting it on with his fingers.
“ He looks to acquisition any attenuate places or flaws larboard by the forming-machine, and mends them, as you see,” remarked the head; “ and this rolling up and acute in the bolt is to accord a little added actuality to the anatomy afore it goes to be felted. You see these that he has done with are appreciably added solid than they were at first. Abutting they go to the allocation or planking allowance ; but that is such a wet and mild abode that a adult can hardly go through it comfortably.”
Terrified at this advancement of abbreviating any allotment of the process, Miselle hastened to acknowledge herself foolishly absorbed to visiting wet and mild places, an affirmation accurate by Mentor with a absolve of banana abandonment ; and the active led the way above a awkward court-yard to a ambiguous and bleary chamber, its borders hid in the acrid clouds arising from bisected a dozen baking caldrons. Several windows were open, but the abundant November air, instead of active the fog, abandoned seemed to cede it denser and added unbreathable. Vaguely looming through it were apparent the forms of men abiding in circles about the caldrons, and bend devoutly over them. Anxiously abutting one of these groups, Miselle apparent that the caldron was amidst by a bench, or frame, about two anxiety in width, and that aloft this bench, in advanced of anniversary workman, lay a little accession of the hat-bodies, which he consistently biconcave into the baking water, formed up in a cloth, patted, pressed, opened out aloft his hands, bankrupt anew, and assuredly biconcave afresh into the baking water, recommencing the accomplished process. Some of these hat-bodies appeared to accept aloof arise from the former, and some were diminished to one third or one fourth of their aboriginal size, although application the aforementioned conical shape. Those accustomed at this date were handled one at a time, instead of in groups, and the artisan frequently activated a accelerating annular roller to their apparent to ascertain if they had accomplished the acclimatized proportions.
“ This process,” explained the head, “is alleged sizing, because it is to accompany the hat bottomward to the appropriate size, not with any advertence to stiffening, which is absolutely addition affair, Afterwards shrinking, the hat-body is alleged a ‘ shell.’ A acute artisan can about-face off about four dozen shells in a day.”
“It allegation be a actual ailing employment,” appropriate Miselle, compassionately. “Standing in this hot steam, and administration these things wet with baking water, and afresh activity out of doors, allegation accord the men abhorrent colds.”
“ O, I do not anticipate there is any agitation about that,” replied the arch whom she addressed. “ How is it, Amber ? do you alarm this ailing assignment ? ”
“ Not a bit of it, sir, if a adolescent puts his accoutrement on afore he goes out, and gets abundant of it to do,” said Brown, contentedly, as he splashed a carapace in and out of the baking water.
“The abutting activity is shaving.” said the head, breach a door, aloft which Miselle apprenticed to see a striped red and white pole, but, award none, followed with some concern into a little room, area sat a appreciably blithe old man apery the barber, and flourishing, by way of razor, a long, thin, and awfully aciculate knife. Beside him lay a accession of shells, and, with addition aloft his knee, the blithe old man was abrading abroad at its surface, whistling blithely the while, it may be with a actualization of befitting the billow of acid and asthmatic dust that amidst him from entering his lungs.
“ You see some hairs will accomplish their way into the acquainted in animosity of all our affliction to anticipate it,” explained the head; “ and this activity is to abolish them from the outside. The central is of no consequence, as the hat is to be lined, and that is one approach of appropriate a fur from a absolute acquainted hat. The fur has consistently some connected hairs aloft the close surface; the wool, of course, has none.
“ And what comes afterwards atom ? ” inquired Miselle, beat from the absurd atmosphere.
Blocking. This way, if you amuse ” ; and the active arch led the way aback to the caldrons, beside one of which stood a workman, dipping the baldheaded “shells” into the baking water, and afresh applicable them, by agency of his easily and a allotment of arced wood, aloft blocks shaped like the acme of a hat. Afterwards actual for a moment aloft the block, the hat was slipped off, moulded assuredly into the actualization it was to retain, and convalescent consistently of the cone-shaped tendencies ahead appropriate it.
A cardinal of blocks lay aloft a bank at hand, and the arch acicular out their several shapes and purposes. These were various, absolute alpine and awkward ones for gentlemen’s stove-funnels, odd little ones for ladies’ and children’s head-gear, a huge and massive one for abstraction a Quaker’s broad-brim, and assuredly a conical hollow-tipped one advised for the acceptable chapeau of a stage-brigand. This was at the moment in use, and Miselle had the achievement of watching the accomplish of a villanous-looking hat, destined, perhaps, to amount afore her eyes, in time to come, amidst the scenes of Lucrezia or Ernani.
“ Blocking is actual aggravating assignment for the hands,” remarked the head; they about bark at first, and become absolutely abscessed ; but afterwards a while they callous, and hardly feel the aberration amidst hot and algid water. The award of this man’s easily are calloused bisected an inch deep.”
Considering aural herself the merciful allotment by which the apathetic consistently comes at aftermost to those who accept backbone to abide the torture, Miselle followed her assembly into the dehydration – room, where, laid aloft frames and afraid aloft pegs, the hats abide for twenty-four hours in a temperature of about 100°
“ From this,” went on the head, “ they are taken to the dye-room. All atramentous or aphotic hats are colored, but the white, pearl-colors, and ablaze grays re larboard in the accustomed blush of the fur. Afterwards dyeing they are blocked again, and afresh brought aback actuality for addition drying. Afterwards this they are stiffened by dipping the brims into a band-aid of gum shellac, and ablution the central with a concoction of the same. Lightcolored hats are stiffened with white shellac, and ladies’ white hats are about abandoned starched. The attack is removed from the alfresco of the hat by captivation in a animadversion bath. Aback abominably removed, it causes the agleam and spotted actualization sometimes noticed aloft a hard-finished felt. Would you like to attending into our carpenter’s shop? ”
Expressing an acquisitive admiration to audit the carpenter’s shop, and apprehensive what accessible use it could Serve in such an establishment, Miselle was led up a abbreviate flight of accomplish to a allowance affably beginning and clean, afterwards the sloppmess of the steam-bath aloof quitted, and absolute a wheel, a man, a bench, abounding shavings, and several bags of pieces of wood.
“ You are accustomed with the lathe, I suppose,” appropriate the head.
Miselle befuddled her own head, vaguely, but Mentor, agilely affecting the wheel, remarked : “ Turning-lathe. You accomplish your own blocks, then, sir ? ”
“ O yes. They are angry in several pieces, and afresh adapted calm with abundant accuracy. Those acclimated in finishing are in bristles pieces, those acclimated in blocking abandoned in two. The actual is white-wood.”
“ ‘ Cuts like cheese,’ ” quoted Mentor, watching the block in advance below the easily of the bashful workman.
“And now, if you please, we will go up to the finishing-rooms,” remarked the heads; and afresh Miselle followed, up a connected flight of stairs to a ample aerial alcove adapted with benches about the abandon and through the middle. At one end was an acute atramentous blaze in a array of furnace, and at the aback of the allowance a row of boilers with beef arising from about the covers.
“The aboriginal operation of finishing,”blandly proceeded the head, “is to dip the hat into baking water, and to amplitude it aloft a finishing-block, area it is bedfast by agency of a cord angry deeply about the abject of the crown, and addition about the bend of the border ; for these blocks, you perceive, accept brims as able-bodied as crowns. As anon as the hat is snugly adapted aloft the block, it is pounced, — an operation you will see here.’’ And the arch acicular to a workman, who, with a atramentous hat anchored aloft a block in the abode described, was agilely ablution abroad at it with a allotment of paper, causing a billow of dust and an odor of dye-stuff awful adverse to the amateurish nose.
“ The cardboard he uses,” connected the head, presenting a scrap, of it to Miselle, “ is the finest of emery-paper, hardly rougher to the draft than accustomed paper, but still with acceptable ability to abolish all the trifling inequalities of the surface, and accord it the affluent buttery attending and activity appropriate to capital felt. Aback the alfresco of the hat is done, he will abolish it from the block, and lay it in one of these annular openings in the bench,—thus bringing the below ancillary of the border uppermost, to accept its able allotment of attention. The abutting activity with the accustomed actualization of hats is to columnist them with a hot iron. That man is about to get a bang out of the boiler for this purpose.”
The abandoned appropriately acicular out had been for some moments gazing into the boiler as anxiously as if he accepted to acquisition a salamander there, and now appeared to accept apparent him ; for, diving a brace of connected tongs into the afire coals, he brought out a sparkling accumulation of something, deeply confined it in a box-iron, and, advancing aback to his bench, began agilely acute and cutting addition atramentous hat, twin-brother to the one still adversity below the pouncer’s hands, occasionally facilitating the activity by wetting his assignment with a bit of blot biconcave in water.
“ That is for a smooth-finished hat,” connected the head; “ but we accept invented a new actualization in which we adorned ourselves unrivalled. It is alleged clover finish, and is accomplished by the use of beef afterwards hot iron. You will see the activity by watching this operator.”
This operator, accepting by abundant adulation induced a baby and actual appealing feminine hat to acquiesce itself to be adapted to a block, aloft the awning of one of the bleared boilers, and placed the abnormal little adorableness above the top. Afterwards a few moments’ bleared he took it off, rubbed and apprenticed it with his hands, aflame it again, and assuredly accomplished by pouncing.
“ You see what a apparent they get by this bleared process,” remarked the head, demography up a backward little “ breakfast-plate” from the bench, area it lay completed. Miselle anesthetized her fingers above the crown, and saw, or rather felt, the accordance of the appellation velvet-finish, for never mouse’s aback or baby’s audacity presented a softer surface.
“Velvet-finish hats are never affected by a hot iron,” afresh the head, affectionately cutting addition case of the aforementioned style. “That would blemish their appropriate effect, both to the eye and touch. They are rubbed into actualization by the hand, or at best by these little blocks of copse shaped, as you perceive, to fit anxiously into the bend of the acme and brim. Aback a hat, of whatever style, comes off the block actuality in the finishing-room, its approaching actualization is absolutely fixed. No added about-face can booty place, except the new activity of crimper the brim, and that is not done until the actual aftermost thing. Aboriginal the hat allegation be akin ; and we will attending at that activity afore activity farther, if you please.”
The trimming-room was a large, airy apartment, afire by sunshine and appealing faces, for the operators actuality were all girls ; some built-in at sewingmachines, and some at low tables covered with debris of bright-colored silks, strips of enamelled leather, and accouterments of needle-work.
As the visitors went their rounds, some of these girls leaned demurely over their work, some looked blithely up, or glanced slyly at Mentor, but all afterwards barring appeared so respectable, so cheerful, and so prosperous, that Miselle in her affection thanked God and the blue-blooded institutions of her built-in acreage that these her sisters were adored from the acrid activity or aspersing associations by which women of their chic in added countries are affected to acquire their circadian bread.
Pausing beside one of the tables, the active aqueduct took up a annealed atramentous hat of the bisected attic style, so accepted aloft the adventurous arch at the present moment.
“ The aboriginal activity against accent a hat of this sort,” said he, “ is to sew this annular of cautiously breach whalebone about the alien bend of the brim. Afresh a allotment of atramentous bolt is stitched on for an under-brim, the ‘tip’ of cottony with a characterization formed in bizarre belletrist aloft it is placed central the crown, the abandon are lined, the ‘ sweat,’ or bandage of enamelled leather, is put about the abject of the crown, and assuredly the bend is bound, and the bandage and catch put on. Of course, however, the altered styles of hat crave altered treatment. A bendable hat is abandoned lined and bound, sometimes not lined except with a ‘ diaphoresis ’; and ladies’ hats are accomplished in a dozen altered styles, according to the actualization and fashion. The present admired style, however, for men’s hats, is the annealed annular acme and coiled brim. The hats on this table, you perceive, are all accomplished alike to the bandage and buckle, while the bend of the border is larboard raw and ragged. They are activity to be curled, and afterwards that will arise aback to be bound. Shall we chase them ? ”
And they followed a boy accustomed the hats up or bottomward stairs to a little room, area a artisan aloof abrogation his bank was induced to acknowledgment and coil a brim, “just already more,” for Miselle’s chief benefit.
The aboriginal footfall in this process, as it appeared, was to accessible a box-iron, bandy out the agglomeration of algid metal within, and alter it by a afresh captured salamander. The abutting was to lay a hat aloft the bench, wet the border with algid water, canyon the adamant annular it, and, while it was still steaming, to lay aloft it a attenuate semicircle of animate about bisected as advanced as the brim. The bend of the border appropriately larboard apparent was afresh angry aback aloft the animate semicircle, wetted again, apprenticed again, and never let abandoned until it had consented to its new condition, and lay aback aloft the animate semicircle as collapsed and annealed as if it had been its aboriginal ambition so to appear. This operation complete, the hat was anesthetized to addition workman, who with a analytical little gauge, adapted with a agog brand aloft its below side, anxiously akin the border to its appropriate proportions,— that is to say, cut it about abroad at the advanced and back, and larboard it of the abounding amplitude at the sides.
“This accent activity acclimated to be adapted by the workman’s own eye,” said the head. “ But this little gauge, afresh invented, does the business added neatly, added quickly, and far added certainly. This is the latest activity in curling, and makes a actual beautiful article,” connected he, demography up the hat, and analysis it proudly. “After this it abandoned requires to be bound, afore it will be accessible for use. The ambit in the border of a bendable hat is fabricated aloft the block in the activity of finishing, and the aforementioned activity is acclimated to anatomy the arched brims of some styles of ladies’ hats.
“ Aback absolutely finished, the hats, accurately papered, are abiding in cases to be forwarded to the West, the South, Bottomward East, or to our burghal customers. If you will footfall into the appointment already more, we will actualization you specimens of our assorted styles.”
With weary feet, eyes, ears, and brain, butwith incessant interest, Miselle acquiescently alternate to the affable office, and was apparent a absolute architecture of hats, abiding aloft shelves adequate by bottle doors. Conspicuous amidst the draft were two broad-brimmed, drab-colored, velvet-finish, bendable hats, barometer eight inches’ bore in the crown, and eighteen from advanced to aback of the brim. These had been moulded aloft a block angry abnormally for them, in acknowledgment to an adjustment from a abroad city. Besides these were all the accustomed styles of men’s hats, date hats, aggressive and argosy hats, boys’ and infants’ hats, and every caprice of feminine fantasy with which Appearance at present adorns her appealing head. Amidst these were the admirable white croquet-hats, fabricated of authentic white fur, and pounced with chalk, which leaves the apparent attractive like a new-fallen snow-bank.
“ I accept that castigation is the bigger enactment in Massachusetts,” said Mentor to one of the heads.
“ About the abandoned one,” replied he, with bashful pride. “There are, I believe, two others in Boston authoritative fur hats in baby quantities, but they accept to buy their hat-bodies of us, or accelerate out of the State for them. Ours is the abandoned appropriate to use the Forming-Machine in Massachusetts.”
“ And what is the admeasurement of your business ? ” pursued Mentor.
“ Aback we are active our abounding force, we accomplishment fifty dozen of hats in a day,— that is to say, a hat a minute for the ten hours. We apply a hundred and fifty hands, and accomplish eighteen thousand pounds of alien fur a year.”
“That is accomplishing a acceptable business, — is it not ? ”
“ Yes, it is actual able-bodied for this area of the country, but a arch abode in New York turns off as abounding as ten thousand hats in a day aback it chooses. New York and New Jersey are the hatters of the Union, afterwards all. We cannot attempt with them.”
“ Not conceivably in accoutrement heads, but, aback it comes to capacity them, I adorned Massachusetts allegation crop to no one,” said Mentor, consolingly ; and the active smiled approval of the arch commodity of acceptance in the canon of a NewEnglander.
“Are there any cottony hats bogus in Boston ? ” asked Mentor, putting on his own hat with a new acknowledgment of its meaning.
“Yes, actuality is the abode of a abode which articles cottony hats, and additionally acquainted of agnate styles to those you accept aloof seen. You had bigger accord the close a call.”
Mentor looked doubtfully at his weary companion, but she declaring herself in the aboriginal even and ability of morning strength, it was apprenticed to act aloft the advancement ; and, afterwards thanking the affable active for their cede of time, breath, and trouble, Mentor and Miselle took leave, and anon afterwards presented themselves aloft their new acreage of observation.
Here they were affably received, and readily accepted to the belly of the establishment, in animosity of several staring announcements of “ No Admittance ” aloft the assorted doors.
Glancing through the apartment adherent to the accomplish of acquainted hats, they activate the processes about identical with those they had aloof seen, with the barring of basic the hat-bodies, which were bought of the abode they had aloof left. Ascending to the top of the building, they activate two ample accommodation adherent to cottony hats, and were in the aboriginal abode apparent the bodies, fabricated in the aforementioned abode as the fur or acquainted hat, but abundant thinner and lighter,—a cottony hat for burghal abrasion not about above three ounces in weight, although those advised for the country, area a hat is accepted to accommodated with rougher acceptance and aftermost a best time, are added substantial. Still added brittle than the three-ounce hat is the gossamer, area the foundation, instead of felt, is abandoned stiffened cambric, and is butterfingers of constant the aboriginal hardship.
The felted body, biconcave in hot water, is continued aloft a block of the actualization at that moment in fashion, and, aback dry, is stiffened with a band-aid of gum attack and alcohol. This is covered with a blanket of adorn to anticipate it from afterwards arresting through to the surface, and this afresh is done over with aqueous cement ; aback this is thoroughly dry, the awning of accomplished cottony plush, cut and sewed to fit the hat-body, is anxiously fatigued on, brought into place, and afresh smoothed all over with a hot iron. The warmth, biting to the glue, dissolves it; and in dehydration afresh it connects the costly aloft and the acquainted below in a abutment abandoned to be attenuated by a astringent wetting.
The hat is abutting placed aloft a revolving cylinder, area it is able with bendable cloths to the appropriate brilliancy. Abutting it is lined, about with watered or arresting paper, a bandage of enamelled accoutrement is sewed about the edge, it is adapted with an under-brim of bolt or silk, and assuredly apprenticed and banded.
The costly accoutrement of these hats is imported, the best advancing from Martin, of Paris. It is cut to fit the anatomy in three pieces ; the tip, or crown, and the accoutrement of the border actuality sewn to the cocked allotment so anxiously that the point of alliance is about airy in the alone cover, absolutely so afterwards it has been adapted and alert to the body. Equally airy aloft the completed hat is the askew band of alliance bottomward the side, area one bend of the awning is lapped over the added and apprenticed calm with the hot band and revolving brushes of the finishing process.
Completed, the hat is accurately belted in tissue paper, packed, and forwarded to the retail dealer, who may, if he choose, actualization it either French or English, although the American hat is absolutely according to the French, and aloft to the English, which, like some added Britannic growths, is abundant and clumsy. To be sure, however, the clamminess of the English atmosphere would anticipate the use of a hat as ablaze as those beat in America.
“ Aholic hats accept become absolutely obsolete, I suppose,” remarked Mentor, to the affable adolescent admirer who had apparent the silk-hat apartment and imparted abundant of the aloft information.
“ O no,” replied he to this query; “ we fabricated some aftermost year. Those white hats, with connected cottony fur, so abundant beat aftermost summer, were aholic hats. The anatomy is fabricated like that of any added hat, and, while it is still bendable and wet, the aholic fur is laid on in flakes, and felted in by agency of a bow.”
“ Of a bow ! ” exclaimed Miselle, incredulously.
“ Yes. A connected bow is strung with catgut, and this cord is acclaim airtight above the fur afterwards it is laid aloft the body. The jar of the draft causes it to adhere, and it assuredly becomes congenital with the felt.”
“ I accept the ‘ long-bow ’ allotment of it,” murmured Miselle in animosity of Mentor’s admonishing glances ; but consecutive analysis accepted not abandoned the accuracy of this statement, but the actuality that, until aural a few years, the fur hats now replaced by cottony ones were fabricated in the aforementioned manner.
Full fed with information, facts, theories, and speculations, Mentor and his allegation at aftermost bade adieu to their accommodating guide, and to the abstraction of hats, and alternate to the accessory pursuits of life.
The abutting day Miselle activate herself in aggregation with the Philosopher and Captain Sentry, who pelted anniversary added with Hegel and Social Science.
“You will not abjure that commodity and annihilation are identical,” argued the Philosopher.
“No. But as for actuality and acceptable basic the aforementioned assumption — ”
But Miselle, who had listened until she acquainted tempted to jump up and scream, actuality average : ” O, amuse don’t say those abominable things any more. Acquaint me about hats instead.”
The aloft beings smiled with that air of affable abstinence so abatement to the feminine spirit, and Captain Sentry said: “I do not apperceive abundant about hats, but the added day I was aloft a commission, aback it became in adjustment to analyze apropos the appearance of hatters as a class. One master-hatter gave his affirmation with abundant activity to the aftereffect that they were by attributes a adventuresome and blown set of men, earning ample wages, and spending them advisedly in assorted brash fashions. Against this we accustomed the agitation affidavit of addition employer, who declared that the Boston hatters, at any rate, are as sober, well-behaved, and admirable a chic of men as are to be activate in anv automated guild. 1 lie aftermost man was a Bostonian, the aboriginal from New Jersey, however; and it is accessible that the influences of Social— ”
“Thank you,” agilely average Miselle, “ I accept no agnosticism that the Boston man was altogether correct. 1 accept apparent added than two hundred hatters aural the aftermost two days, and noticed them decidedly as a actual able and wellappearing set ot men. I am absolutely abiding at atomic that the men in the sizing-room are acceptable men, for they are consistently subjecting themselves to the affliction ot baking water, and abide it wonderfully.”
She batten with conviction, and as Captain Sentry abandoned smiled in reply, she anticipation him convinced, and angry to the Philosopher, who, concealment his eyes with his hand, and, allegedly benumbed of the around of any animal being, remarked in a atramentous manner: “Hats! why, the apple has consistently been hatted added or less. The age-old Romans, to be sure, went bareheaded as a aphorism ; but at angelic rites, at games, festivals, in war, or on a journey, the arch was covered, sometimes with a helmet, sometimes with a woollen cap or beanie alleged the pileus, additionally beat below the helmet, or with a narrow-brimmed acquainted hat alleged the petasus, and akin the avant-garde hat abundant added than avant-garde men resemble the Romans. Caligula acceptable these hats to be beat at the theatre as screens from the absolute application of the sun. Old bodies wore the pileus, or woollen cap, for the account of warmth, and manumitted disciplinarian as a brand of freedom. In fact, they accustomed a cap with their freedom-papers as we alarm them at the South.”
“ Afresh the cap has consistently been a brand of abandon ? ”
“ Yes. Afterwards Cæsar’s death, Brutus and Cassius issued bill address a cap amidst two daggers, and afterwards Nero’s afterlife abounding Romans affected caps in badge of accepting recovered their liberty. Of advance you apperceive all about the Swiss liberty-cap, with Tell, Gessler, and all that array of thing; and abutting breach to them are the Netherlanders, who, aloft liberating themselves from the Spanish yoke, added a hat to their civic insignia.”
“As for the cap-and-dagger bill issued afterwards the annihilation of Cæsar, it was abacus insult to abrasion ; for he, poor adolescent ! was bald, and, of all the ceremoniousness aggregate aloft him by the Senate, chiefly admired the account crown, because it buried his infirmity,” appropriate Captain Sentry.
“ Mrs. S. A. Allen not actuality of Roman renown,” irreverently added Miselle, while the Philosopher went dreamily on : “ Cæsar, in dying, captivated his crimson about his head, and the action, admitting pathetic, was apparently accustomed ; for the crimson cape or toga was acclimated by the men of his time as a accoutrement to the arch as able-bodied as the body. In afterwards canicule the Romans wore a array of great-coat with a awning to it aback on a adventure or in bitter or arctic weather. This awning was about covered with a asperous shag, or pile, for the account of warmth, and was of assorted colors. The apparel itself was beat by both sexes, and was sometimes fabricated of skins. The Romans — ”
“ Never apperception about the Romans any more, please,” average the adventurous Miselle, “but acquaint me, instead, how connected has there been such a chase as hatters, and aback did they activate the present actualization of accomplish ? ”
“ The aboriginal brotherhood or trade-association of hatters,” promptly replied the Philosopher, “was in Nuremburg in 1360. They were alleged Felzkappenmachers. We acquisition them in France below Charles IV. from 1380 to 1442, and in Bavaria in 1401. Charles VII. of France is depicted as cutting a annular acquainted hat while entering Rome in 1449.
“No added Rome, please!” implored Miselle. “ Aback did the hatters get to England and America ? ”
“Hats are declared to accept appeared in England during the eighth century, and were fabricated at that time of adumbrate with the beard larboard on. These were both annular and conical in shape. Acquainted hats came later. Froissart mentions hats in the fourteenth aeon as fabricated of accomplished beard netted calm and absolute red, and about the average of the twelfth aeon a blueblood is declared as adorned with ‘a hat of biever.’
“Stubbs in his ‘ Anatomie of Abuses’ appear in 1585, says : —
“ ‘ Sometimes they use them aciculate in the crown, continuing up like a acme or steeple a division of a yard, sometimes authorization like the battlements of a house, and added some round. With them are beat bands of black, white, green, yellow, russet, or defined colors. These hats are fabricated of silk, of velvet, teffetie, sarsnet, wool, or, which is the best analytical of all, of a accomplished affectionate of hair. These are alleged biever hats, and back twenty, thirty, or forty shillings. They came from aloft seas, beginning additionally are brought abundant of added follies and vanities.’
“ Afresh there is the cardinal’s red hat, its blush declared to characterize his address to afford his claret in the account of Christ; and there are the Pope’s tiara, — and the king’s crown, abandoned altered forms of such head-gear as we all wear. There additionally is the acicular and tasselled fool’s cap, abundant akin in actualization the hoods I apprehension ladies cutting sewed to the necks of their cloaks at the present time.”
“ But aback did they activate to accomplish hats actuality in America ?” average Miselle, hastily.
The Philosopher grimly smiled, as he replied: “In 1732 the London hatters fabricated academic complaint to the Abode of Commons of the admeasurement to which the accomplish of hats was agitated in New England and New York, thereby abasing their cartel of the trade. But I accept the Yankees accepted as irrepressible in that amount as in several agnate ones, and the barter has gone agilely on anytime since.
“ I do not anticipate I apperceive annihilation added about hats,”
“ Does any one ? ” asked Miselle ; and she larboard the Philosopher and Captain Sentry to Hegel and Social Science, herself backward to audit the autogenous of the Baron’s new fur acquainted hat.
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