When Men Wore Hats

1934 Girardot Page 125I’ve worn baseball caps, cowboy hats, firefighter helmets, bike helmets and riot helmets, but I never had a traditional hat like this dandy in the 1934 Girardot is sporting.

My first thought in seeing the ad for Bohnsack’s – “A Clothing Store for Men and Boys” – was that the man with the hat and mustache was Clark Gable. It might have been Gable, but he didn’t REALLY become famous until Gone with the Wind, which hit the screen in 1939, long after the yearbook was published.

Bohnsack’s had become Sherman Ladies Fashions by 1968, and that address was listed as William Brothers’ Curtis Mathis TV, Linens and Gifts in the 1979 City Directory.

Other businesses on the page

  • Lueders Studio survived well into the 1990s, based on family photos we had taken there.
  • Suedekum & Sons has returned to its original roots as Meyer Supply company, but it’s still in the same place and it’s been serving the community for more than a century.
  • Finney’s Drug Store was still listed in the 1979 City Directory, but Google’s Street View shows it as an empty storefront today.



8 Replies to “When Men Wore Hats”

  1. I sold hats for Sides-Miller Men’s Store on Broadway in Cape. Hats really took a beating in 1961 when JFK was sworn in as president, without a hat! It was a cold day , but the new president with with youthful looks and actions went hat-less, and the hat industry never fully recovered.

    Mr. Sides was wore a hat at times and Mr. Miller always wore a hat when walking to work, straw hat in spring and summer and felt hat in the fall and winter. I can see him walking up Broadway to lunch at good pace now.
    Rush Limbaugh’s grandfather would stop us playing baseball on the lot that is now a parking structure at the corner of Sunset and Thilenious, to remind all of us young lads that a true gentleman wore straw hat after Memorial Day and a felt hat after Labor day. I can see him now getting out of him BIG Black Chrysler Imperial, adjusting his hat and walking over to us. We all knew the speech, he had given it to all of us all over the years, not as a nag, but as true advice from a gentleman to would be gentlemen. We all knew who he was and we all respected him, and we listened.

    Until the mid 1980’s All 3M sales people were required to have felt hat in winter and straw in their automobiles at all times, they did not have to wear the hat but did have to have it, under termination order from the Big Boss at 3M, strange but true story.

  2. Terry, enjoyed your anecdote about Mr Limbaugh. But Pres Kennedy did wear a hat during his inauguration. He wore a top hat, which he “tipped” to his father after the ceremony.

    1. Thanks for correcting that error. I remember the top hat on JFK. Most likely the move to more casual clothes brought the demise of dress hats

  3. My Dad’s Parisian Cleaners, when it was in the 500 block of Broadway in the 1950s, cleaned and “blocked” felt hats with a large variety of hand-crafted wooden blocks, in sizes to fit any hat. When styles changed and he moved the business to Kingshighway, the blocks went to the the dump. Too bad, since they now are collectibles of some value.

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