Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Hats

Collection ID:
Warshaw, Isadore, 1900-1969
circa 1800-1930
Physical Description:
2.43 Cubic feet
consisting of 5 boxes, 3 folder, 4 oversize folders, 2 map case folders, plus digital images of some collection material.
A New York bookseller, Warshaw assembled this collection over nearly fifty years. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana: Hats forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Subseries 1.1: Subject Categories. The Subject Categories subseries is divided into 470 subject categories based on those created by Mr. Warshaw. These subject categories include topical subjects, types or forms of material, people, organizations, historical events, and other categories. An overview to the entire Warshaw collection is available here: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This subject category- Hats consists primarily of receipts, bills of sale, business cards, and advertisements relating to hats. There are also many images of hats, two bound books pertaining to a hatter, several catalogs, and copies of a hatter's in-store magazine, patents, and a number of import/export documents relating to hats, as well as legal documents and correspondence.
Business records and marketing material include receipts and bills of sale from hatters and hat shops, as well as business cards and advertisements pertaining to same. Other products sold by these establishments include gloves, cloaks, and hat-related items (veils, ribbon, etc.) These materials are primarily from the Northeast United States, with several from other areas in the U.S., and a few from England, France, and Canada. These materials indicate that these businesses were often family owned and operated, and also that many of the smaller shops were owned and operated by women. These materials also reflect the changing ownerships/partnerships in many of the businesses. The material in this series in arranged in alphabetical order by business name. Present also are import/export documents pertaining to hat-making materials and hats.
There are a number of illustrations of hats from the publication The Delineator and several images of hats from miscellaneous sources. There are patents associated with hat-making, miscellaneous correspondence relating to hat-making and legal documents relating to same, generally regarding the dissolution of business partnerships or the taking-over of businesses. There are also publications related to hats and information and membership cards from hat-related labor associations and organizations. There is also some miscellaneous information related to bandboxes and hatpins, and one chart indicating the appropriate hat to be worn with different outfits throughout the day. The later material in this series is arranged by type of material.

Vanessa Broussard-Simmons and Nicole Blechynden
Funding for partial processing of the collection was supported by a grant from the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund (CCPF).
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Hats is a portion of the Business Ephemera Series of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Accession AC0060 purchased from Isadore Warshaw in 1967. Warshaw continued to accumulate similar material until his death, which was donated in 1971 by his widow, Augusta. For a period after acquisition, related materials from other sources (of mixed provenance) were added to the collection so there may be content produced or published after Warshaw's death in 1969. This practice has since ceased.
Processing Information
In 2016, with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund, the Archives Center at the National Museum of American History implemented the use of minimal level processing standards to increase information about and facilitate access to more of our collections. A large portion of stored material from the original acquisition received minimal level processing, which resulted in additions to this Subject category. This effort included basic arrangement and replacement of non-archival housing for long-term stability, but staples and other fasteners have not all been removed. Revisions to the encoded finding aid were made to reflect the added content in context to the previously processed material.
Minimal level processing and enhancement of the machine-readable finding aid completed by Nicole Blechynden, September 2017.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation note
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Hats, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Conditions Governing Access note
Collection is open for research. Some items may be restricted due to fragile condition.
Conditions Governing Use note
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Materials in the Archives Center
Materials in the Archives Center
Archives Center Collection of Business Americana (AC0404)

Forms Part Of

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Business ephemera Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ephemera Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hats Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012