Hat Pins, a Deadly Weapon?
In the 1890‘s enormous hair and hats was all the rage. Hatpins/Hat pins were made not for style but out of necessity. Up to 6 hatpins could be used at one time, some being up to eighteen inches long, to make sure that a fashionable woman with her hair in an up do and her chapeau did not have any issues with the wind. The bigger the hair do resulted in even bigger hats.
Imagine what it would have been like when a Judge passed a law that limited the length of one’s hat pin. That’s exactly what happened in 1908; a judge ruled that the length of a hat pin could not exceed the length of nine inches. The courts were afraid that suffragettes would use their hatpins as weapons. Many women had to cut length off their hatpins and trim the size of their hats to stay within the laws. Today a hat pin is still considered a concealed weapon in the city of Chicago.
Collecting antique hat pins can be rewarding. Make sure that you take the time to research and learn about them before you buy as there have been reproductions made for years. Hatpins can range in value from $20. up to the $1000’s A great source of information is The American Hatpin Society http//americanhatpinsociety.com
Collectors of vintage hat pins often also collect hat pin holders, which are recognized by their series of tiny holes for keeping a wide range of pins at hand on a lady’s vanity for all occasions. Often made of porcelain or metal, these holders can sometimes sell for thousands of dollars at auctions or estate sales.