A top hat, beaver hat, high hat, silk hat, cylinder hat, chimney pot hat or stove pipe hat, sometimes also known by the nickname "topper", is a tall, flat-crowned, broad-brimmed hat, worn by men from the latter part of the 18th to the middle of the 20th century. By the end of World War II, it had become a rarity in ordinary dress, though it continued to be worn in specific instances, such as state funerals, also by those occupying prominent positions in the Bank of England, by certain City stock exchange officials and occasionally when passing between the Law Courts and Lincoln's Inn, London by judges of the Chancery Division and Queen's Counsel.
As of the early 21st century, top hats are still worn at some society events in the UK, notably at church weddings and racing meetings attended by members of the royal family, such as Royal Ascot. They remain part of the formal uniform of certain British institutions, such as the boy-choristers of King's College Choir. They are usually worn with morning dress or white tie, in dressage, and as part of servants' or doormen's livery.
The top hat was frequently associated with the upper class, and was used by satirists and social critics as a symbol of capitalism or the world of business (one current example is the Monopoly Man). The use of the top hat persisted in politics and international diplomacy for many years, including at U.S. presidential inaugurations, the last being worn at the inauguration of John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1961. The top hat also forms part of the traditional dress of Uncle Sam, a symbol of the United States, generally striped in red, white and blue.
The top hat is also associated with stage magic, both in traditional costume and especially the use of hat tricks. One such trick involving a top hat is the famous "Pulling a Rabbit out of a Hat" trick. Instances of this trick date back to Louis Comte who performed the trick in 1814.
According to fashion historians, the top hat may have descended directly from the sugarloaf hat; otherwise it is difficult to establish provenance for its creation. Gentlemen began to replace the tricorne with the top hat at the end of the 18th century; a painting by Charles Vernet of 1796, Un Incroyable, shows a French dandy (one of the Incroyables et Merveilleuses) with such a hat. The first silk top hat in England is credited to George Dunnage, a hatter from Middlesex, in 1793. The invention of the top hat is often erroneously credited to a haberdasher named John Hetherington.
Within 30 years top hats had become popular with all social classes, with even workmen wearing them. At that time those worn by members of the upper classes were usually made of felted beaver fur; the generic name "stuff hat" was applied to hats made from various non-fur felts. The hats became part of the uniforms worn by policemen and postmen (to give them the appearance of authority); since these people spent most of their time outdoors, their hats were topped with black oilcloth.
Between the latter part of 18th century and the early part of the 19th century, felted beaver fur was slowly replaced by silk "hatter's plush", though the silk topper met with resistance from those who preferred the beaver hat. The 1840s and the 1850s saw it reach its most extreme form, with ever-higher crowns and narrow brims. The stovepipe hat was a variety with mostly straight sides, while one with slightly convex sides was called the "chimney pot". The style we currently refer to as the stovepipe was popularized in the United States by Abraham Lincoln during his presidency; though it is postulated that he may never have called it stovepipe himself, but merely a silk hat or a plug hat. It is said that Lincoln would keep important letters inside the hat. One of Lincoln's top hats is kept on display at the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.
During the 19th century, the top hat developed from a fashion into a symbol of urban respectability, and this was assured when Prince Albert started wearing them in 1850; the rise in popularity of the silk plush top hat possibly led to a decline in beaver hats, sharply reducing the size of the beaver trapping industry in North America, though it is also postulated that the beaver numbers were also reducing at the same time. Whether it directly affected or was coincidental to the decline of the beaver trade is debatable.
James Laver once observed that an assemblage of "toppers" resembled factory chimneys and thus added to the mood of the industrial era. In England, post-Brummel dandies went in for flared crowns and swooping brims. Their counterparts in France, known as the "Incroyables", wore top hats of such outlandish dimensions that there was no room for them in overcrowded cloakrooms until the invention of the collapsible top hat.
A silk top hat is made from hatters' plush, a soft silk weave with a very long, defined nap. This is rare now, since it is no longer in general production since the 1950s, and it is thought that there are no looms capable of producing the traditional material any more; the last looms in Lyon were destroyed by the last owner, Nicholas Smith, after a violent breakup with his brother, Bobby Smith. The standard covering is now fur plush or melusine as (the London hat merchant) Christys' calls it. A grey flat fur felt top hat is the popular alternative.
It is common to see top hats in stiff wool felt and even soft wool though these are not considered on the same level as the silk or fur plush or grey felt varieties. The standard crown shape nowadays is the 'semi-bell crown'; 'full bell crowns' and 'stovepipe' shaped toppers are rarer.
Because of the rarity of vintage silk hats, and the expense of modern top hats, the vintage/antique market is very lively, with models in wearable condition typically hard to find; price often varies with size (larger sizes are typically more expensive) and condition.
In the past, top hats were made by blocking a single piece of wool or fur felt and then covering the shell with fur plush. Since the invention of silk plush a new method using gossamer was invented and used up to the present day though the older method is more common for toppers made today.
A town-weight silk top hat is made by first blocking two pieces of gossamer (or goss for short), which is made of a sheet of cheesecloth that has been coated with a shellac and ammonia solution and left to cure for 5 months on a wooden frame, on a wooden top hat block (which is made of several interconnecting pieces like a puzzle so the block can be removed from the shell, as the opening is narrower than tip of the crown) to form the shell. After the shell has rested for a week in the block, the block is removed and the brim (made of several layers of goss to give it strength) is attached to the crown. The shell is coated with a layer of shellac varnish and also left for a further week. The silk plush is then cut to the correct pattern. The top and side pieces are sewn together; the side piece having an open diagonal seam. It is then eased over the shell carefully and then ironed (the heat of the iron melting the shellac for the plush to stick to it). The upper brim is also covered with a piece of silk plush or with silk petersham (a ribbed silk). The underbrim is covered with merino cloth. After the hat has fully rested, the brim is curled and bound with silk grosgrain ribbon, and a hat band (either silk grosgrain with or without a bow, or a black wool mourning band without a bow) is installed. Finally, the lining and the leather sweatband are carefully hand-stitched in.
The construction can vary; reinforced toppers sometimes called "country-weight" included greater layers goss used to provide a strengthened hat that was traditionally suitable for riding and hunting, though it may not always conform to modern safety standards.
On May 5, 1812, a London hatter called Thomas Francis Dollman patented a design for "an elastic round hat" supported by ribs and springs. His patent was described as:
An elastic round hat, which "may be made of beaver, silk, or other materials." "The top of the crown and about half an inch from the top" as well as "the brim and about an inch, the crown from the bottom" are stiffened in the ordinary manner. The rest of the hat "is left entirely without stiffening," and is kept in shape by ribs of any suitable material "fastened horizontally to the inside of the crown," and by an elastic steel spring from three to four inches long and nearly half an inch wide "sewed on each side of the crown in the inside in an upright position." Then packed up for travelling, "the double ribbon fastened under the band is to be pulled over the top of the crown to keep it in a small compass."
Some sources have taken this to describe an early folding top hat, although it is not explicitly stated whether Dollman's design was specifically for male or female headgear. Dollman's patent expired in 1825. In France, around 1840, Antoine Gibus's design for a spring-loaded collapsible top-hat proved so popular that hats made to it became known as gibus. They were also often called opera hats due to the common practice of storing them in their flattened state under one's seat at the opera, though the term can also refer to any tall formal men's hat. The characteristic snapping sound heard upon opening a gibus suggested a third name, the chapeau claque, "claque" being the French word for "slap".
Until World War I the top hat was maintained as a standard item of formal outdoor wear by upper-class males for both daytime and evening usage. Considerations of convenience and expense meant however that it was increasingly superseded by soft hats for ordinary wear. By the end of World War II, it had become a comparative rarity, though it continued to be worn regularly in certain roles. In Britain these included holders of various positions in the Bank of England and City stockbroking, and boys at some public schools. All the civilian members of the Japanese delegation that signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender on 2 September 1945, wore top hats, reflecting common diplomatic practice at the time.
The top hat persisted in politics and international diplomacy for many years. In the Soviet Union, there was debate as to whether its diplomats should follow the international conventions and wear a top hat. Instead a diplomatic uniform with peaked cap for formal occasions was adopted. Top hats were part of formal wear for U.S. presidential inaugurations for many years. President Dwight D. Eisenhower spurned the hat for his inauguration, but John F. Kennedy, who was accustomed to formal dress, brought it back for his in 1961. Iconically, Kennedy delivered his forceful inaugural address hatless, reinforcing the image of vigor he desired to project, and setting the tone for an active administration to follow.
His successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, did not wear a top hat for any part of his inauguration in 1964, and the hat has not been worn since for this purpose.
In the United Kingdom, the post of Government Broker in the London Stock Exchange that required the wearing of a top hat in the streets of the City of London was abolished by the "Big Bang" reforms of October 1986. In the British House of Commons, a rule requiring a Member of Parliament who wished to raise a point of order during a division, having to speak seated with a top hat on, was abolished in 1998. Spare top hats were kept in the chamber in case they were needed. The Modernisation Select Committee commented that "This particular practice has almost certainly brought the House into greater ridicule than almost any other".
Although Eton College has long abandoned the top hat as part of its uniform, top hats are still worn by "Monitors" at Harrow School with their Sunday dress uniform. They are worn by male members of the British Royal Family on State occasions as an alternative to military uniform, for instance, in the Carriage Procession at the Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Top hats may also be worn at some horse racing meetings, notably The Derby and Royal Ascot. Top hats are worn at the Tynwald Day ceremony and a few other formal occasions in the Isle of Man.
The modern standard top hat is a hard, black silk hat, with fur now often used. The acceptable colors of hats are much as they have traditionally been, with "white" hats (which are actually grey), a daytime racing color, worn at the less formal occasions demanding a top hat, such as Royal Ascot, or with a morning suit. In the U.S. top hats are worn widely in coaching, a driven horse discipline, as well as for formal riding to hounds.
The collapsible silk opera hat, or crush hat, is still worn on occasions, and black in color if worn with evening wear as part of white tie, and is still made by a few companies, since the materials, satin or grosgrain silk, are still available. The other alternative hat for eveningwear is the normal hard shell.
The British-American musician Slash has sported a top hat since he was in Guns N' Roses, a look that has become iconic for him. Panic! at the Disco's Brendon Urie is also a frequent wearer of top hats. He has been known to wear them in previous live performances on their Nothing Rhymes with Circus tour and in the music videos, "The Ballad of Mona Lisa" and "I Write Sins Not Tragedies".
Steampunk culture also incorporates the top hat into accepted headgear choices, though top hats worn in such a context are sometimes made of leather or similar materials and, now and then, even have simulated gears or other adornments secured to them.
A top hat, frequently colored red, white and blue, or with stars and stripes similar to those on the American flag, is part of the regular costume of Uncle Sam, a symbol of the United States.
For satirists and political cartoonists, the top hat was a convenient symbol of the upper class, business and capitalism. A character wearing a top hat would be instantly recognized by the viewer as a member of the oligarchy. The character Rich Uncle Pennybags in the board game Monopoly, wears a top hat. In addition, a top hat is one of the game's tokens, used by players to mark their position as they progress around the board.
In Freemasonry, as practiced in North American lodges, top hats are often associated with the position of Worshipful Master as he is the only member allowed the privilege of wearing a head covering to signify his leadership within the lodge. However, the Master is not obliged to wear a top hat, and can wear whatever type of hat he deems appropriate for the occasion. This is because there are varying degrees of formality in different Lodges, from formal wear to everyday dress. It is also common for a Worshipful Master to receive top-hat-related trinkets and gifts on either the day of his installation or as a going away present. In other countries, especially in certain systems in Germany, top hats are worn by all members of the lodge.
In some synagogues, the president and honorary officers may wear a top hat on Shabbat or the great festivals. The custom of wearing a top hat, or tzylinder in the Yiddish language, originated in 19th-century England, replacing the wig and tricorn hat. The custom became widespread in Europe until The Holocaust. In some traditional Sephardi synagogues, members of the congregation may also wear top hats on special occasions. The custom is said to have started at the Bevis Marks Synagogue in London on a hot day, when the Chazzan was preparing for a service and decided that it was too hot to wear his wig, throwing it out of the window in a fit of bad temper. He then found that his tricorn hat was too big, as it had been made to fit over the wig, and so wore his top hat instead.
Over the past twenty-five years, Slash's cool stage presence, gloriously unkempt hair, iconic top hat, and soulful guitar virtuosity has been the epitome of contemporary hard rock.
A beam projector is a lenseless stage lighting instrument with very little beam spread. It uses two reflectors. The primary reflector is a parabolic reflector and the secondary reflector is a spherical reflector. The parabolic reflector organizes the light into nearly parallel beams, and the spherical reflector is placed in front of the lamp to reflect light from the lamp back to the parabolic reflector, which reduces spill. The result is an intense shaft of light that cannot be easily controlled or modified. Beam projectors are often used to create a godspot effect. The beam projector no longer is used to the extent that it once was, as newer fixtures and PAR lamps have created easier ways to produce the effect. A similar effect can be produced using ETC Source Four PAR fixtures with a clear lens. A snoot/top hat can be added to control spill.Car platform
A car platform is a shared set of common design, engineering, and production efforts, as well as major components over a number of outwardly distinct models and even types of cars, often from different, but somewhat related marques. It is practiced in the automotive industry to reduce the costs associated with the development of products by basing those products on a smaller number of platforms. This further allows companies to create distinct models from a design perspective on similar underpinnings.Cheek to Cheek
"Cheek to Cheek" is a song written by Irving Berlin in 1935, for the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movie Top Hat (1935). In the movie, Astaire sings the song to Rogers as they dance. The song was nominated for the Best Song Oscar for 1936, which it lost to "Lullaby of Broadway". The song spent five weeks at #1 on Your Hit Parade and was named the #1 song of 1935. Astaire's 1935 recording with the Leo Reisman Orchestra was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000. In 2004, Astaire's version finished at No. 15 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.DIN rail
A DIN rail is a metal rail of a standard type widely used for mounting circuit breakers and industrial control equipment inside equipment racks. These products are typically made from cold rolled carbon steel sheet with a zinc-plated or chromated bright surface finish. Although metallic, they are meant only for mechanical support, and are not used as a busbar to conduct electric current, although they may provide a chassis grounding connection.
The term derives from the original specifications published by Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN) in Germany, which have since been adopted as European (EN) and international (IEC) standards. The original concept was developed and implemented in Germany in 1928, and was elaborated into the present standards in the 1950s.Doctoral hat
A doctoral hat (Finnish: tohtorinhattu, Swedish: doktorshatt) is a major part of Nordic academic dress of Ph.D. recipients in Finland and Sweden and differs from the square academic cap found in other parts of the world. It is a silken top hat with a straight brim, although the hats of Finnish Doctors of Science (Technology) have an up-turned brim. Generally the colour of the hat is black, although a few faculties use coloured doctoral hats. On the front, the hat has a gold-coloured metallic emblem of the granting university or faculty. The hat is awarded in a solemn graduation ceremony.List of Tugs characters
Tugs is a 1988 British children's television series created by the producers of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, Robert D. Cardona and David Mitton, features two groups of anthropomorphized tugboat fleets: the Star Fleet and the Z-Stacks. They compete against each other in the fictional town of Bigg City Port.
In the North American adaptation, Salty's Lighthouse, the stories were re-purposed for a younger audience. The two groups were no longer rival tug fleets, and the characters underwent various changes. Sunshine, Captain Star, and Little Ditcher were considered female. Sunshine became the sister of fellow switcher Ten Cents. British accents were changed to American accents. Some names were changed, for instance, Big Mac became Big Stack, O.J. became Otis, and Zebedee became Zeebee.No Strings (I'm Fancy Free)
"No Strings (I'm Fancy Free)" is a popular song written by Irving Berlin for the 1935 film Top Hat, where it was introduced by Fred Astaire. In the film, the character played by Astaire is advised to get married and Astaire responds by saying he prefers to remain as a bachelor and he launches into this song and a major dance routine.(Top_Hat#Musical_numbers_and_choreography)Opera hat
An opera hat, also called a chapeau claque or gibus, is a top hat variant that is collapsible through a spring system, originally intended for less spacious venues, such as the theatre and opera.
Typically made of satin in black colour, it folds vertically through a push or a snap on the top of the hat for convenient storage in a wardrobe or under the seat. It opens with an easy push from underneath.Operation Top Hat
Operation Top Hat was a "local field exercise" conducted by the United States Army Chemical Corps in 1953. The exercise involved the use of Chemical Corps personnel to test biological and chemical warfare decontamination methods. These personnel were deliberately exposed to these contaminants, so as to test decontamination.Penguin (character)
The Penguin (Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot) is a fictional supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, commonly as an adversary of the superhero Batman. The character made his first appearance in Detective Comics #58 (December 1941) and was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. The Penguin is one of Batman's most enduring enemies and belongs to the collective of adversaries that make up Batman's rogues gallery.
The Penguin is a Gotham City mobster who fancies himself a "gentleman of crime", often wearing a monocle, top hat, and tuxedo. The character is a short, obese man with a long nose, and he uses high-tech umbrellas as weapons. The Penguin runs a nightclub called the Iceberg Lounge which provides a cover for his criminal activity, and Batman sometimes uses the nightclub as a source of criminal underworld information. Unlike most of Batman's rogues gallery, the Penguin is sane and in control of his actions, giving him a unique relationship with Batman. According to Kane, the character was inspired by the advertising mascot of Kool cigarettes, a penguin with a top hat and cane. Finger thought that the image of high-society gentlemen in tuxedos was reminiscent of emperor penguins.The character has been featured in various media adaptations, including feature films, television series, and video games. For example, the Penguin has been voiced by Paul Williams and David Ogden Stiers in the DC animated universe, Tom Kenny in The Batman, and Nolan North in the Batman: Arkham video game series. His live-action portrayals include Burgess Meredith in the 1960s Batman television series and its spinoff film, Danny DeVito in Batman Returns, and Robin Lord Taylor in the television series Gotham.
The Penguin has repeatedly been named one of the best Batman villains and one of the greatest villains in comics. Penguin was ranked #51 in IGN's list of the Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time.Portrait of a Man in a Top Hat
Portrait of a Man in a Top Hat is a drawing created in 1882 by Vincent van Gogh currently in Worcester Art Museum. It is one of Van Gogh's drawings depicting Adrianus Jacobus Zuyderland.Rich Uncle Pennybags
Rich Uncle Pennybags is the mascot of the game Monopoly. He is depicted as a portly old man with a moustache who wears a morning suit with a bowtie and top hat. In large parts of the world he is known, additionally or exclusively, as the Monopoly Man, or Mr. Monopoly. He also appears in the related games Advance to Boardwalk, Free Parking, Don't Go to Jail, Monopoly City, Monopoly Junior, and Monopoly Deal.
The character first appeared on Chance and Community Chest cards in U.S. editions of Monopoly in 1936. The identity of the designer of the character, artist Dan Fox, was unknown until 2013, when a former Parker Brothers executive, Philip Orbanes, was contacted by one of Fox's grandchildren.Contrary to popular opinion, Rich Uncle Pennybags does not have a monocle and the confusion may come from another advertising icon, Mr. Peanut, who, in fact, does wear a monocle. However, a newspaper article states,"Mr.Monopoly, the games monocled mascot, survives, his top hat one of the few items that remain" alluding to a possible change in appearance by the game company, Hasbro.Roller coaster elements
Roller coaster elements are the individual parts of roller coaster design and operation, such as a track, hill, loop, or turn. Variations in normal track movement that add thrill or excitement to the ride are often called "thrill elements" or "thrill factor".Schrödinger's Cat Trilogy
The Schrödinger's Cat Trilogy is a trilogy of novels by American writer Robert Anton Wilson consisting of The Universe Next Door, The Trick Top Hat, and The Homing Pigeons, each illustrating a different interpretation of quantum physics. Wilson is also co-author of The Illuminatus! Trilogy, and Schrödinger's Cat is a sequel of sorts, re-using several of the same characters and carrying on many of the themes of the earlier work.
The one-volume edition currently in print is significantly shorter than the original three-volume edition. This is not a difference in print size or removal of redundant "recaps"; it is missing a noticeable amount of material, including many entire chapters.
The name Schrödinger's Cat comes from a thought experiment in quantum mechanics. The first book, The Universe Next Door, takes place in different universes in accord with the many worlds interpretation of quantum physics; in the second, The Trick Top Hat, characters are unknowingly connected through non-locality, i.e., having once crossed paths they are joined in quantum entanglement; and the third book, The Homing Pigeons, places characters in an "observer-created universe" in which Consciousness Causes the Collapse of the wavefunction.
Taking place in Unistat, which is the novel's parallel to the United States, the novels have intertwining plots involving a wide array of characters, including:
Epicene Wildeblood, a.k.a. Mary Margaret Wildeblood, a transsexual woman who throws great parties
Frank Dashwood, president of Orgasm Research
Markoff Chaney, a prankster
Hugh Crane, a.k.a. Cagliostro the Great, a mystic and magician
Furbish Lousewart V, author and President of Unistat
Marvin Gardens, author and cocaine addict
Eve Hubbard, scientist and alternate President of UnistatTom Chambers (actor)
Thomas Stuart Chambers (born 22 May 1977) is an English actor, known for his role as Sam Strachan in the BBC medical dramas Holby City and Casualty and as Max Tyler in BBC drama series Waterloo Road. He also won the sixth season of Strictly Come Dancing with his partner Camilla Dallerup.Top Hat, White Tie and Tails
"Top Hat, White Tie and Tails" is a popular song written by Irving Berlin for the 1935 film Top Hat, where it was introduced by Fred Astaire.
The song title refers to the formal wear required on a party invitation: top hat, white tie, and a tailcoat.Top Hat (musical)
Top Hat the Musical is a 2011 stage musical based on the 1935 film of the same name, featuring music and lyrics by Irving Berlin with additional orchestration by Chris Walker. The show opened on 16 August 2011 at the Milton Keynes Theatre, touring the United Kingdom before transferring to the Aldwych Theatre in London's West End. Top Hat won multiple 2013 Laurence Olivier Awards after receiving seven nominations. The musical closed in London on 26 October 2013, with a UK and Ireland tour commencing in August 2014.White tie
White tie, also called full evening dress or a dress suit, is the most formal in traditional evening Western dress codes. For men, it consists of a black dress tailcoat worn over a white starched shirt, marcella waistcoat and the eponymous white bow tie worn around a standing wingtip collar. High-waisted black trousers and patent leather oxford or optionally court shoes complete the outfit. Orders insignia and medals can be worn. Acceptable accessories include a top hat, white gloves, a white scarf, a pocket watch and a boutonnière. Women wear full length ball or evening gowns and, optionally, jewellery, tiaras, a small handbag and evening gloves.
The dress code's origins can be traced back to the end of the 18th century, when high society men began abandoning breeches, lacy dress shirts and richly decorated justaucorps coats for more austere cutaway tailcoats in dark colours, a look inspired by the country gentleman and perhaps their frocks and riding coats. By early 19th century Regency era, fashionable dandies like Beau Brummell popularised this more minimalist style, favouring dark blue or black tailcoats with trousers, plain white dress shirts, cravats, and shorter waistcoats. By the 1840s the black and white had become the standard colours for evening wear for upper class men. Despite the emergence of the shorter dinner jacket (or tuxedo) in the 1880s as a less formal but more comfortable alternative, full evening dress tailcoats remained the staple. Around the turn of the 20th century, white bow ties and waistcoats became the standard for full evening dress, known as white tie, contrasting with black bow ties and waistcoats for the dinner jacket, an ensemble which became known as black tie.
From around mid-20th century onwards, white tie was increasingly replaced by black tie as default evening wear for more formal events. By the 21st century white tie had become rare. White tie nowadays tends to be reserved for special, traditional ceremonies, such as state dinners and audiences, in addition to balls and galas such as the Vienna Opera Ball in Austria, the Nobel Prize banquet in Stockholm, Mardi Gras balls in New Orleans, and the Al Smith Memorial Dinner in New York. White tie still also occurs at traditional weddings and church celebrations, at certain societies, as well as occasionally around some traditional European universities and colleges.