Each hat description was written by Becky Manifold.
“Overviews of History, Fashion, and Hats”
were compiled by Bonnie A. Shockey, May 2003.
Resource: Vintage Hats & Bonnets 1770 – 1970,
Susan Langley, Collector Books, 1998.
by Becky Manifold
I began collecting clothing (including hats and bonnets) sometime during
1974 when I became aware that clothing could, indeed, survive the people who
wore the garments and that it (clothing) could be found with some effort.
Prior to actually collecting, I had often depicted historic clothing in
artwork I produced, so the interest was definitely there. It was extremely
exciting to me to find that, armed with my own hard-earned money in a quest
for the elusive, I could actually rescue, care for and display what other
people often did not value or want. The other exciting side of collecting
clothing lies in the fact that what looks to be a pile of wrinkles or rags
can, when carefully arranged on a proper form, be a breathtakingly beautiful
example of wearable art! The quest for more and better examples to place in
my ever-growing and changing collection has led me to meet many people, to
travel, and to exchange my interest and share my knowledge with others.
A recent adventure in collecting:
Through a turn of events or connections, I was contacted by a lady from
Lancaster, Pennsylvania this past fall. She was cleaning out her 101 year
old mother’s attic. She offered me the clothing accumulated there, as well
as her family’s history. We became friends in the process and I am the
caretaker of this family’s history in the form of their garments, souvenirs,
photos, and other memorabilia. It all goes to prove, you never know what
adventures lie ahead when you collect clothing.
I have been a member, since the
1970’s, of the Costume Society of America. Beginning in the very early
1980’s to the present, my involvement with the Shippensburg University
Fashion Archives on the campus at Harley Hall (lower level) has included
being a volunteer, supporter, exhibiter, and a member of the SUFA Board of
Directors. The Archives has a try-on collection as well as a special
collection made up of donations from faculty and Shippensburg area
The Archives serve as a valuable
resource to the University and the wider community. Groups of students are
often found visiting and sketching there. Presently, the Archives is
working at achieving an endowment of $1,000,000 so it can continue to serve
the University and the community in the future.