Römer Hut (Roman Hat) "Antelope", 57cm probably mid 1950s. This hat is machine formed but the Antelope finished felt is very soft. It has a low profile with a bunch of swoop. The paper label doesn't have a company mark. Römer Hut is for the Römer City Hall, Frankurt am Main (see the F on the breast of the eagle in the crest).
"Gut behutet" Hat Museum of Bad Homburg v. d. Höhe (1985). I picked up this pamphlet back when I first visited the museum in January of 2016. The following is the section on the Homburg Hat and the company (PH. Möckel Hutfabrik, Homburg vor der Höhe) that first produced it for Edward Prince of Wales. This information is probably more accurate than what has been reported else where so worth taking a look at.
Homburger Hat Story
Since 1960, the Museum, which depicts Homburg's history, has been associated with a special "Hutmuseum." Friedrich Fuhrmann, who has guided the museum since 1949 under difficult circumstances, has "groomed" and increased its stocks : Finally, the name "Homburg" has a worldwide reputation - think of one to the spa town, so the others to the famous hat, the "Homburg".
In the eighties of the previous year. One hundred years ago, this hat, which had become a classic, had been produced for the first time in the Homburger Hat Factory Möckel and had not been successful in its success, but it was considerably increased.
The Homburger hat story is therefore mainly the history of the company Möckel. Although the textile sector, animated by the Huguenot and Waldensian immigrants in the 17th and 18th centuries, was an important economic activity in the city and the country, the hat makers had not yet played a role beyond the borders.
The company Möckel had already been founded in 1806 by Johann Georg Möckel (fig. 1). In 1807 he moved into Dorotheenstraße 8 and existed until the end of 1931. The father and uncle of Johann Georg had already been hat-makers Nothing contradicts the fact that they did their trade in the same modest style as other Homburger hat makers did. Johann Georg Möckel began with 6 to 8 journeymen in a relatively large style. He had had a thorough training in the technically and fashionably leading foreign countries, especially in France.
Fig. 1: Johann Philipp Möckel (1784 -1867), photo museum Bad Homburg. He had founded the company in 1806.
Fig. 2: Johann Philipp Möckel (1821-1894), photo museum Bad Homburg. He developed the factory instead of the modern factory.
Fig. 3: Conrad Wolff, view of Homburg, watercolor around 1820, Museum Bad Homburg. Homburg looked like this at the time the company was founded. You can see the castle, the old town and the new town.
Although the time for the young company was not necessarily favorable, the Napoleonic Wars had a lot of land, which was always in need cost. In 1806 the relative sovereignty was lost. The city (Fig. 3) did not have much more than 3,000 inhabitants (1821 it should be 3475). But the company thrived. Johann Georg's son, Jr. Philipp (fig. 2), before taking over the company in 1846, looked thoroughly in the rest of the world (the nearer began already after a few kilometers). It was the time of all the essential inventions in the field of mechanization of hat production, which had hitherto been an extremely complicated, protracted and, in some cases, a health-damaging process of manual labor.
Special machines, blowing machines, walkers and special sewing machines had been found and already in use in France, Saxony and Belgium. Philipp Möckel stayed on sightseeing trips, To the great and festive productions of technical optimism the world exhibitions - on the runed and bought in rapid, almost yearly succession, what came on the market. He had other things done. The steam engine, which was set up in 1856 to drive the new machines, was the first ever in Homburg. The craft business had become a modern factory (Fig. 4). The number of employees rose to about 100 in 1890 (Figures 5 and 6), almost half of whom were women. The textile and clothing industry was at that time one of the branches in which an above-average number of women were employed. At "Möckel" they worked - as in today's
Fig. 4: Hat factory Möckel, title page of the "German Hat Maker Newspaper", June 1931. In the course of the 19th century, the factory had expanded from the main building in Dorotheenstraße towards Louisenstraße.
At "Möckel" they worked - as in today's hat factories - mainly in the staffing workshop, where the shaped and dressed hats are provided with lining, ribbons and jewelery. Her male colleagues, sought-after, and certainly self-confident experts, had joined together in a "fraternity".
It was a self-help organization, In 1872, agreed with Philipp Möckel on the establishment of a "disability-sickness and funeral fund for the disabled" in order to provide the workers who were unsecured in emergencies in a manner adopted by other Hessian hat factories.
Fig. 5: Workforce of the company Möckel, 1890. Photo Coll. E. Möckel, Iserlohn. The women from the staffing workshop.
I received the following update from Ms. Elena Poletti Director of the Museo dell’Arte del Cappello di Ghiffa regarding Panizza Velour production. Interesting that Panizza didn't make Velour finishes until after WWII which I suspected.
"Finally I succeed in interviewing one of the hatters about the brushing machine.
Unfortunately they do not have many information but:
- They think that the machine was made by the factory MEZZERA which was in Milan and was the main suppliers of machinery for Panizza.
- It is of the Seventies, not very old
- Panizza started to make velour finishes after WWII, the best period for that finishing were the Sixties and Seventies
- At the memory of the last hatters they did not hand-brush, because the velour finishing started in pretty recent times when all the working process was already made by machines."
Velour Auto-Brushing Machine used in Panizza Ghiffa Factory. This brushing takes place during felting. This process was originally done manually. Supposedly the automated process never matched the manual process but it's apparent that some manual brushing took place once the process was automated. You can't have Real Velour without this Hot Wet Brushing taking place.
Here are the machines used at Panizza to scratch / brush / sand and clip / shear dyed Hot Wet Brushed Hare Felt Capeline. The Hot Wet Brushing process (mentioned above) is not known outside of the industry. I haven't come across one online article that has mentioned Hot Wet Brushing during the felting process which is essential for creating a Real Velour!
47. The wheels of the Carding Machine, at a speed of 3000 revolutions per minute, covered with sharkskin, scratch and untie the fur felt on the surface.