Young Man in a Bowler Hat -circa 1912

This could be another post in a series “What a shame that few people today wear hats!”.

This postcard photograph lacks any indication of studio or location.

It was included in a small collection of photographs that I purchased during quarantine.

Another photograph in the same collection was made in England, and It is possible that this young man is English.

Although the bowler was commonly worn by men in Great Britain, the hat was also popular in the American west because one could ride a horse, lean out the window of a train, or roam windy streets without losing your tight-fitting headgear.

I believe this portrait was made close to the onset of the First World War, a horror that killed tens of thousands of young Englishman and traumatized hundreds of thousands more.

The following link, while noting the enormous number of English casualties, does not indicate that the proportionate effect on the British Isles:

“Over the course of the war, 880,000 British forces died, 6% of the adult male population and 12.5% of those serving.”

One hopes that our hero endured the years immediately before him and enjoyed a long and successful life.

(I am not a student of fashion, but I notice that this is another photograph of a man wearing a suit in which the pants have an unusually-wide cuff, by contemporary standards.

Other readers have noted that the entire suit is ill-fitting, and that our hero might have been wearing borrowed clothes for his portrait.)


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