What’s in a Name – Fedora, Trilby or Something Else..

For the  Men in Hats theme this week for Sepia Saturday I have this photo taken at  Kooba  in 1920.   Kooba was a 120,000 acre station in south-central New South Wales .  The station had been sold and now it was time to sell its 40,000 sheep as well as some cattle and horses.   This photo of three men at their ease was taken at the sheep sale near the Woolshed yards  at Kooba in October 1920.

Kooba Sheep Sales 1920The man in the centre is Alfred Ellis (1897-1954) and he worked for the Stock and Station Agent Wilkinson and Lavender which had a branch at Hay.. This was the firm which handled the sale of the Kooba sheep.

We have been to Hay before when we looked at an early plane crash there and where  Alf Ellis  became friendly with the Tansey family. But on this day of the sale  he was about 100 km to the east of his home town.  These Stock and Station Agents covered a large area arranging the sale of  properties and livestock.

Now I could be completely and utterly wrong but I think the two men on the outside of the photo could be  wearing hats called a Fedora  while Alf Ellis in the centre is wearing a Trilby which is a type of Fedora. Or is Alf wearing a Fedora and he is simply showing his individuality by turning the brims down and not creasing the crown   I can’t find any other style which seem similar to the hats in the  photo. Alf Ellis appears to be wearing the same kind of hat in the final photo on the previous Hay Plane Crash page.

Fedora v TrilbyHere is another photo taken on the same day and once again the hat on Alf Ellis in the centre has the high crown and the turned down brim. 2 Alf Ellisat salesThe next two photos  which also involve Alf Ellis give some idea of what the wool sale at Kooba was like but instead were taken at Carrathool which is nearer to Hay than Kooba.  But they give a feeling for the size of these sales.

1 Carrathool sheep sale c19202 Carrathool sheep sale c1920Kooba Map2014.02W.04And there’s plenty more men and their hats to be found by following the links on Sepia Saturday.

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19 thoughts on “What’s in a Name – Fedora, Trilby or Something Else..

  1. There are a few homburgs in some of the pictures, but most of the men are wearing fedoras. The thing about the fedora – especially in the 1920s – is that it came unshaped. The buyer then either shaped the hat himself, or had his haberdasher shape it for him to his specifications, thus the different shapes of the same hat. Most fedoras were worn with a crease down the center of the top with two ‘dimples’ to each side, & the front brim turned down slightly. However, some were worn with the brim completely flat or with the crown shaped into a depressed circle. It appears Alf is wearing a fedora that he simply chose not to shape at all. The trilby has a much narrower brim. (I wouldn’t have known all this if I hadn’t decided to do a little research for my own Sepia post this week! :))) Great pictures, by the way.

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    • The Fedora was the commonly worn hat among my father’s generation, and that of Alf Ellis, but when looking for information I didn’t come across the fact that they were sold without their shaping, so thanks for that. On changing my Google wording I came across the term Bucket style hat for a Fedora with no crease. That seems to make sense. I’ll now go and learn some more from what you have written in your post. Thanks again for broadening my knowledge.

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  2. The Fedora, as well as most any hat, really are just wonderful in my mind, and I try often to wear hats myself. I have one son who thinks, I look wonderful in any hat, and then another son who is much like the rest of the world, these days in America! Mom that looks silly! So sad, but true.

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  3. I worked in a wool packing factory in school holidays. The man who graded the fleeces always came to work in a suit and bowler hat. He took the hat and jacket off while grading, protecting his close with a white smock.

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    • To me the chap on the right seems to be wearing the type of dust coat that people used to wear for driving in the early days. Or perhaps it is to do with his work in handling sheep, assuming he is one of the stock and station agents and not a buyer

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  4. Fantastic photos. I can almost hear them: the calling of the auctioneer, the murmuring of the men, the whistling to the dogs, the sounds of the livestock, the buzzing of the flies and the cawing of the crows.

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  5. In the very first photo where the man on the left is lighting a cigarette, it almost looks like he’s swiping across his smart phone….way ahead of his time..lots of hat information here today too.

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    • Well you’ve got me thinking now. For some reason or other I had thought it was the stem of a pipe which I could see. You need to enlarge the image as much as possible Now that I look more closely I can see that white line continuing down below his hands. Is it the spine of a book which is tucked under his arm ? That looks like a knob on the top of the “cigarette” – could it be a pencil ? I’ve been standing in front of a mirror copying his hands position and wondering what on earth is he doing !!! I would have something nestled in the hollow of my hands but I don’t know what. It could even be a conductor’s baton. They’ve brought along a band to entertain the sheep !

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