Postcard views of John B. Stetson plant

About this collection

This collection consists of thirteen unused postcards with halftone photographic illustrations showing views of the Philadelphia plant of the hat manufacturer, John B. Stetson Company. Images depict plant facilities as well as employees at work and participating in recreational activities. The postcards date to approximately 1913. Click here for a detailed description of the collection, postcard views of John B. Stetson plant.

    Image: Flanging Stetson soft hats. Click to view.

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Factories of the John B. Stetson Company, Philadelphia
The factories of the John B. Stetson Company, Philadelphia, cover five acres of ground, providing twenty-nine acres of floor space. Four thousand men and fourteen hundred women are employed. Two large auditoriums for the use of employees are located in the plant, one having a seating capacity of eighteen hundred and the other fifty-five hundred. [Caption on back of postcard], [Description and dates], Hagley ID, Box/folder number, Postcard views of John B. Stetson plant (Accession 2006.203), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807
Reception Room, [John B. Stetson Hat Company]
Visitors to the offices of the John B. Stetson Company, Philadelphia, are particularly impressed with the beauty of the reception room for customers. This is perhaps the most handsomely appointed of its kind in the country. The furniture and woodwork are of San Domingan mahogany, beautifully matched, showing very fine examples of artistic carving and paneling. [Caption on back of postcard], [Description and dates], Hagley ID, Box/folder number, Postcard views of John B. Stetson plant (Accession 2006.203), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807
Stetson salesroom
Every comfort is provided for visiting, out-of-town customers who wish to place orders with the John B. Stetson Company while in Philadelphia. In the magnificent [sic] salesroom hundreds of hats are shown in all qualities and an almost unlimited variety of styles and colors. The Company has ten thousand retail and one hundred fifty wholesale accounts on its books. [Caption on back of postcard], [Description and dates], Hagley ID, Box/folder number, Postcard views of John B. Stetson plant (Accession 2006.203), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807
Forming Stetson hat bodies
In the Forming Department of the John B. Stetson Company, Philadelphia, the fur is blown on a revolving copper cone, minutely perforated, about three feet high, forming a thin covering of felt. This cone and the felt, protected by a metal covering, are immersed in hot water, after which the formed body is removed. This is the first step in the actual shaping of the hat. [Caption on back of postcard], [Description and dates], Hagley ID, Box/folder number, Postcard views of John B. Stetson plant (Accession 2006.203), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807
Flanging Stetson soft hats
Certain classes of Stetson soft hats are curled in the Flanging Department of the John B. Stetson Company, Philadelphia. The edge of the brim is dampened, and is then turned up with a small heated iron. It is placed on a hollow wooden form under a hugh [sic] bag of sand resting on a steam-heated table. The hot bag is allowed to descend, and in a few minutes shapes the brim. [Caption on back of postcard], [Description and dates], Hagley ID, Box/folder number, Postcard views of John B. Stetson plant (Accession 2006.203), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807
Sizing Stetson hat bodies
Sizing is systematic shrinking of the formed hat bodies to proper size. In the Sizing Department of the John B. Stetson Company, Philadelphia, the bodies are repeatedly dipped in hot water, which causes the fur fibers to shrink and knit closely. While shrinking they are carefully manipulated so that the fur is properly distributed, being reduced about two-thirds in size. [Caption on back of postcard], [Description and dates], Hagley ID, Box/folder number, Postcard views of John B. Stetson plant (Accession 2006.203), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807
Finishing Stetson soft hats
Finishing soft hats in the Finishing Department of the John B. Stetson Company, Philadelphia, is apparently a simple operation, but long experience is necessary to attain proficiency. Fine emery paper is used to smooth the felt, and the utmost care is taken to do the work evenly. This is the operation which makes the felt so smooth and pleasing to the touch. [Caption on back of postcard], [Description and dates], Hagley ID, Box/folder number, Postcard views of John B. Stetson plant (Accession 2006.203), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807
Weaving silk bands and bindings for Stetson hats
Nearly seven million yards of bands, bindings and braids are produced annually in the Weaving Department, of the John B. Stetson Company, Philadelphia, requiring more than forty thousand pounds of raw silk, imported from Japan and Italy. All the machinery, from spoolers to great, complicated looms, is made in the Company's own machine shop. [Caption on back of postcard], [Description and dates], Hagley ID, Box/folder number, Postcard views of John B. Stetson plant (Accession 2006.203), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807
Trimming Stetson stiff hats
The greatest care is given to detail, in manufacturing Stetson hats, as is evidenced in the trimming departments of the John B. Stetson Company, Philadelphia. The leathers, bands, and bindings must be of the highest quality and are made to fit perfectly, each stitch being closely inspected. The operations of trimming soft and stiff hats differ but slightly. [Caption on back of postcard], [Description and dates], Hagley ID, Box/folder number, Postcard views of John B. Stetson plant (Accession 2006.203), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807
Cutting fur for Stetson hats
In the Fur-cutting Department of the John B. Stetson Company, Philadelphia, eleven and a half million skins are handled annually. The prepared skins are fed into the machines, which convert the pelt into fine shreds, the fur emerging apparently untouched. The cut fur is carefully graded as to color and quality, and is used to form the Stetson hat bodies., [Description and dates], Hagley ID, Box/folder number, Postcard views of John B. Stetson plant (Accession 2006.203), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807
View of the new Stetson Athletic grounds, opening day May 3rd 1913
The Stetson Athletic Field adjoins one of the buildings of the John B. Stetson Company's plant in Philadelphia. It was formally opened May 3, 1913, in the presence of six thousand persons. The stands have a seating capacity of thirty-five hundred. Provision is made for base-ball, tennis, basket ball and other out-door sports., There are two copies of this postcard in the collection., [Description and dates], Hagley ID, Box/folder number, Postcard views of John B. Stetson plant (Accession 2006.203), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807
Christmas meeting of Stetson employees
A striking and impressive scene is the annual gathering of all the employees of the John B. Stetson Company, Philadelphia, in the immense auditorium, for the Christmas celebration. The President of the Company addresses the employees, awards are distributed to everyone, and the Stetson Chorus of one hundred and fifty voices renders appropriate selections., [Description and dates], Hagley ID, Box/folder number, Postcard views of John B. Stetson plant (Accession 2006.203), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807