Pork pie hat
A pork pie hat (also known as a porkpie hat) is a type of hat made of felt or straw, with a cylindrical crown and flat top. This style of crown is called a "telescopic crown", but the hat overall resembles the boater hat. It is short (usually 3" to 4" in height) and has an indentation all the way around its top, allowing it to pop upward slightly when worn. Furthermore, as stated in a newspaper clipping from the mid-1930s: "The true pork pie hat is so made that it cannot be worn successfully except when telescoped." The same clipping refers to the hat also as "the bi crowned".
The pork pie hat originated in the mid-19th century. The porkpie is named for its resemblance to the pork pie dish. According to the American fashion reporting of the 1930s, the smooth dark brown felt was the original popular model, but the "fuzzier" green model came in close second.
The pork pie hat was a staple of the British man-about-town style for many years.[when?] It was commonly worn by American Civil War soldiers and the US Army (unofficially) throughout the 1880s. Pork pie hats are often associated with jazz, blues and ska musicians and fans. Charles Mingus wrote an elegy for jazz saxophone great Lester Young called "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat", since Young was noted for his ever-present broad-brimmed porkpie.
Physicist Robert Oppenheimer frequently wore a Stetson cowboy hat which he modified into a wide-brimmed porkpie. The modified porkpie became a trademark of the silent film comedian Buster Keaton, who handmade his by altering Stetson fedoras. Joaquín Monserrat, known as Pacheco in Puerto Rico, was the host of many children's TV shows and is known for his porkpie hat and bow tie.
Many classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters worn iconically stylized hats, some of which resembling the pork pie; including Yogi Bear, Top Cat, Wally Gator, and Huckleberry Hound (though the latter is more likely a boater).
Architect Frank Lloyd Wright was often seen wearing a porkpie. The hat was prevalent in New Guinea in January 1944.
Art Carney frequently wore one in his characterization of Ed Norton in The Honeymooners.
The porkpie hat enjoyed a slight resurgence in exposure and popularity after Gene Hackman's character Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle wore one in the 1971 film The French Connection. Doyle was based on real-life policeman Eddie Egan, who played the captain in the film, and his exploits. Egan was famous all his life for wearing a pork pie hat, and refused to surrender his hat to Gene Hackman to wear in the film. The producers were forced to obtain Hackman's hat elsewhere.
Bryan Cranston's character Walter White wears a porkpie hat in the AMC series Breaking Bad. White also goes by the alias "Heisenberg" whose persona is associated with the hat.
"Porkpie" is also used in reference to brimless hats worn by sailors of the United States, the United Kingdom and other nations. This hat is typically round, flat on top and wider at the crown. This type of hat is also known as a "square rig".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Pork pie hats|
- "How to Make a Porkpie Hat". Buster Keaton, interviewed in 1964 at the Movieland Wax Museum. Henry Gris. Busterkeaton.com.
- Kilgour, Ruth Edwards (1958). A Pageant of Hats Ancient and Modern. R. M. McBride Company, 1958.
- The true pork pie hat. Appalachian History (24 March 2008).
- Article in online etymological dictionary. Etymonline.com.
- "Buster's Porkpie Hat Recipe". Busterkeaton.com.
- Australia in the War of 1939–1945: Series 1. Army, Volume VI—The New Guinea Offensives (First ed.). Canberra: Australian War Memorial. 1961. p. 766. OCLC 254562463.
- porkpie (clothing) – Britannica Encyclopedia.
- Wilkins, Barbara. (10 November 1975) The Real Popeye Doyle, Eddie Egan, Cops a Comeback in Joe Forrester. People.