FrouFrou 4 YouYou

Chicago Millinery History: Parker & Tilton Hat Manufacturing March 6, 2011

Filed under: Chicago Millinery History,millinery — froufrou4youyou @ 5:45 pm
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The Parker and Tilton company created a most interesting printed item April 12, 1873. On a card stock weight sheet busy cherubs border the story of the “elegant hat establishment.”
Was this a poster for opening day? The company goes back to the pre-American Revolution days when Mr. T Tilton’s uncle started the Johnathan Hatch store. “The oldest hat house in the United States.” With that pedigree it is clear one would want the world to know you have been well regarded. The center drawing of the building with a man on horseback attests to the beginnings. The fun of reading this in part is the use of a font where the current letter s looks almost like an f.

The reverse is even more mystifying, and a tad scary to hold, as it seems to be printed in gold. It refers to Summer of 1880 at 171 State St, Palmer House. It is only part of what seems to have been printed. Perhaps there were some leftover larger sheets of the printing from 1873 used for a trial of initial printing of the 1880 ad poster? The reverse is cleanly cut off, but with it’s feather border it seems to be a quarter of the 1880 poster. It seems the cherubs have been replaced to remind one of the importance of feathers on hats in 1880. It mentions a factory located in South Norwalk, Conn,  not too far from the hat manufacturing location of Teo Tilton’s father,  Boaz Tilton in Danbury, CT mentioned on the 1873 side of this document.

With Wholesale and Retail hats this might have been a company who saw the market after the Chicago Fire of 1871, and only moved west based on speculation. When the name Johnathan Hatch is googled, it brings up nothing on Johnathan, but an interesting connection to John Hatch who seems he could be related from that era and location. Johnathan may well be related to “Timothy Hatch, born June 13, 1767 in New Haven, New Haven, CT; died April 24, 1813 in Army Cantonment at Burlington, Chittenden, VT (War of 1812); married Eleanor Gage c. 1791 in Ferrisburgh Twp, Addison, VT?.” This comes from the page:
The name Gage brings some speculation of another sort. How did it come to be that there was a well established Gage millinery enterprise already here? It could easily be connected.

So much for the Tilton part of this document. Who was Parker? Was the Parker name a relatively unknown name in Chicago? It is listed first; done alphabetically?

More mystery. More searching needed. Anyone with clues?

Happy 31+28+6=65th day of 2011!


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