The theme for this weeks Sepia Saturday is "Men" and the picture prompt used shows a group of men most wearing hats. Every Sunday (or almost every Sunday) I publish a post called "Women with Hats" so I had to laugh to myself when I decided to use this tintype of eight stylish young men posing with their bowler hats. Maybe I should start a new category called "Men with Hats?" Nah.
This group of fine looking young men most likely posed for this picture with an unknown photographer in the latter half of the 1880's. The four in the front row and one in the back left are holding their hats, I am assuming that the other three are holding their hats behind their backs. I could not date the photo using just the bowler hats as a clue as they came into fashion when the hat was created in 1849 in England for Edward Coke, a soldier and politician who was the younger brother of the 2nd Earl of Leicester. The hat was popular with the working class during the Victorian era and became the most popular hat in the American West even over the cowboy hat. What really helped me to narrow down the date of this photo are the tie pins that several of the gentlemen are wearing. In the 1880's bow ties lost favor to the modern tie and a small tie pin stuck in the middle of the knot was the norm.
Hold on to your hat and hop over to Sepia Saturday for more great photos and stories!