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  • Hat Vendors??

    Somehow I missed Tim Bender's announcement on retiring from making hats... just when I was going to order one! I know of Clearwater Hats and Bristol Hollow, but are there any other vendors out there that make authentic period hats?
    ~Marc Shaffer~

  • #2
    Re: Hat Vendors??

    Dirty Billy is still making hats. However, you have to remember that he also has a line of hats that intended for commercial/ non-living history customers. So, you need to know what you are looking for there.
    John Wickett
    Former Carpetbagger
    Administrator (We got rules here! Be Nice - Sign Your Name - No Farbisms)

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    • #3
      Re: Hat Vendors??

      Dirty Billy is the first name that springs to mind...you can tell from the price which "line" is which. The good ones run $120+ . I was lucky to get a Bender Hardee hat a year or so back. He was the best.
      Craig L Barry
      Editor, The Watchdog, a non-profit 501[c]3
      Co-author (with David Burt) Suppliers to the Confederacy
      Author, The Civil War Musket: A Handbook for Historical Accuracy
      Member, Company of Military Historians

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      • #4
        Re: Hat Vendors??

        Over the past 20 years I've bought hats, and one Zouave fez, from all three popular reenacting hobby hatters: Tim Bender, Clear Water and Dirty Billy. All three vendors charged in the $120 range. All three provided good service, and all three sold perfectly fine hats at half the price of the serious "modern" hatters in Texas. Sorry to learn Tim Bender has left the market. And I'll never forget Dirty Billy himself recognizing my pasty face severely overheated status when I stumbled into his tent at the 150th 1st Manassas event and brought me his chair and a bottle of cold water and forced me to sit down.
        Phil McBride
        Author:
        Whittled Away-A Civil War Novel of the Alamo Rifles
        Tangled Honor 1862: A Novel of the 5th Texas Infantry
        Redeeming Honor 1863: The 5th Texas Gettysburg and Chickamauga
        Defiant Honor 1864: The 5th Texas at the Wilderness and the 22nd USCT at New Market Heights
        Link to My Blog and My Books on Amazon:
        Blog: http://mcbridenovels.blogspot.com/http://www.amazon.com/Philip-McBride...ne_cont_book_1

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        • #5
          Re: Hat Vendors??

          Tim Allen is still making hats Marc. IIRC, his hats are being sold through S&S. Someone, please correct me if I'm wrong.
          Tyler Underwood
          Moderator
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          • #6
            Re: Hat Vendors??

            Oh yeah! Tim Allen makes a nice soft comfortable hat!

            I'm glad he is making hats again! His hats were the gold standard when I crossed over to the dark side.
            John Wickett
            Former Carpetbagger
            Administrator (We got rules here! Be Nice - Sign Your Name - No Farbisms)

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            • #7
              Re: Hat Vendors??

              Originally posted by Tyler Underwood View Post
              Tim Allen is still making hats Marc. IIRC, his hats are being sold through S&S. Someone, please correct me if I'm wrong.
              Did not see any Tim Allen Hardees (or any Hardees) on the S&S website.
              Michael Cairns

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              • #8
                Re: Hat Vendors??

                Correct. Hardees are available from Bristol Hollow and Dirty Billy.

                With the loss of a major vendor like Bender, one wonders if others might step up!
                John Wickett
                Former Carpetbagger
                Administrator (We got rules here! Be Nice - Sign Your Name - No Farbisms)

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                • #9
                  Re: Hat Vendors??

                  I wore my Dirty Billy "Hardee hat" yesterday at the Stones River historic weapons demos out at Ft Rosecrans. We did artillery as they were shorthanded. They'd have to be desperate to press me into service. Patrick Landrum was the #3 man and I was the #4. Landrum used his own sheepskin thumb stall and it was very nice. Landrum had his Hardee hat, and he mentioned how he wanted to get a couple more hats made for him before Bender hung it up, but his order was not in time and "didn't make the cut."

                  The Bender "Hardee hat" is better to my eye than the others but I rarely wear it. It sounds crazy but now that they are no longer made I am reluctant to use it and to want to keep it in good shape...it fits better, too. There is a reason for that. As I recall, I sent some measurements of my head before he made it. On the other hand, Dirty Billy took a look at my head and handed me a hat off the shelf. Some years apart but the cost was about the same, too.

                  There are some fine hat-makers out there, but Bender leaves some big shoes to fill.
                  Last edited by Craig L Barry; 06-11-2017, 11:48 AM.
                  Craig L Barry
                  Editor, The Watchdog, a non-profit 501[c]3
                  Co-author (with David Burt) Suppliers to the Confederacy
                  Author, The Civil War Musket: A Handbook for Historical Accuracy
                  Member, Company of Military Historians

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