The Hat Detective – on the trail of Henry Pollak

I have recently discovered the joy of museum collections.  No, it wasn’t the my first time to a museum. It was my first time to see behind the scenes at a museum. I did not realize that museums had people who can show you items that are in their collections but not on display.  I owe a huge Thank You to my Morley College hat friends for showing me how it is done on a  recent trip to the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum of Childhood to view small straw hats and bonnets.

Recently, I was in California, to watch my youngest son graduate from university.  I reached out to Marla Novo a the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History (MAH).  I asked to see hats in their collection.  She was very cooperative and I was able to book an appointment to view many hats. Not all museums are this receptive. Some museums require that you are studying in a particular field or have an interest in a specific item.

Many museums have the pieces in their collection available in online catalogues which is a great way to see lots of vintage hats. The Santa Cruz MAH does not yet have their catalog online, but it is a project they are currently working on.  Since I wasn’t able to pre-select the hats from an online catalog, I was presented with a binder with paper sheets, known as Composite Object Condition Forms (COC), with a photo and brief description of each hat.


It was a daunting task to choose from what looked to me like a hundred possible hats. I had about an hour and a half of Marla’s valuable time and I am not good with decision making.

I had done a little research to see if there were any “Must See” hats in the collection. I had discovered they had a few Kate Handley pieces. She was a milliner in the early 1900’s with a shop on Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz. I am hoping to create a future post about her, however this post is about a mysterious little black felt hat.

The first hat I choose from the binder catalog was a lovely black fur felt topper but it was the second hat that this post is about. What caught my attention in the COC was the shape of the piece in the photo, somewhat of a more angular crowned cloche. It had a basic description, “HAT, WOOL, BLACK, with Grosgrain Ribbon and Bow.”  I read the COC in more detail. The “LABELS, INSCRIPTIONS” field intrigued me. It said, “ unreadable label inside”.


I had hoped that perhaps I would be able to recognized the label or make out some details and thus return some value to the woman and the museum which had gifted me this time and opportunity.

But alas when the hat was on the viewing table and the white gloves were on my hands, I would add little to their sparse information. Other than the “Grograin” ribbon was “Petersham” ribbon. Many hats were to follow with little thought to this little black hat.


The following day as I waited for the glass to be replace on my phone. This was my 1st broken phone. I was irritated at myself, the time and expense, but  dragging my finger across broken glass was not going to be tolerable for very long.

While I was waiting for my phone to be repaired, I had the opportunity to haunt a Santa Cruz antiques shop on Pacific Avenue, called Goodies. I was looking for anything related to hats; hat stands, hat pins, hat blocks, and actual hats.  Off in a corner they had two hats that caught my eye.  One in particular had a pleasing shape. I took it from the rack and observed the sequins and velvet ribbon. It gave me a feeling of familiarity. I turned it over to see the inside.  It had the stamp. It was a sister to the one at Santa Cruz MAH! A very similar shape, but trimmed differently, as the one the previous day. Except I could read this one.  Glenover, Henry Pollak, New York.


I needed a picture! I needed my phone back! I scurried off to pick it up from its repair and promptly returned to Goodies.  With the shop keepers permission, I took photos of the hat and excitedly emailed them to Marla at the museum.

I felt like I had just found a clue to an important mystery.  I don’t know why hats give me such a buzz and this was another new exciting type of hat buzz.


Now, who was Henry Pollak, where were these hats made, and when? Why were there two hats of a similar shape from the same designer from New York in the fairly small city of Santa Cruz?

My following research is not extensive or exhaustive and most of my questions remain unanswered. I found various bits of information but no complete story.

The first millinery reference I found of Henry Pollak relating to the millinery trade was in a 1916 journal called the Illustrated Milliner and the last reference I have found is a dissolution of Henry Pollak, Inc in 1990. I am sure there are many stories during the 74 years of hatting and millinery associated with the Henry Pollak name. I have but a few nuggets gathered.

I observed that Henry Pollack hats appear to be fairly common on Etsy and Ebay with estimated dates of the 1930’s through the 1960’s.

There were several variations of Henry Pollak 100% wool hat bodies with additional branding of Glenover, Glenover Fawn Tra Felt, Belvedere, Flamand and Ritz.

1948 – The Trademark I recognized was registered in New York.

1959 – Reading Eagle Newspaper, pg 28 in an article about the Union buy out of the Merrimac Hat Factory in Amesbury Massachusetts quotes Henry Pollak. He was described as a sales agent in New York.

1970 – Halston, the American fashion designer and milliner with Henry Pollack Inc., established Halston International, ready-to-wear.

1970 – Legal filing between Henry Pollak, Inc. (the Plaintiff) and the Secretary of the US treasury (the Defendant), related to trade tariffs.

I have enjoyed looking into Henry Pollak and wished I could have found more about the man and the business, but with so many hats to make and other milliners to learn about, I will stop here.  My Hattin Around quest continues, but a Henry Pollak hat will forever catch my attention.

… and remember, interesting people wear hats.

Henry Pollak key


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Hatter, Milliner, Adventurer, Mother, Wife, and maker of many things including this blog and podcast.

74 thoughts on “The Hat Detective – on the trail of Henry Pollak”

  1. Wow, so cool that you followed the trail. I will keep my eyes open for more about Henry Pollack! Thanks for letting me share a bit of the journey with you at the MAH!

    1. Tina,
      I am hoping to get a post done about more of the hats we saw at SC MAH. Especially the Kate Handley pieces. Thank you for joining me.

      1. Hi. I thought you might enjoy a little personal history .
        Henry Pollak was my great grandfather and is also the name of my dad, (now 92 yrs. old). In 1897, the original Henry Pollak left Italy with his brother to seek their fortune and opportunity in Japan- which had been closed to outsiders for centuries. They became successful exporting straw braid to the headwear community in Europe and in America. In 1917, my great grandfather and his wife, (Eva) moved to New York and started importing hat bodies and braids from around the world. Henry Pollak Inc. was incorporated in N.Y. in 1917. Domestic manufacturers of hat bodies required country of origin stamps inside of the crown of the hat bodies in the middle of the 20th century. Our hat bodies came from all over the world. That is why so many wool and fur felt hats are marked with the “Henry Pollak” stamp. My family sold the raw hat bodies to the milliners – but they were never designers or producers of finished hats. Most of the hat designers (Halston, Adolfo, Frank Olive , Suzanne Dache, etc) used our hat bodies. It is ironic that the name that survived in the hats is the name “Henry Pollak”- who did not design hats at all!
        My father did introduce the first non headwear lines of both Halston and Adolfo. I am now the 4th generation member of the family in the business. We are now, no longer in the headwear business. (I import sweaters and coats. But, I did stat my career here selling hat bodies to hat manufacturers. I have traveled to Asia many times , as my great grandfather did- to bring fashion to the new world. I hope this has helped you, finally, to solve the mystery of Henyy Pollak.

        1. Tom, Thank you for taking the time to address many of my unanswered questions. It was such a thrill to get your comment. I can’t wait to tell my family in the morning as they had to hear me talking about it, as I was researching and typing up the blog post. You have a fascinating family history, thank you again for sharing it with me.
          Kind Regards,

          1. Hi Leanne, just wondering if you might know the date if Henry Pollak 100% wool hat, that only references his name & new york; *not Glenover or any other name?

          2. Hello Melissa, I am sorry but Henry Pollak was in business for many years and sold his wool felt to many other companies. I cannot give you any dates more specific than what was in the article or the Tom Pollak provided in his reply to the post. I hope you enjoy the hat regardless of the date. Cheers, Leanne

        2. Dear Tom Pollak

          I wrote down this Henry Pollak Co, New York, Glenover from the inside of one of my grandmother’s hats that I now own. I would love to learn more about the Company and the hat. This information is really fascinating and thank you for it.

        3. Well, my father was (I think) comptroller at Henry Pollak Inc at 1040 Avenue of the Americas New York 18 New York. This sounds consistent with my limited memory….interesting. cd

        4. I’m researching my hat and want to thank you for your family history of Henry Pollak hat bodies!

        5. Loved this story I picked up a hat second hand and u are right! The label of origin is the only make inside. There is also a small square stamp size label that is so small I can’t make out the emblem. Great info thanks I found my hat in buffalo Ny

          1. Hi Juls, Thank you for your comment. Here is a little tip that I hope will help. My smart phone camera is smarter than my eyes. Try taking a picture of the label, the phone can sometimes fill in enough information that your eyes can finally recognize what the label says. It doesn’t always work, but I have used it several times successfully. Good luck. Cheers, Leanne

        6. Estimado Tom

          Hace poco adquirí un suéter con la marca vintage Henry Pollak Inc, quisiera saber si pertenece a los suéter que dices importar y qué fecha de elaboración puede tener. Muchas gracias!

          1. Hello Elena, I don’t know if Tom will see your message, as he is but a visitor to this site. If he does, I have translated your message courtesy of Google translate:
            ****Dear Tom, I recently acquired a sweater with the vintage brand Henry Pollak Inc, I would like to know if it belongs to the sweater that you say you import and what date of manufacture it may have. Thank you!****

            I hope he replies as I do not know about the Henry Pollak sweaters.
            Kind regards,

          2. I love this post! I loved seeing his grandson fill in info too.
            I found a hat at a thrift store in Omaha and was hunting for details. Next up is trying to figure out what the shape of the hat is called, and how to reshape and clean it!

          3. Hello Hannah, I am glad you enjoyed this post. I too was thrilled when Mr. Pollak’s grandson added to the story. When cleaning a hat, use a soft/medium bristle brush first to get the dust and dirt off. Then you can use steam from the kitchen kettle to relax the wool felt and reshape it. You can use towels or crumpled paper to support it while it cools and dries. I hope this helps. Kind regards, Leanne

        7. I bought a hat with a picture after an older lady down the street died. It is just so pretty and delicate. No one has small heads like this anymore. I hang it in my bedroom. I was searching for the name Pollack it is so close to my Fathers family name Pollard.
          I had thought about offering it to museum but I do not know the age of the hat only the size tag says 22. I wish I could include a picture of the label it is perfect so is the hat. It has stitching across the top and ribbon with a bow. A brownish color. Any idea where I can find out who and when it was made? I know my kids will put it in the trash when I die. I want it preserved. Thank you

          1. Hello Aunt Duke, You are right, head sizes are increasing. There are still people with smaller head sizes and I think they are terrifically lucky to be able to wear the fabulous older hat styles as they were intended. Pollak supplies so many designers and manufacturers with felt bodies that I have no way of knowing who or when exactly it was made. You can take it to a local museum to see if they would like it for their collection. I may satisfy a niche for them. Worst case, donate to a charity shop as many people would love to have pretty and delicate hat. I hope you enjoy it for many years to come. Kind regards, Leanne

        8. I just picked up a Henry Pollack hat from an estate sale with the country of origin stamp saying “Made in Poland”. I am so glad that nearly 10 years ago Tom Pollack chimed in with this cool history of his great-grandfather. My favorite Milliner is actually in Poland (Zuwika Design), and I have visited the shop in Radomsko. I love fascinating stories like this, especially ones involving family businesses that are still operating in some format with the same family. Thank you for your contribution!

          1. Hi MaryJo, Tom Pollack’s post is one of the highlights of my blogging life. I am glad you enjoyed it also. Cheers, Leanne

  2. It seems I’ve found such a hat myself. The stamp is quite clear, of the Glenover Fawn-tra Felt variation, a simple black hat that looks across between a pork pie and a fedora with a wide brown band sewn in. There is a newer label in the back, white and blue, PASADENA, and below, hidden beneath that inner band, is a label with some sort of stamp or marking and, the letters KN, the number 827366, and IN USE, some sort of other stamp marking, and the number 5. I was originally going to take it apart and turn it into something else, but am now having second thoughts on that account.

    1. Hi David,
      Did you see the comment I received from Tom Pollack? He is Henry Pollack’s great grandson? It sounds like they provided the felts that were used by many different hatters and milliners. Unless there is another special designer label in it, or you love the shape it is currently, my feeling is make it into something you will love. Thank you for sharing. I would love to see a picture of your hat. Perhaps even a before and after. 🙂 Have fun.
      Cheers, Leanne

  3. This was all very enlightening. Thank you all for the information. I, as well, have come across one of these hats belonging to my mother-in-law. I was hoping that I could find something about it and this was way more than I expected.
    I was going to try to get rid of them(have many other hats) on ebay, but now I think I’d like to find a different use or place to put it.

  4. I recently acquired a beautiful emerald green hat with a bow from a garage sale in Paso Robles. The inside has the stamp Glenover Fawn tra-Felt Henry Pollack inc. New York. I don’t know anything about hats but this one is beautiful. I would love to know more about it.
    Thanks, Julia

  5. I recently came across what I thought was a Henry Pollock hat, but after reading your article and comments it is actually a Halston Americana hat. I wish I knew the era or more about the Halston brand, as I am going through hats at my grandmother home. Her claim to fame was she was “The Possessor of 252 Hats”. I would love to share some with you, and you share some knowledge if you are up for it and interested. Just let me know. My email is

  6. I have 5

  7. I have recently purchased an antique fashion doll circa 1870. She appears to be dressed in her original and very detailed silk clothing, which unfortunately is detiorating rapidly. Upon her head is the most beautiful little hat complete with silk ruffles, silk tulle and silk flowers. On examination of the hat, the hat form is felt and stamped in the crown is Pollack and 100% wool. This intrigues me as it appears that the company was not around in the late 1800’s so is her costume a later addition…..

  8. So glad I found this! I just picked up a hat from an antique store that says Glenover fawn tra felt inside! I wonder how old it is!

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      Unfortunately I cannot date your hat within about 90 years. The company started selling the felt bodies around 1917 and seems to have closed in 1990. I don’t know when the Glenover fawn tra line was started or ended specifically. If you discover any more info, please post it. Kind regards, LF

  9. I have a hat I received at an auction for $ 1.00 would love to find info about it inside says Henry Pollock original new York also says Superbe. Anyone help out

    1. SUPERBE is another trademarked name for Henry Pollak Inc., so your hat is no older than 1947, and unlikely newer than 1992, which is quite a range.
      Status/Status Date: EXPIRED 11/3/1992
      Serial Number: 71540578
      Filing Date: 11/8/1947
      Registration Number: 0529707
      Registration Date: 8/29/1950

      I would love to hear if you gather any further clues.
      Kind regards, LF

      1. I was gifted a while back a moldable
        “Holly Park, Hats New York”.

        It is Black with Silver, Red and Green Beads (The large beads the coloring is fading slightly.) & Dainty Green Goose Feather Biot.

        Inside Stamp Reads
        Genuine Velour
        Superbe Registered
        Imported Furs
        Sole Distrubutors
        Henry Pollak CO
        New York

        I was hoping maybe anyone could enlighten me about it?

      2. We got this hat in a box of felt has Hebert Follok stamped inside and has 5th ave New York any history please

        1. Hi Jerry, I don’t have any leads on a Herbert Follok, but the name is oddly similar to Henry Pollak. It leads me to wonder if it was a knock off brand. Another possibility is that the printing has become so distorted over the years that it looks different, and is actually a Henry Pollak. I find that by taking a photo with my digital phone camera, the algorithm often will clarify printing that is unreadable to my eyes. Do you have any idea of the era of the hat? There are still hat makers on 5th Avenue New York. They may have a lead or check the city records for 5th Ave hat businesses from the era of the hat. Also check the box for clues. Good luck. Kind regards, Leanne

      3. Hi! I am impressed with what you were able to find out about her hat and was wondering if you could help me out with finding when my hat was manufactured? If not I understand.

        Anyways it’s a black wool beret. The print on the inside of the beret reads as follows: 100% wool, Glenover, Henry Pollak inc, New York. If you need anything else I’ll try to provide that info but for now that’s the beret. Thanks again, Claire.

        1. Hello Claire, It was super fun looking into Henry Pollak and the following comments from his great grandson and the son of a man who worked for the company. Since they sold felt bodies but did not produce the finished hats it isn’t easy to precisely date the hat as they were in business for over 70 years. I am sorry I don’t have time to track down info about your specific hat, but if you do get info, please feel free to comment again as quite a few people find this post when tracing old felt hats. Best of luck. Leanne

  10. I have a Pollack. Can’t find the same one anywhere on the web. Wondering the history or story on it.
    Anyone who could help would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hello Sandra,
      Have you had a chance to read some of the previous posts? Henry Pollak Inc. sold the felt hat bodies to a variety of designers starting around 1917 for over 70 years. Which means you have a broad range years and designers. Do you have any other information to share about your hat? There were several trade marked names on the stamps used on the felts which could help narrow the age range a little.
      Kind regards, LF

  11. I have just acquired 2 Henry Pollak hats.
    Both have a diamond stamp with “Made in USA” on top, “Selkirk 100% Wool” inside, and then the “Henry Pollack Co., Distributor, Fifth Avenue NY” under. Any idea which milliner made these? They are very both elegant with minimal feather adornment.

  12. I have a hat which I have owned for years. I found it at an auction. What I am able to make out on the stamp is
    Henry Pollack, Inc.
    New York

    1. Hi Brandi, Although there are a surprising number of “Ritz” hats on the internet, many claiming to be 1950’s era. I didn’t find the Henry Pollak trademark for the name which could have narrowed the time frame a bit more. Ritz would be a name of a line of felt hoods that a different company would have purchased from Henry Pollak, Inc. Those hoods or Capelines would have been later made into a finished hat. The first felt trademark was in the 1930’s, so it is not earlier than 1931. There is a trademark for straw braid in the 1920’s. If I come across anything more specific I will let you know. If you find anything, I would appreciate if you would let me know also. Good Luck. Leanne

  13. I just bought a beautiful black wool hat at an estate sale. In the crown is stamped Ritz, Henry Pollok, 100% Wool, New York. The designer’s label is Valerie Modes. Having read your post, I will hold it a little closer to my heart and enjoy wearing it even more.

    1. Hi Linda, I am glad you found information in this post interesting. I also appreciate knowing a little about treasures I’ve found. Enjoy your new hat. Cheers, Leanne

  14. Hi
    This is Tom Pollak. I thought I might be able to clear up some stuff. I’m delighted to see the interest in “Henry Pollak”.
    A- There were two Henry Pollak in the hat business. The first was my great grandfather- and the second was his grandson and my dad.
    B- Neither designed hats. They were importers of “hat bodies “
    The conical forms that were sold to milliners, who then blocked them into finished hat shapes. The label inside each hat was required by customs on imported wool and fur felt hat bodies.
    C Leanne was correct. The first hat products my great grandfather imported were straw braids at the opening of the twentieth century.
    D As the millinery trade started shrinking- my father diversified and started other businesses, including sweaters, wigs and handbags. He introduced the first apparel lines of two millinery designers: Halston and Adolfo who were both very big in the 1970s.
    E In 1973 when I joined the company as the 4th generations representative – the hat business was quite small. A decade later we were out of it completely. But our sweater business and other businesses continued successfully for more than 4 decades.
    F- I am very sad to report that my dad, Henry Pollak II, passed away last Thursday after having lived a wonderful 96 years. I was so grateful to have him as a father mentor partner and friend.

    1. Hi Tom,
      My condolences on the passing of your father. Wow, 96 is a good long run. I am sure he will be sorely missed. I am thankful that he has left a wonderful legacy as the foundation of many lovely hats that still fascinate and excite people today. Thank you for your comments and clarification on your family business. Peace to you and your family.

    2. Hi Tom,

      I worked at a warehouse in L.I.C for Henry Pollack Inc. when I was a kid 15-16 yrs old with my cousin James back in the early 80’s. I remember all the sweaters that came in. It was one of my first experiences working. Was this your dad that I am remembering was at that warehouse at that time?

  15. I have a question. I just bought a 14″ Toni Doll, I guess from around the 1950’s. She was wearing a Black Wool Hat with the Henry Pollak Glenover White Stamp/markings on the inside. How rare is this Hat? Thanks for any info. I was about to list it on eBay but thought I should try to get some info first. That’s how I found this page.

    1. Hi Trudy,
      I did not realize that even doll manufactures used the Henry Pollak felts for dolls hats as well. This is a great new piece of information. I don’t know how rare it is. Maybe this will prompt some who knows more to post a reply.
      Thanks for posting.

  16. I have a felt hat with grosgrain ribbon similar to those pictured above, made in the late 40s/early 50s by my grandmother, a milliner, with the Henry Pollak/Glenover stamped inside. I don’t know what shop or factory she worked in, but I do know she was in the union! I would love to donate it to a museum or collection–I will try Portland!

    1. Hi Elizabeth, How lucky you are to have a grandmother who was a milliner. Were you able to find a home for the hat in a Portland museum or collection? There were a lot of Henry Pollak/Glenover felts sold to hat makers (manufacturers), so there may be loads of similar hats. A museum will generally only take a piece if it fills a missing element in their collection (era, design, maker, historical significance, etc.) You never know what they are looking for so it is good to enquire. Good luck. Kind regards, Leanne

  17. I’m trying to find the value of my Adolfo ii new York hat but I’m having trouble even finding a website to look it. Please can someone help me?

    1. Hi Samantha, You have your work cut out for you. I don’t know how you go about getting a hat evaluated. Perhaps an auction house or a costume/fashion museum may have contacts. There are some Adolfo II hats on Etsy with prices between £19 – £120, where as on 1stDibs the prices are significantly higher (and in USD$). Things to consider – quality of materials, condition of hat, wearability, rarity and providence (what is the story behind the hat, was it worn by someone notable, or featured in a painting or other piece of art?) Good luck, I’d love to know if you find a good source for hat evaluation. Kind regards, Leanne

    1. I love thrifting for hats and clothes. Last Saturday we found some good stuff at Atika off Brick Lane London. I am not a fan of fast fashion but I do like variety and unusual layering. Thanks for the link

  18. So I actually have a beret that I recently got in an antique store and I’ve been searching for the time it was made. It is in good condition and I can read the label. The label on the inside of my hat says: 100% wool, (next line) glenover (next line) Henry Pollak inc (next line) New York. I hope that helps some if you are still trying to read the label.

  19. I was the team photographer for the Utah Jazz/NBA for 20 years from 1981-2001. Retired from that and basically did more photography of my grandkids and friends family’s. I often check out our popular Deseret Industries Thrift Store (or D.I. In Utah) to look for old clothes & accessories to use in my photo shoots. About 3 years ago I found a gorgeous child’s hat that thought would look great on my 8-year granddaughter, Ava. It is a navy blue felt hat with ribbon & little crystal studs on the crown. Inside is has the Henry Pollak stamp “Superbe” and “Genuine Velour”. Also a sewn rim label says “Valerie Modes”. Anyway I love your article about the Pollak hat materials and I have a new appreciation for my fun little hat; I plan to keep it in my memorabilia collection and maybe pose more grandkids using this hat which especially Ava who is now 11, loves!

    1. Hi Norman, When I received your comment I was watching the Netflix series, The Last Dance. It was a little eerie to have your post appear. I don’t follow much basketball, but loved playing as a girl.

      I did a quick look about for Valerie Modes hats and it looks like she was making from 1930s-1960s, approximately. She was not faithful to Pollak felts as I noticed some felt hoods were by another company, Merrimac.

      Vintage hats are always fun, at least I think so. I hope you enjoy many photoshoots featuring hats. Maybe Ava will be a hat lover, thanks to you. Everyone needs to wear more hats. 🙂

      Thank you for sharing more Pollak clues.

  20. In cleaning out a relatives home, we found 3 Kutz hat boxes with about 9 hats inside. The Pollak name inside one led me to this thread but the interior stamp in the hat hasn’t been mentioned yet. It APPEARS to read “Melosine”. It also has a Kutz label and a Union Made tag from the United Hatters of North America. Any idea what the location stamp means?
    I’m happy to send pix if needed.

    1. Hello Lori, Thank you for posting your question. As you have likely gathered, the Pollak name refers to the felt base company. They sold wool felt as fur felt bases. Kutz would be the brand that designed the hat. Then it was made by the United Hatters of North America. The Melosine name I expect refers to the type of fur felt hood that is used. The current term is Melusine and refers to a long haired fur felt. Are the hats a bit more furry or fluffy than a man’s felt hat? What fun to discover a 3 treasure boxes of hats! Enjoy, Leanne

    1. Hello Carrington, Thank you for posting your question about Peachfelt. I am glad you found my research interesting. Peachfelt is also known as Peach Bloom or Velour. It is style of fur felt hat body that refers to having a slightly short fuzzy texture. It is not as fuzzy as the Melosine (Melusine or Melasine) which was asked about in the previous comment. I expect your hat has a little hairy texture which is almost velvety. That is unless it has been polished which is when it is repeatedly pressed/rubbed in a single direction with some heat causing the little hairs to lie flat and become smooth and shiny. I hope this helps. Kind regards, Leanne

  21. I don’t have the time to read through all the comments but did read a few and the most important clue was from Henry Pollak’s relative. I think I have an important piece to the puzzle too, if there hasn’t been this reveal already; but my Ritz hat still has the original store tag on it and it is from….Sears! I think Sears is the millinery. Why? My tag states “Sears Fashion Millinery” I think Henry Pollak Co. supplied the material and Sears cranked out the designs. Try to find your hat in an old Sears catalogue. This is possibly part of the solve as Pollak & Co could have sold their material to other companies too. But I think the Ritz brand is from Sears.

    1. Hi Cory, Thank you for adding to the knowledge base regarding the Henry Pollak felts. To summarise, at least some Ritz brand made hats were sold through Sears and made with Henry Pollak felts. Old Sears catalogues are so much fun to look through, especially the hats. I appreciate you taking the time to share this info. Kind regards, Leanne

  22. I just found my long lost (and now completely smooshed) 100% Wool Glenover Helnry Pollak Co. New York hat. I’m sad that it’s lost its shape, is covered in pet fur, and the inside wire broke. Sigh. Anyway, I bought this at a vintage store probably 15 years ago, and the label on the brim was missing. I’d love to know which hat model this is, so if you feel like doing more Henry Pollak, Private Investigations work, please let me know and I’ll send you pictures!

    1. LadyOdie, Thanks for the comment. I am sorry to hear your poor hat has been so abused. I am sure with a little TLC it will come back to life. I love seeing hats and you are welcome to send me a photo, but there were so many different designers and manufactures who used the Henry Pollak felt bodies, I would not be about to figure out which model it is. Good luck on your restoration efforts. Kind regards, Leanne

  23. Hi Leanne, I too have a fascination for hats and love to wear them. Yesterday I was in a charity shop in Redhill, Surrey. UK. There I picked up my first HP hat which is small but beautiful. Triangular black 100% wool with cream edges and a large bow and face veil in black. Also an elastic band presumably to go under the hair.I can’t be sure, but does this sound 40’s to you (I could send a photo)?

    1. Gemma, Your hat sounds lovely and super fun to wear. You are right, elastic is usually intended to be hidden under the hair. I don’t know hat eras well enough to be of much help. 40’s would be WWII and post war, where many hats were small and versatile. You are welcome send me a photo, I always love to see hats, but I cannot authenticate the age. Kind regards, Leanne

  24. I bought myself a hat at the thrift– 2 dollars. A beautiful black felt beret. I had no idea it’s history would be so intriguing! The label reads:
    Fawn Tra-Felt
    Henry Pollak, Inc.
    New York
    100% Wool
    and the only tag reads:
    Union Made
    NE 935556
    IN U.S.A. (illegible stamp) 6
    Interestingly the blocking was once a nice orange color. I love my hat. I hope any of this information was useful to you. Thank you for helping me learn more about my hat.

  25. This whole thread was fascinating! I just bought some vintage Tally-Ho Creation Henry Pollak, Inc sweaters that are wonderful so I looked for information on the brand. Many thanks for all the information from you and Tom Pollak. It’s so much better to know where my vintage clothing comes from.

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