Hat Lore

Treasure in the Attic: Miss Newton's Hat Shop

Woman's Cloche
From Miss Newton's Hat Shop
Petrolia, Ontario
late 1920s
CMC D-6876

Miss Katherine Newton created hats for the women of Sarnia and Petrolia, Ontario for over thirty years, starting around 1915. In her shops, Miss Newton herself would cut and sew, steam and shape, trim and decorate ladies' hats, as well as importing the latest ready-made fashions from Toronto and New York.

When Miss Newton died in 1968 at the age of 85, a cache of some 500 hats was discovered in the attic of her home in Petrolia. This was old stock from her store, and some of the hats still had their price tags. The Canadian Museum of Civilization purchased these hats, the majority of which date from the 1920s. This extensive collection provides important information about the millinery trade in Ontario, as well as a visual and tactile impression of the kinds of hats that were popular in Ontario in the first half of this century.

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