Category:
Headgear

Hair Rental—You know it makes sense

These hair rental ads ran for about five years in British papers. So I assume the company must have done decent business.

I've heard of wig rentals, but for some reason the idea of toupee rentals seems weirder.

Sunday London Mirror - Mar 11, 1973

Posted By: Alex - Tue Dec 06, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Business, Headgear, 1970s, Hair and Hairstyling

Cosmic Vision Helmet

Not a bad toy, but the advertising claims sure laid it on thick.

This is magic! You put on this helmet and nobody, but nobody can tell who you are, but you can see everybody and everything!

This sensational discovery is as new as the hydrogen bomb! As exciting as a ride through space. Makes you a super space cadet.


Boy Illustories - Nov 1953



via Flickr

Posted By: Alex - Thu Dec 01, 2022 - Comments (5)
Category: Toys, Headgear, 1950s

The Aquamen

The Aquamen are part of Machtiern, a French theater company. They wander around in public wearing fishbowl helmets, with live fish swimming around inside the helmets.

Details from the Telegraph:

In their "bubbles", the artists pose "fundamental questions about our ability to enter into contact with others when barriers are erected".

But wearing a fishbowl is not for the faint-hearted, Mr Manini told the Telegraph.

"It's a bit like wearing a reverse diving bell," he said, adding that it took years to perfect to avoid leaks around the neck with each bowl and suit moulded to the individual performer.





Posted By: Alex - Tue Nov 08, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Performance Art, Fish, Headgear

The Miss Black America Crown

The Miss Black America beauty contest was launched in 1968 to protest the lack of black women in the Miss America pageant. There's nothing weird about that. But what is a bit odd is the crown that was introduced in the second year of the contest. It looks like miniature Christmas ornaments on sticks, or extraterrestrial antennae.

There must have been a reason for this unusual crown, but I haven't been able to find any info about it. Perhaps the contest organizers thought it looked more modern and space-age?

It was used for three years and then, in 1972, the contest reverted to a more traditional crown. Again, no explanation given that I can find.

Gloria O. Smith, Miss Black America 1969



Stephanie Clark, Miss Black America 1970



Joyce Warner, Miss Black America 1971

Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 19, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Headgear

Lightning Rod Hat

AKA "Le chapeau paratonnerre." Details from Amelia Soth on JStor Daily:

According to the popular science writer Louis Figueir, all the excitement about the new knowledge of electricity led to an odd trend: in his recounting, Paris in the 1770s saw a fad for ladies’ lightning-rod caps, trimmed with metallic thread connecting to a cord that dragged along the ground. The (extremely flawed) theory was that the cord would carry a lightning bolt harmlessly away from the wearer. He also writes of a lightning-rod umbrella proposed by one of Ben Franklin’s acolytes, Jacques Barbeu-Dubourg. The umbrella would be surmounted with a metal pole and trail a silver braid to bear away the charge.

image source: wikimedia



A more recent version of a lightning-rod hat:

Tampa Bay Times - Aug 16, 1975

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 21, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Headgear, Weather, Eighteenth Century

Las Floristas Headdress Ball

It seems that this charity group does not do the annual Headdress Ball any longer. But we can still marvel at the past.


See more photos here.
















Posted By: Paul - Thu May 05, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Charities and Philanthropy, Fashion, Headgear, Twentieth Century, Twenty-first Century

Bird-Cage Earrings Containing Live Birds

Worn by actress Shary Marshall - Apr 1967. Designed by Lynda Bird Johnson, daughter of President Johnson. The cages contained Australian Snow Finches.

The Orlando Sentinel - Apr 1, 1967



They would pair well with this bird hat that we've previously posted about (worn by actress Jane Bough in 1968).

Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 23, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Fashion, Headgear, 1960s

Pac-Man Hat

From Stephen Jones Millinery, Spring 2009.





via gastt_fashion

Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 12, 2021 - Comments ()
Category: Headgear, Videogames and Gamers

William Redgrave’s Safety Travelling Cap

The British patent office granted William Redgrave two patents. The first (No. 2888 - 1853) was for a "safety travelling cap". The second (No. 762 - 1859) was for a "pillow travelling cap". However, the two patents seem to describe the same invention. They just emphasize different uses for it.

Redgrave's patented cap consisted of three air-tight, circular tubes that would wrap around a wearer's head. His idea was that this would provide a measure of safety for travelers, because if the traveler fell the inflated tubes would cushion his head:

Thus, should a person wearing it be violently thrown against the sides of a railway carriage or in contact with a person on the opposite seat to him, or be thrown from a carriage, chaise, or any other conveyance, his head is perfectly secure from injury.

The cap could also serve as a pillow (thus, the second patent):

A person wearing the cap can repose with the greatest comfort in any position, quite as well as if he had a pillow placed beneath his head, and is werewithal as light as any ordinary cap; it is excellently adapted for travellers to and residents in hot climates, forasmuch as they can throw themselves on the deck of a vessel or anywhere else, and enjoy a most comfortable repose.

Finally, Redgrave noted that the cap was "an excellent invention for lunatics." Presumably because lunatics might fall over a lot. Or hit their head against a wall.

Unfortunately Redgrave provided no drawings of his safety cap.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Nov 04, 2021 - Comments ()
Category: Inventions, Patents, Headgear, Nineteenth Century

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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