The Hatpin Craze of the 20th Century
In the 20th Century, women were known for wearing extravagant hats with even more extravagant hatpins. The photo above shows just a few of the hatpins we have on display at the museum. Hatpins were, for a time, protested and asked to be banned by male protesters.
On May 28, 1903, Leoti Blaker boarded a crowded stagecoach and found herself next to an older gentleman. The gentleman proceeded to assault her sexually, and Blaker, not taking any of this, took out her hatpin and stabbed her attacker in the arm.
Eventually, these women defending themselves with their hatpins became more common, and started what was known as the "Hatpin Peril", where men protested the use of hatpins in fear that they would themselves be attacked for assaulting women. This idea, of course, never came to fruition, and was a shining example of early feminism.
For more information on this "Hatpin Peril", please visit this website -