Historical information

A hat pin is a decorative pin for holding a hat to the head, usually by the hair that was styled in a Chignon or French Roll style and usually worn in a pair. They are typically around 20 cm in length, with the pinhead being the most decorated part. The hatpin was invented to hold veils in place, and was handmade. Birmingham, England was the centre of production when demand eventually outgrew the number that could be supplied by hand-making and they also began to be imported from France. In 1832, an American machine was invented to manufacture the pins, and they became much more affordable. During the 1880s, bonnets gave way to hats, some of which were very large and the popularity of hatpins soared. In the Victorian era, when appearance was everything, it just wouldn't do for a fashionable lady's hat to blow off in the wind. They remained a standard women's' accessory through the 1910s and were produced in a vast range of materials and types. Hat pin holder boxes were also produced.
One of the most well-known makers of hatpins is silversmith Charles Horner, of Halifax, whose turn of the century jewellery company became a leader in the market by creating a series of mass-produced pins that were still of exceptional quality. As a result, thousands of Horner's pins are still on the market and on display in museums worldwide.
Women of the 1920’s used hat pins as decoration on their Cloche hats that fitted snugly to their heads.


The women of the pioneer families liked to dress up in their best hand made dresses and fashionable hats for Church gatherings and special occasions as a relief from the daily chores of hand washing, ironing with flat irons and cooking over open fires.

Physical description

2 lady's long steel hat pins with sequents in a flower design on mauve material