Behold, the Conformateur! A 19th century hat-fitting device

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12 Responses to “Behold, the Conformateur! A 19th century hat-fitting device”

  1. Stefan Jones says:

     Glue a brass gear and a bit of glass tubing on that and you’ve got a STEAMPUNK hat fitter!

  2. goldenearth says:

    Are you sure this isn’t a combination cheese slicer and chocolate fountain? It would make a great centerpiece at a garden party

  3. Beanolini says:

    What could be better Boing Boing bait than this? How about a conformateur repaired using a 3d printer? http://labricoleuse.livejournal.com/168679.html

  4. Ito Kagehisa says:

    Johann Spurzheim told me this device can also map your personality, mental development and moral faculties.

  5. allybeag says:

    I’d be rather worried if my head turned out to be any of those shapes with the dotted lines …

  6. jlargentaye says:

    Last year, I finally got a fitted top hat from Paul’s Hat Works in San Francisco. I have a rather flat, long head and it’s tough to find a properly sized hat. The girls at Paul’s put that torture device on my head, which traced out the odd and somewhat pear-shaped silhouette of my cranium which they then used as a template to form my hat.

    I now have a perfectly fitting top hat! Once I have the spare change, I’ll get a fedora from them.

    In fact, the story behind Paul’s Hat Works is a cute one, as it was rescued from the brink of disappearance and obsolescence by the fair ladies currently handling it.

    Mainstream fashion has forgotten about proper men’s hats (baseball caps? please), but some of us diehards won’t let go!

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I have a rather flat, long head and it’s tough to find a properly sized hat.

      I have a Frankenstein head, too. Hats are impossible, but I can balance stuff up there really well.

      • dculberson says:

         Fellow monster melon head here.  You should try finding a motorcycle helmet that fits!  I ended up spending over $400.  Ouch.

    • Gordon Meyer says:

      I also had the fine ladies at Paul’s Hat Works make me a hat, last Fall. And going through the conformateur was just one part of the memorable, and very satisfying, process. I even have a photo of my head tracing to remind myself what I look like from above. :)

    • sonk says:

      We made this mini documentary on Paul’s Hatworks for the International Documentary Challenge. It screened at Hot Docs 2011 and won Best Cinematography. http://vimeo.com/20799569

  7. I also had a custom hat made for me (cheap!) in an old shop here in Rosario, Argentina. The elderly gentleman on the shop must have been aware of my surprise when he told me that the procedure wouldn’t hurt me. He used a scrap of thick manila paper to keep the tracing of the head and from it, choose the wooden forms for the hat. The device is somewhat heavy and feels like putting an old typewriter over your head. I should ask for my copy of my headbumps for future reference (wonder if one’s skull shapes changes thru time, like our feet’s shape)

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