Hats from JG Ross

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Hats from JG Ross

These top hats were made for J. & G. Ross, a firm located at 227 - 228 High Street, Exeter.. The firm were very well known and provided a wide range of services. In addition to tailoring, J. & G. Ross were naval and military outfitters, hosiers, glovers, silk mercers, hatters, linen & woollen drapers, and ladies’ & gent’s tailors & habit makers. The top hat originated in France and was first worn in London by the hatter John Hetherington. In doing so he nearly caused a riot and was arrested for wearing a hat which was ‘calculated to frighten timid people’. Soon after this incident the top hat became the 19th century gentleman’s status symbol of wealth and social standing. It also made them look taller, handsome and more refined.