Hats replaced bonnets as headwear for women around the 1890s and hat pins were needed to secure the hats firmly; they were essential for the larger hats worn around 1910 12. The hat-pin industry expanded rapidly, producing pins of many materials, styles and qualities. Hat pins were necessary for everyday wear as well as for sports and motoring. Suffragettes used them as offensive weapons and were not allowed to wear them when they appeared in court. Bye-laws prohibited hat pins from being worn with protruding unprotected points and contemporary cartoons poked fun at their use. Prices in the early days ranged from one old penny to several pounds, but the hat pins of the Edwardian period have now become collectors items.
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Eve Eckstein and June Firkins have been collecting hat pins for many years. June Firkins is a member of the Hat Pin Society of Great Britain and gives talks on hat pins and other related fashion items.
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