You'll recognize this type of flat-brimmed "campaign" hat from modern-day drill sergeants and State Troopers, or Boy Scout leaders of yore:
But you've probably never seen the storage object used to keep that brim perfectly flat:
Colloquially called a hat press, it was designed to be hung on the wall and is an early-20th-century example of "offline considerations" from manufacturers. Hanging the hat on a regular hook might allow the brim to deform, whereas this Masonite object would help preserve it.
Some were not as fancy. This rectilinear version was more economical: Less labor and materials to make, and thus cheaper.
Some modern-day versions have declined in design quality. This $30 Stratton Hats Brim Press skimps on contact surface area (my guess is that the bottom pieces are cut nested to save on material) and requires the user fiddle with four wingnuts:
On the other hand, this $80 version by Mercury Tactical Gear is thicker (made from MDF), heavier and hinged:
As always, buyers can turn to Etsy for bespoke, laser-etched versions. Woodkraft of Dalton makes these $180 versions out of plywood:
It seems like the new ones are either cheap junk or pricey overkill, with nothing in between, which I feel is becoming common in the product design space. It seems even our buying choices are now polarized.
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