October 6th is International Mad Hatter’s Day, so designated as a reference to the card in the character’s hat band; as shown in John Tenniel’s original illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland.
The card in question reads: “In This Style, 10/6” meaning that his milliner would create; for you; a similarly styled hat for the princely sum of Ten Shillings and Sixpence, old money.
The idea of celebrating Mad Hatter’s Day originated in 1986 with a group of computer-folk in Boulder, Colorado; hence the 10/6 date transcribing as October 6. Indeed, if it had originated on Carroll’s home shores, we would be celebrating on the 10th of June!!
The day dedicated to celebrating silliness gained popularity in both computer networks and wider circles, subsequently being recognised as an official holiday in 1988.
Why “As Mad As A Hatter”?
The term As Mad As A Hatter is purported to be based in some historical fact. 18th & 19th century hatters, or milliners, were subjected daily to large amounts of toxic fumes.
The mercury salt solution which felt was soaked in before being moulded to shape, often by hand, could well have induced mercury poisoning; a condition affecting the nervous system and producing symptoms such as involuntary twitches & trembling. You can see why the sufferer may well appear deranged to an onlooker!
“Anyone can go by horse or rail, but the absolute best way to travel is by hat.”
Why not celebrate this frabjous day by donning one of these and making your muchness a little muchier…
- What about channelling your inner Cowgirl with a cute Straw Cowboy Hat?
2. You could even try a replica Mad Hatter’s Hat available to order from Burrellios on etsy for £34.50 plus shipping.
4. Or what about a pretty little Tea Party Top Hat from DivineHatDesigns, also on etsy.
5. And finally, a White Dalek Beanie Hat