Look what we found!

Know Your Hats: A Quick History of Men’s Hats 1790 to Present


The Detroit Historical Society Collection is home to approximately 1,800 hats: Men’s, women’s, children’s, winter, summer, military, formal, casual, etc. These function as a critical part of the larger Costume and Textile collection which, at 20,000 artifacts strong, is the single largest grouping of objects in our holdings. A good chunk of the 1,800 hats were sold from Detroit department stores or were created by local designers, but the majority of them were collected to serve as representatives of certain periods and styles. 

1891 National Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic

In honor of Veterans’ Day, we have unearthed a series of cabinet cards depicting the 1891 National Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic in Detroit.  As the Civil War was just twenty-six years past, the organization’s ranks were sizable, as was the turn out of the crowd.  This first photo of

Back to School

Ah, it’s fall—a time to take in the changing of the leaves, discretely do away with the leftover Halloween candy, and, of course, settle into a new school year.  Recently I was fortunate to be able to work on a box in the Documenting Detroit Collection

The Photogenic Hook and Ladder Company No. 8

Over the past couple weeks we have been scanning a series of boxes of photographs donated to the Detroit Historical Society by the Detroit Fire Department primarily in the mid-1950s.  Within have been a multitude of portraits of chiefs, entire companies proudly posing alongside their early horse-drawn apparatuses, action shots, and even a fe