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Hatty Birthday 1914-2014: A century of Hats from Pitt Meadows,

Hatty Birthday 1914-2014: A century of Hats from Pitt Meadows

This year the Pitt Meadows Museum and Archives celebrated Pitt Meadows 100th Birthday by creating a centennial room called “Hatty Birthday”. The project is composed of numerous components that tie together to give the viewer an idea of hats, fashion and history from the 1800’s to 2014.

When you first walk in you are introduced to the room by a freshly created “Hatty Birthday” sign, which is an acrylic transfer of vintage filigrees and text surrounded by classical style hats.

Bordering the “Hatty Birthday” exhibit are nineteen hats taken from our object and teaching collection that are arranged by dates starting at the 1800’s and travelling along to 2014. Alongside the hats are photographs and ads that show them in their current periods and trends as they occurred throughout time. Many of these photographs were found in old catalogues as well as the public domain. Framed photographs that were taken from the museum’s collection hang over the piano in vintage frames. Come by and see if you can spot an ancestor or two!

The Museum’s traveling centennial exhibit which was funded by the Government of Canada’s Department of Canadian Heritage allows viewers a glimpse into the past by following a time line of events throughout history from 1914-2014.

Throughout the room you will see paper flowers, which were created for the 2014 Pitt Meadows Heritage Tea. (Below)

These flowers represent classic decorations that would have been used in previous decades and help set the mood for our two guests in the centre of the room: Patch and Minky.

Patch and Minky are our two house mannequins dressed in period costumes that take centre stage in the museum’s exhibit. Patch went through various stages of reconstruction from scrubbing, sanding and spraying which transformed him into the strapping lad he is today.


Around the room are several heads which were brought to life by museum staff and volunteers. Thanks to Jen and her head painting workshop we were able to give these heads realistic characteristics. Some of them are more realistic then others…

If you’re interested in getting gussied up for Pitt Meadows 100th Birthday we have set up a fascinator and bowtie making station where visitors can create their own fascinators in under 5 minutes.

As a special take-away, we have also created an activity Minibook titled “Hatty Birthday Pitt Meadows 1914 – 2014.” This book portrays various styles of hats throughout the decades and includes activities to learn how to draw fedoras, solve word searches and add the final tip of the hat to Patch and Minky.


This exhibit could not have been completed without the visionary expertise of Jen who created the idea behind “Hatty Birthday”. Many other helpers were involved: Ken created the wooden stands used to set the hats on, Sandra came up with the idea of using photo corners to hold the ads and posters. She came up with the design and created enough to hold over twenty images! Julia, Brandy and Jess helped bring the exhibit to life through various tasks: from doing research of the hats in our collection, to pulling pictures from the museum’s archive and stapling, hanging and arranging hats… everyone help contributed to the final “Hatty Birthday” product! A special thanks goes to our Curator Leslie who helped guide the project and provided research assistance.

This exhibit was created in our annually rotating room: Stop by sometime before April 2015 and check it out.