Feature 5 – Home Decor

Section 8 Feature 5 Glass Hat
Fragment from a glass hat whimsy with folded brim formed from bottle (Cat # 8.56.50).

Glass Hat

Two glass fragments of an irregular shape appear twisted and feature the same type of folded edge or rim. These fragments were identified as pieces from the brim of a glass hat, based on comparison with other more complete examples from other parts of the I-95 project. This hat probably started out being blown into a mold for a cylindrical utility or medicine bottle, similar to some of the bottles recovered from this feature. Instead of finishing the neck and lip to form a bottle, the glassblower reshaped the upper portion to create the brim for the hat. 1 Glass hats formed in this manner are known as “whimsies,” since the workers handcrafted them usually not as part of the advertised production of a glassworks. Mid-nineteenth-century glass hat whimsies may have been used as small containers or simply as ornaments to decorate the home.


  1. Ruth Webb Lee, Victorian Glass (Rutland, VT: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1985 reprint from 1944), 328.