Sarah Albee: Murder By Hatpin

From: Sarah Albee
October 08, 2012 at 04:25AM

On Friday I wrote about women’s hats in the early twentieth century. Some hats were gigantic, some small and sassy, worn at a jaunty tilt atop poufy hairdos. Practically all of them had to be affixed to the hair with long, murderous-looking hatpins. Sorry you can’t see from this ad how murderous hatpins looked–it was hard to find a decent picture:

But hatpins weren’t just murderous looking. They were used as actual murder weapons, not only in fictional mystery stories but in real life as well. In one sensational case in Greenwich, CT in 1906, a woman dispatched her husband first by drugging him, and then stabbing him through the corner of his eye (ew) with a long hatpin. It penetrated his brain a good several inches. It took investigators quite some time to find the entry wound on the dead man’s body. Clearly not a crime of passion. She had to be pretty, um, mad at him to first drug him and then situate the hatpin . . . just so.

The women in the pictures above and below are not related to that crime–I just like their hats. But you can see how a hatpin would have come in handy with these hats, especially in a stiff breeze. (I mean to keep it on one’s head–not to murder someone.)



Library of Congress, 1913, LC-DIG-hec-00807

Library of Congress, 1913, LC-DIG-hec-03461

Rodway Studio [Public domain], 1900-1910 via Wikimedia Commons




Posted on October 8, 2012, in Sarah Albee and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Sarah Albee: Murder By Hatpin.

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