What's that? There…on top of your head! Is it a cap? A helmet? A chapeau? A fedora? Whatever you call them, we humans love to wear hats!
Have you ever thought about how hats came to be? Who was the first person ever to think, “Hmm…I think I'd like to walk about today with a fitted piece of material atop my noggin!"?
Of course, no one really knows who first invented hats or when they did so. It was probably one of the first prehistoric humans who first donned an animal skin to protect his head from the Sun and the elements.
Historians can attest to the fact that hats have been around for a long, long time. In fact, hats have played a prominent role throughout the development of civilization. Historians have found hats in the artwork of ancient civilizations, including Egypt, Greece, Rome, and China.
The first hats were probably used for utilitarian purposes, such as protection from nature and weather. It probably wasn't long, though, before hats became both a fashion statement and a status symbol.
For example, ancient artwork from Egypt reveals gods and kings wearing fancy hats. In ancient Rome and Greece, the lowest levels of society were not allowed to wear hats. Upon becoming official citizens, however, they were presented with a hat as a symbol of their newly-achieved status.
Over the ages, hats have been made from just about every material you could think of. One of the first popular materials for hats was probably straw. An ancient painting found on the wall of a tomb in Thebes in ancient Egypt shows a man wearing a straw hat.
Other early hats included simple skull caps, as well as basic hats made out of wool felt. The petasos from ancient Greece was the first hat known to have a brim. It was primarily used to provide shade from the Sun. Over time, hats made out of animal skins, such as the beaver, became popular.
Today, hats can be found in millions of varieties. From sock caps to baseball caps and protective helmets to cowboy hats, it's not uncommon to find a dozen or more different types of hats in a typical home. Their uses today range from protection and function to status symbols and fashion statements. Why do you wear the hats you wear?