Downtown Statue Celebrates Danbury’s History As The Hat City
A new statue will be unveiled at Danbury's City Hall Monday, with a nod to our past as "The Hat Capital of the World."
The News-Times reports that the sculpture is of a man at work on a hat in a factory. Danbury has a rich history of hat manufacturing. According to the Danbury Museum and Historical Society, we had 30 hat factories in the city in 1887, and, throughout the 1800s, produced more hats than any other place in the world.
As the 20th century moved on, changing fashions and labor disputes led to the closing of Danbury's hat factories one by one. Health concerns over the use of mercury in the hat-making process also contributed to Danbury's hat demise. Connecticut History.Org tells us that mercury exposure led to tremors, slurred speech and muscular difficulty, which is where the term "Mad Hatter" originally came from. The use of mercury in making hats was banned in 1941.
Danbury High School's sports teams are the Hatters, in a nod to the city's past, and as of Monday, the new statue will commemorate the history of the Hat City as well. The unveiling will take place at 4 PM.