miner’s hats

Miners wore hats made of felt which was hardened with resin or clay to protect their heads underground. Some of these have survived because they were left in mines and are now in museums (e.g. Ceredigion Museum, Aberystwyth). They are also found in Cornish mines from where, it is said, they were introduced to Wales.

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Two examples of miner’s hats in Ceredigion Museum, Aberystwyth.

They are shaped like bowler hats, with rounded tops and a narrow, often slightly curved brim on which a candle was placed when working in the dark.

No hats of this shape, during the late 19th and early 19th century, made only of felt, are known to have survived