This bonnet is from America, circa 1850.
Although the straw cloth used at the base of this bonnet is American in invention
and use, the threads used in the crocheted that adds the lace work and
connects the bandings are probably Swiss. No hard evidence exists that
threads were made in American. Additionally, on the straw cloth Swiss style
"Speuerli" hat elements were attached. (See the Swiss Straw Lace tour for more
explanations on hat elements.)
While the bandings and straw cloth are
traditional American work for the early hat and bonnet trade, it is likely
that the threads and hat elements were imported from Europe with Switzerland
being the most likely place for their origin.
The first patent awarded a woman in America went to Mrs. Woodhouse in 1806 for her method of weaving straw cloth.
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