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Hatpins and History

Prized by antique collectors today, hatpins were commonplace, and controversial. As women's hats grew more extravagant in the 19th century, ornamented and jeweled pins, sometimes reaching 14 inches in length, were used to hold these elaborate hats in place. In 1908, an English judge, fearing that the pins could be used as weapons in his court, ordered a group of suffragettes to remove their hatpins and hats. News of this humiliation spurred American suffragettes to wear hats and hatpins as badges of honor.

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