Episode 9 – Henry the Hatter – History & Haberdashery

Digging Detroit meets Paul Wasserman, owner of Henry the Hatter on Broadway in Detroit, whose father Seymour purchased the haberdashery from the original Henry in the early 1950s and suddenly moved his family from New York.

Owner, Paul Wasserman with Digging Detroit's Pete Kalinski

Owner, Paul Wasserman with Digging Detroit’s Pete Kalinski

Hats and history go hand-in-hand as Wasserman shares the ups and downs of hat popularity as well as the trending of headwear from straw hats, caps, bowlers and fedoras to President Eisenhower’s decision to choose a Homburg for his second inauguration instead of a top hat to reflect the troubling economy.

Also a look at how President’s Kennedy’s too-small hat ended hat-wearing for two generations–until Kid Rock, Paul Harvey and an uptick in downtown Detroit business and major construction on the block has made business challenging for Paul, despite the resurgence in hats.



The old and the new



Paul discusses his father advising Eisenhower on the Homberg for his second inaugural.



Henry the Hatter exterior copy


Henry the Hatter’s earlier location.


Jack Dempsey at Henry the Hatter

Jack Dempsey at Henry the Hatter


Host: Pete Kalinski
Guest: Paul Wasserman, owner
Camera/Editing: Kevin Walsh
Produced by: Pete Kalinski, Thomas J. Reed, Jr., Kevin Walsh

Link:  https://www.henrythehatterdetroit.com/

Images courtesy of the Burton Collection, Detroit Public Library

Copyright 2015
Digging Detroit Productions




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