Sunday, May 13, 2012

What Killed Hats, and Why Haredim Still Wear Them

Robert Krulwich, whose father was a hat designer, explains what killed the hat for most of modern society:
Until cars became the dominant mode of personal transport, there was no architectural reason to take your hat off between home and office. With Dwight Eisenhower's interstate highway system came cars, and cars made hats inconvenient, and for the first time men, crunched by the low ceilings in their automobiles, experimented with hat-removal, and got to like it.
(HatTip: Andrew Sullivan)

I'm willing to accept the explanation with some good humored reserve. However, the question would then be, why did the Haredim keep wearing hats? the easy and immediate answer would be - because Haredim as a social group drive less cars. This is actually factually true, though not really a likely explanation. The true answer would probably be, the Haredim still wear hats because the rest of us don't.

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