This top has is from Toronto in 1880.  It is a black velvet hat with white silk inside.  A black ribbon is tied in a bow at the base of the cover.  Inside is the markers label: Rampart lion within a black circle, James Applegath, made in Toronto and Montreal.

Top hats such as these were traditionally made from beaver pelt but prior to beaver they were made with silk.

Fun fact about top hats: John Hetherington, an English haberdasher, is said to have created and worn the first top hat on January 15, 1797.  According to reports, he caused a riot when he wore this hat causing several ladies to faint, frightened children, and a child was thrown down by the riot and broke his arm.

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