Advert for Henry Heath's Panama Hats
This is an advertisement for panama hats made by Henry Heath, milliner. The Panama hat has been worn since the 16th century when the Incas used the Torquilla plant as the material for their hats. They are made exclusively in Ecuador and an important feature of these hats is that they are all unique; a very good quality hat can take as long as 5 months to weave. They became known as the Panama hat because workers involved in building the Panama Canal wore them to protect themselves from the burning sun. The Panama became one of the most fashionable hats to wear during summer months in the late 1800s and is still worn today.