Columbia's Easter Bonnet from 1901
This is quite the fashion statement from the cover of Puck Magazine in April of 1901— The battleship chapeau probably reflects the Spanish American War which had started in 1898 with the sinking of the battleship Maine in Cuba and ended in 1902 with the United States annexing the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Guam. It was Spain’s last vestige of empire and Americas debut on the global stage. I suppose the New York glitterati of the time were quite proud of the newfound military might and political power— so why not a gun turret of a hat? It makes quite a political statement as well.
Puck Magazine was a cutting edge, witty and fashionable magazine from 1871 when it started to 1918 when the last issue appeared. It became well known for biting political satire and witty political cartoons. This cover featuring Columbia’s Easter war-bonnet was probably an example of the latter.
Whatever— it’s quite a hat and makes quite a statement about what America wanted in 1901. It would have made a fetching addition to New York’s Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue that year. Like they say: “the more things change, the more they remain the same.”