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Hempe, Muetzenmacherei

Article about: Does anyone own a copy of this book?

  1. #11

    Default Re: Hempe, Muetzenmacherei

    or perhaps this one, too.... Peek & Cloppenburg is a going concern, still.

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    damit, basta.

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  3. #12

    Default Re: Hempe, Muetzenmacherei

    Any idea what the set up was in the camps making SS uniforms?

  4. #13

    Default Re: Hempe, Muetzenmacherei

    Quote by OKW View Post
    Any idea what the set up was in the camps making SS uniforms?

    Mollo's Vol VI describes same, somewhat.

    The real source is Kaienburg, SS Wirtschaft, which is excellent on this score.

    Original sources are found in the collection of documents prepared for the Nuremberg trials in 1946-1948.

    There are other sources in German that I have cited in countless postings here and elsewhere.

    The images are from the Fa. Peek & Cloppenburg in Berlin.

    The book and the tools are from western Germany, though they are not my property.
    damit, basta.

  5. #14

    Default Re: Hempe, Muetzenmacherei

    By some twist of fate, I have now been able to examine this Hempe book on caps, and it is highly interesting. Its owner was a woman from the Ruhr/Rhein area. And, to be sure, if the contemporary faker got hold of it, its text would flummox such figures for a goodly while. Many of the aspects of the hat making craft are described, but in such a way that only an expert in such work ca. 1935 would recognize same. An outsider without a professional knowledge of tailoring in Germany at the beginning of the 2oth century will be at a total loss. The book also substantiates a lot of what is in Wilkins, actually. Hempe also refutes most of the received wisdom and hat archeology doctrines and dicta that operate in websites as concern these things. That is, the book emphasizes the role of the crafts even in those firms that operated on an industrial basis. The book is especially interesting on said score. One salient point about SS caps contained therein is the use of a system of Proben (see below) by the procurement office of the VASS , that is, the finished examples, which for all intents and purposes were the pattern in 3 dimensional and fabric form to be reproduced and then judged by the procurement officials for the quality of work. The book makes reference to the difficulties of this process in an intriguing and pleasing way. The book is from 1935 and reflects the impact of the advent of the Nazi regime on cap makers, but one has to read between the lines.

    I thank the owner for the chance to examine this volume and assure my readers here that the book poses no threat to their collections.

    Happy headwear.

    PS Maederer has just such a August Mueller Probe (with the RZM MPA seal) of an SS cap for sale, which no one seems to want....
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    damit, basta.

  6. #15

    Default Re: Hempe, Muetzenmacherei

    F-B, I am relieved to learn that the book is in good hands. 99% of the problem in this hobby is that lack of primary source material.
    Whereas the edged weapons manufacturers left reams of the same (whether adversting materials, business records and documentation of the manufacturing process), the hat makers left us none, or it is simply rotting away in an attic somewhere. We, unfortunately, are left to guess, speculate, and conjecture by the use of surviving examples.

    I once had a philosophy professer tell me that he could learn more in a day with Plato than in all his entire lifetime of education.
    I believe the same to be true with this hobby--just one day with the Muetzenmacher would answer most of the mysteries of this confounding hobby. In the meantime, the search goes on....

  7. #16

    Default Re: Hempe, Muetzenmacherei

    The book is identical in its way to other tailoring books I own. They are written by one craftsman for another, with a huge body of shared knowledge unknown to you and me only in the slightest way. I do not think a faker could make any sense of it, other than for some superficial details. There are few illustrations. It does contain hints of how to make caps properly, but such is a matter of geometry and the character of how one cuts the cloth, in the first instance. Can people today duplicate this skill as it existed then? I am confident that they cannot, because no one has the eight or ten years apprenticeship that is the foundation of this book and its lost world.

    I am going back to Munich and this time I shall ask the Breiter people about all of this. The Uniformenmarkt publication contains some of this. The most interesting things are what the author writes between the lines or in passing about the effect of the Nazis on the regalia crafts and industry, but these allusions to the political and economic context are subtle.

    I repeat: the book explodes the myths that operate on other websites about the standardization of these items in a way that will somehow alleviate the cognitive dissonance that haunts collectors that there is some fool proof way to break the code, as it were. But feeble minds adhere to such dogmas because of the collective refusal to understand an item of the past in its context, in its setting, and as it really was. This book casts light on these things.

    I thought of translating it and republishing it, but I doubt that the effort would merit much, because of how truly arcane it is.

    Mr. C. Stonemint, I shall show it to you if we ever get a chance to meet. I cannot find another extant copy, but I did find a book I shall try to buy when I am next in Germany that is a companion volume.

    Once more, the work also substantiates a lot of what is in Wilkins to the extent that he described the crafts and mechanized production of these items.

    What one should also do is re assemble as much as possible all the machines used in the production of caps (which are many...and listed in Hempe) to gain some understanding of how these things were made.

    Or, you can simply take apart, piece by piece, each one of your ten, or twenty, or thirty caps and you will also learn alot about how these were made. But such has already unfolded in the hands of various historical vandals....

    Sapere aude.
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    damit, basta.

  8. #17


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    damit, basta.

  9. #18


    Our friend from the Salzburger land has scanned the Hempe book and posted it elsewhere for all happy cap makers.

    I am pleased that our fertilization of this soil has resulted in such a harvest.

    - - ------- - -

    I also paid a lot of money for this book, too. I have not found another since, either.
    damit, basta.

  10. #19


    At the rate we are going, we can clone the Reichzeugmeisterei or the Kleiderkasse SS and solve everyone's collector itch.
    damit, basta.

  11. #20


    Hempe is indeed a book made by a specialist for specialists. Following his instrucions results in the early, lower crowns. The more elegant caps of later times cannot be produced with Hempe's book. Having read it for several times (and my native language is German) I only slowly begin to understand what some of the expressions mean, such as Wulsten, Einarbeiten etc. For a German tailor this might be easier but any tailor freely admits that he cannot make a Schirmmütze even with Hempe's book for lack of experience and specialized sewing machines.
    I often wonder where some of the fakers got their skills. When looking at the cap authentication forum I see many almost perfect caps - there must be people out there in the know who do much better than I will ever be able to do. Frustrating! One of my latest efforts (not Hempe but Wehrmachtsschnitt based):
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    Sorry for the askew photo, don't know why it uploaded this way.
    Apart from the fact that hobby cap makers don't even get the right materials, they will never develop the experience/the routine as most of the time they have other things to do than sewing caps. So also this attempt to do a Feldmütze Alter Art which is easier to make than the stiff Schirmmütze will not "einen Hund hinter dem Ofen hervorlocken", leider.
    I discovered one thing, however: when the leather peak/visor is varnished several times quite a thick layer of varnish is on it. This layer is only seemingly hard. Any object that is pressed on this layer for a longer time (such as cap cords etc.) will leave imprints on it and I'm sure after several years the layer will shrink as it did on the original laquered peaks thus pruducing the typical wrinkled surface.

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