04-01-2011, 09:50 PM
04-01-2011 09:50 PM
04-01-2011, 10:02 PM
You know full well that I do not mean you, Ben. You are a craftsman and also historically literate. You figured out a way to read UM that surely would have never occurred to me, though I do it the 20th century way as a 20th century man. My point is that you generalize from more data, versus those who over generalize from too little data, and otherwise misinterpret the data anyway because faith as dogma means more to them than knowledge. You embrace knowledge, as you have ably demonstrated here. You see....
My entry to the effect that the very best caps were made at home by craftsmen or craftswomen, where they likely did not have the full suite of Pfaff sewing machines at hand, however, suggests that certain of the hoary generalizations as manifest and resonate on other sites might be open to reinterpretation in a big way. No one on the other sites has bothered to delve into this aspect, nor has anyone got out this snippet I appended above as concerns the piece work, cottage industry aspect of "...die feinsten Uniformmuetzen..."
04-01-2011, 10:06 PM
04-01-2011, 10:14 PM
Also of irritation to me are grotesque errors of fact, terminology, as well as interpretation which the cyber potentates with feet of clay and minds of straw NEVER REVISE AND LEAVE IN PLACE TO DO HUGE DAMAGE.
04-01-2011, 11:05 PM
I was only teasing of course!
I do worry though that we are not engaging as many collectors as we should with this thread.
It's understandable though. To stick your head above the parapet and look beyond the simplistic analogies and theories embedded within this hobby takes mental effort and time, lots of time, which most people who juggle busy modern lives just do not have. This thread is 47 pages long, we probably loose most people at page 5!
It's also understandable that most collectors who have an interest in hats, would just like to better their knowledge of how to determine authentic from fake. That's important of course and should never be ridiculed or belittled no matter what forum they choose to frequent. Without this initial interest, all that we are trying to achieve here is for nothing because no one but ourselves will read it. I do still get many emails a week asking for my help in authenticating or restoring hats. I've yet to get any asking what my impression of Herr Hoffmann was or how do I think the German mutzenindustrie rejuvenated itself or which PFAFF machine was able to sew schirm and schweissleder and paspel with minimum modification and factory down time.
If we are to try and make all this information interesting to anyone else besides ourselves, I think we need a different approach. I've tried in a small way by digitising the text of a few UM articules so that it can be pasted into a translator to at least get a general feeling of what's being said. It's not the proper way to do it, I should be able to read German fraktur but frankly, I don't have the time because horror or all horrors, reading about the German Mutzenindustrie is not the main focus of my life. I'd rather play the drums or go to the pub to be honest and that's what we have to be sympathetic of here when we tend to ridicule others for not wanting to divulge themselves in all the nuances of a dead society and just prefer to collect a few bit of regalia from it because they are aesthetically pleasing.
The more we congratulate ourselves for what we've been able to understand, the more people we loose on the journey.
04-01-2011, 11:19 PM
You are quite right. However, the study of the past is my profession, as you know, and I am a task master with the imperative for self cultivation and improvement as the basis of expertise. Elsewhere the very idea of expertise comes under fire as elitist, or whatever as it poses a threat to dogma and obscurantism proffered by a few to the detriment of the whole. This little fact notwithstanding, you could now take some of these 47 or so pages and chop it up into some headline goals and post it elsewhere. I won't do it, as I prefer to leave the labor in the thing. That is, there is no gain without the self work of figuring it out for one's self without the crutch of the websites. No one has any business being an amateur in the collection of this regalia, since such amateurism will soon end in agony. This generalization especially applies to SS regalia. I do not mean to ridicule anyone save those who have done a lot of damage, in turn, in their ridicule or their systematic misleading of others. Moreover, my bad attitude accumulated over a number of years as a result of others, might I add, which reflects poorly on my patience and character, but which also reflects the horrid state of play on other sites. Much of the cap stitch fairy soap box thing resulted from a lynch mob of dealers, which has not been especially pleasant for anyone. That is, the purported expertise, such as it is, arises from the cyber lynching of dealers (some of whom are plainly crooks, obviously) but such knowledge exists on a sandy foundation in my opinion. To be sure, the dealers did more than fair share to provoke such a blow, but the lynch mob mentality with its mental nooses and snares forms no basis for real understanding. My attitude arose in my disgust at same and out of a desire to separate the search for knowledge from this ugly and grotesque power play typical of the present and its despicable traits.
Also, I am proud of what I have learned and more so of what you have learned, and if people are put off by it, then they have other websites that will make them feel good. I receive private messages each day thanking me for this work, so if some are put off, then I am sorry about it, but there is no compromise with the dictates of historical learning and its rigors. I do not see this all as a hobby, either, but as a very arcane form of our understanding of the past in which these things are sources, they are bits of the past, whose riddles and enigmas cannot be untangled through mental sloppiness and the taking of short cuts. They demand tribute. There is no easily had check list on Wikipedia as to the five chief traits of the German cap, and far less of a short cut to understand the real meaning of these objects at all. If the mentally lazy or easily upturned are deterred by how hard all of this is, they are made easy prey by the fakers and fraudsters who lie in wait for their false hopes and soon to be empty pocket books.
04-01-2011, 11:28 PM
We are of the same mind FB. I'm just very aware that it's just the two of us of taking this forward, for the most part it seems.
I enjoy it all the same!
04-01-2011, 11:33 PM
I hope thats not true Ben, ive been trying to follow all that has been said here and trying hard to understand the complexities regarding the German cap industries and although it is a true minefield for most of us, im glad that you and FB are doggedly engaged in bringing this subject to light, i would dearly love to understand german in order that these documents become more clear to me, and its a great shame that noone has been able to devote the enormous time and patience to translate all that has been written on the subject, i think that would nearly take another lifetime, but just imagine if a be all and end all book be available to everyone, there would definately be fors and against mainly because of the ability of the modern day fakers, to have this resource open to them would lead to absolute chaos in the collecting market, but by all means you and FB carry on enlightening us ,its a privilage seeing two like minded people trying to gain knowledge and pass it on
04-01-2011, 11:33 PM
The shouldering of the burden by you and me represents a form of sublime honor in my opinion. No where else in the whole firmament can such knowledge be gleaned, and I am especially impressed with how you wield the machines of the 21st century to forge the way ahead with this stuff. I am an old man, locked into obsolete habits. But I am an extremist when it comes to the tribute that historical study demands of us. My teachers made me work hard in my time, and I am more grateful now in my declining years for it. If some of this attitude poisons these pages, then, as in the case of Michael Kohlhass, "...I can do no other....."
04-01-2011, 11:39 PM
Thanks for the kind words and your response signifies why we share our understanding (however flawed and limited) here with you. Might I also note that even if one translated all of these things, the fakers of today cannot reproduce the skill, nor the textiles, nor the machines, nor whole cosmos in which these things were made. Almost no one engages in the apprenticeships that formed the basis of this; the masters of the guilds and the master cap makers that we have described here, and, mostly, the people you see in these images are surely 99% all dead, or nearly so, and there world is gone. The fakes are almost always never as good.
Thanks for your response and thanks to Ben for his signal role in all of this. I am grateful to the handful of people interested in all of this and salute you.
It is un-British of me to be so abrupt and perhaps offensive about the others in my posts; and though my father was born in London, I was not; and I am not a gentleman by any means and fundamentally cannot be thus by manifest flaws of birth and temper. But I am a history teacher and very proud of same, which is a fault, too, mind you. You have also rendered me your student, for which I thank you.