NORWALK, Conn -- The Mayor's Gallery at Norwalk City Hall will present a special program honoring the hat-making industry on Monday.
The Mayor's Gallery reception will begin at 3:30 p.m., at Norwalk City Hall at 125 East Ave. in room 236, according to a press release.
"Norwalk has played host to some impressive industries over the years and one of the largest ones was hatting," representatives said in the release. "Whether it was the proximity to New York City, the fashion of the times, or the insatiable demand for headwear, the milliners of the time found their hay day right here in Norwalk."
Representatives said the local production of hats started in the "colonial era and continued into the 1970s when the industry eventually relocated out of the area," according to the release.
"Multiple hat companies set up shops from the 18th century to the 1960’s that employed thousands of people in Norwalk," representatives said in the release. "Some of the notable companies were Knox, Cavanagh, Dobbs, Knapp-Felt Hats, and Dunlap. It was the largest industry Norwalk ever had employing an estimated 35,000 to 40,000 people at its height."
The Mayor's Gallery exhibit is set to offer "examples of hats and accouterments which are part of the collection of the City of Norwalk," according to the release.
The History Room of the Norwalk Public Library will provide historical photographs for the exhibit sponsored by the Norwalk Arts Commission and supported by the Cultural Arts Commission of Connecticut with exhibition services donated by Rockwell Art and Framing, according to the release.