An Experiment in Gyro-Hats
by Ellis Parker Butler
The idea of a gyro-hat did not come to me all at once, as some great ideas come to inventors; and in fact I may
say that but for a most unpleasant circumstance I might never had thought of gyro-hats at all, although I had
for many years been considering the possibility of utilizing the waste space in the top of silk hats in some way
or other. As a practical hat dealer and lover of my kind, it had always seemed to me a great economical waste
to have a large vacant space inside the upper portion of top hats, or high hats, or "stove-pipe" hats, as they are
variously called. When a shoe is on, it is full of foot, and when a glove is on, it is full of hand; but a top hat is
not, and never can be, full of head, until such a day as heads assume a cylindrical shape, perfectly flat on top.
And no sensible man ever expects that day to come.
I had, therefore, spent much of my leisure in devising methods by which the vacant space above the head in
high hats might be turned to advantage, and my patents ranged all the way from a small filing cabinet that just
occupied the waste space, to an extensible hat rack on the accordion plan that could be pushed compactly into
the top of the top hat when the hat was worn, but could be extended into a hat and coat rack when the hat was
not in use. This device should have been very popular, but I may say that the public received the idea coldly.
My attention had been for some time drawn away from this philanthropic work by certain symptoms of
uneasiness I noticed in my daughter Anne, and my wife and I decided after careful consideration that Anne
must be in love, and that her love must be unhappy. Otherwise we could not account for the strange
excitability of our usually imperturbable daughter. As a practical hat dealer my time has been almost
exclusively devoted to hats and, as a good wife, my companion's attention has been almost exclusively
devoted to her husband, while Anne was usually so calm and self-contained that she did not t