In 2009, On Campus News will devote the back page to photos and stories about the weird and wonderful things that have, over the years, found their way to the University of Saskatchewan. A search of storage closets, display cases and back rooms has already turned up a number of note-worthy treasures. If you know of something that has a great story, would make a great photo or is just plain weird and wonderful, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 966-6610.
Photo by Colleen MacPherson
If you ever find your cavalier's hat is a bit tight and wish it were a half-size larger, or if you ever feel like turning a felt fedora into a cowboy hat, the tool you need for the job can be found in the costume studio of the Department of Drama.
The AMCO electric hat stretcher shown here is of indeterminate age but was donated to the department in 2006 by Haleh Samimi of Saskatoon. Beverley Kobelsky, a sessional lecturer and the head of wardrobe in the department, explained that to stretch a hat, the hat is placed over the metal form and a heating element inside warms the felt. The form is then expanded to the exact size required. The same process is used to reshape a hat, which can then be held in shape by the form until the felt cools.
Unfortunately, the hat stretcher was loaned out once and, when it was returned, the heating element no longer worked. Replacement parts could not be found so Kobelsky simply steams hats before placing them on the stretcher. And it's a process she does often because apparently the heads of young actors these days just keep getting bigger and bigger.