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Israeli-made 'hitelmacher' hat, green denim /w chin cord, circa. 1950s
Item code: 0120007

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Israeli Army (IDF) 'Hitelmacher' hat, circa. early-mid 1950's. An example of one of Israel's first and unique pieces of military headwear (the other piece would be the ubiquitous 'sock hat' - the "Kova Gerev"): a light-green denim cap with drop-down sides at the back, to protect the wearer's neck from the sun. This example has the green colored leather chin-strap cord on the front, held by two plain green (un maker-marked) metal buttons; the drop down flap is folded and hooked to the buttons with stretch bands. It is also fastened to the hat by metal hooks at the top of the flaps. The inside has a brown leather liner; the maker's identity is printed on a diamond-shaped paper label with transparent plastic on top, stitched to the inside top of the cap - the plastic cover is largely missing and much of the print on the paper is gone: the make is from "Nachlat Binyamin St. 23 A" in Tel Aviv. The cap is in excellent, preserved physical condition though it has mud spots, mostly on the right side of the cap.

Hats of this type were originally manufactured in New York for the new-born Israeli Army, and were produced by a Jewish business using the Yiddish phrase "Hitelmacher" ('Hat Maker') in their name - the name stuck, and hats of this type then and since have been referred to as 'Hitelmacher' hats. This one is of an Israeli make, hence the estimated later date for its use. Inside, it is stamped with the Hebrew letter "Tet" and the number "55" - the "Tet" probably refers to the cap size; the "55" may be the issue date although the wearing of Hitelmacher hats ceased sometime around the period of the 1956 Sinai Campaign (Operation Kadesh). The hat retains its shape well - lovely, rare and significant.

מילות מפתח: מיליטריה מיליטאריה מדים חולצות חולצה מכנסיים מכנס צה"ל צה"לי צבא אתא היטלמאכר היטלמכר כובע גרב