Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wednesday search challenge (10/9/13): Why is she wearing THAT kind of hat?

I'm still traveling, and so this week's challenge is indirectly related to my travels in Massachusetts.  (I leave it to you to figure that connection out...)

But in my travels over the past couple of days, I saw this image and realized an interesting and odd thing:  The woman on the right in the above image is wearing a fairly peculiar kind of hat.  I recognized that hat from a totally different context, and was curious why the artist would portray her as wearing this particular kind of hat.

The answer is pretty interesting, and once you figure it out, you'll start seeing this kind of hat used EVERYWHERE... and maybe you'll start wondering what other common things we see everyday that are rich with meaning.

1.  What's the name of that style of hat?  

2.  Who is she?  (Or, more precisely, what does she represent?)  

3.  Can you find another artistic portrayal of someone else wearing a hat like this?  

Be sure to tell us your search path--I'll be curious to see (a) how many people recognize this hat without searching for it, and (b) what path you follow to answer the challenges.

Search on!


  1. Began by using Chrome's
    contextual image search
    . The picture was used in a blog post about
    "The Teddyssey".

    Searching for [ the teddyssey ] gave me a link to both a PDF
    and a Google
    Book version
    . The PDF was was easier for me to follow. The same
    woman in the hat appears holding an infant Teddy Roosevelt with the
    caption "With Pallas Columbia and ze U.S. as his protectors, the fates
    hold out brilliant prospects to little Teddy Teddysses" I liked that
    play on Zeus's name.

    Next search [ pallas columbia zeus ] didn't yield very much.

    Search [ statue of columbia ] Nope!

    Search [ personification columbia hat stars pointed ] and got it.

    1. Phrygian cap

    2. Columbia
    - "Columbia is a historical and poetic name used for the United States
    of America and is also the name of its female personification." -

    3. The Wikipedia page for Phrygian cap
    shows many artworks with the cap. It has been featured on the seal and
    emblem of the U.S. Army since the American Revolution.

    Took me about 15 minutes.

    1. saw your pic, along with Rosemary M., with Dr.D @ the TCS in San Jose - congrats - looked like a neat event! Hope you scored one of those snazzy red G•TCS tees… wish Dan had been sporting a phrygian cap - maybe with the stars - a hybrid Sam/Columbia.
      p.s. - thanks for including the active links in the post, much quicker.

    2. Unfortunately, remmij the red shirts were only for actual Googlers.
      You're right, Dr. Russell could probably carry off wearing a Phrygian Hat. Others of us, not so much. ;-)

      Thanks for noticing the links. Coding the answers would have been drudgery for me, but I realized that text-based links are not so
      helpful. I ended up downloading a free program called Kompozer. Now I just need to get formatting down so there aren't those huge line spaces.

  2. (I recognized the hat as a Phrygian cap, and actually own one. Never realized the significance though)

    I started by right clicking on the image (in Chrome) and selecting "Search Google for this image"

    The results indicated this was from The Teddyssey. Image searched for Teddysey, then realized that the second S was VERY important to getting accurate results, so image searched for Teddyssey.

    That led me to which has other images, including some which name the lady "Pallas Columbia".

    To determine the hat style (rather than using extant knowledge) I searched for "hat styles" in Google. The third hit was the "Hat" entry from Wikipedia:

    Under "Phrygian cap" on that page, the image is of a bust of Attis, and the description includes the sentence "In sculpture, paintings and caricatures it represents freedom and the pursuit of liberty."

    1. Phrygian Cap

    2. Pallas Columbia, symbolizing freedom and liberty


    And now I'm going to go ponder the significance of Phrygian caps on smurfs.

  3. I believe that's a phrygian cap. She could be Marianne, a symbolic figure in France. This cap dates back to classical times, so you can find it in many artworks. A Google search for "phrygian cap" shows many examples of art.

  4. I thought that I had seen this on statues representing liberty, so I searched on liberty hat as an image search and found a picture that looked like the hat in the picture. It is called liberty cap or Phrygian cap. It was worn by emancipated slaves in Rome as a sign of their freedom. This was verified by multiple sources.,-late-18th-century

    The cap appears on the seal of the U.S. Senate

    The woman is Columbia who is a symbol of the United States of America.

    The initial search took only a couple of minutes, but verification and writing this up took about 15 minutes. A fun search!!

    P. S. I hope you will tell us the source of the illustration. The other figures look like Theodore Roosevelt and the Devil, but numerous searches on both the image and the words turned up nothing.

    1. Just drag Dan's image into IMAGE search jon

  5. 1) Dutch Cap
    2) Columbia - the female personification of the United States of America, and a poetic name for the Americas
    3) Vermeer's 'The Milkmaid'

    I feel confident about item 2 but 1 and 3 are less certain.

    I found the image as being from The Teddyssey with Roosevelt, Uncle Sam and Columbia by using Chrome's 'Search for this image'.

    'Dutch Cap' I just knew so I searched for images with that query and found the Vermeer

    It actually looks like she is wearing 2 bits of head gear, a Punch hat on top of the Dutch cap with its distinctive turned up bits.

    If it is the Punch hat bit you are after I would guess that Punch features in a number of Hogarth prints but searching on that is tricky as Hogarth's work appeared so often in the magazine of the same name 'Punch'

  6. Good day, Dr. Russell, fellow SearchResearchers

    Yes I recognize the hat. It is from Smurfs. I found that Disney´s 7 dwarfs wear it too.


    [Smurfs hat history]
    To find. Phrygian cap. source:

    [Phrygian hat style]

    Interesting information about the cap and how has been used in the United states. Specially in NY. It shows that you can find it in the Liberty Seal of the US Senate, United States Army and in 1850 coin. The Liberty Cap in North America

    [phrygian cap stars] in images found


    But, I don´t see the hat in the image

    [phrygian cap portrayal] in images
    phrygian cap portrayal

    [phrygian cap mexico] To find that the hat was in a Mexican coin "8 Reales" and also found that the hat is in some Latin America coats of arms

    [mexican 8 reales coin]

    Mexico 8 reales 1824 to 1897


    1. What's the name of that style of hat?
    A: The Phrygian cap

    2. Who is she? (Or, more precisely, what does she represent?)

    A: The Phrygian cap is sometimes called a liberty cap; in artistic representations it signifies freedom and the pursuit of liberty

    3. Can you find another artistic portrayal of someone else wearing a hat like this?
    Yes. One is in the link "The Liberty Cap in North America"

    1. Ramón I love that you got it from the Smurfs and Disney. Fantástico!

    2. " It is from Smurfs. I found that Disney´s 7 dwarfs wear it too. "
      very funny! nuanced humor in a 2nd language - pretty sophisticated.
      Imagine that Dan is pleased to see a number of new respondents and to
      see the multiple use of image search - now if someone just noted that they did it
      all by voice search on a mobile platform…
      Doc, sorta red
      voice search

  7. I had no idea what the hat was, so I started by searching for the image. I found it in the Smithsonian archives -

    The woman is Columbia - the personification of freedom. On the wikipedia page about Columbia - - there's a picture of Columbia and a reference to a phrygian cap. Following that link - - offers the explanation that in the roman empire it came to signify freedom and the pursuit of liberty and it sometimes called a liberty cap. There's a photo of a bust of Attis wearing a liberty cap.


  8. 1. What's the name of that style of hat?
    I just happen to know that this is called a “Phrygian” cap. According to the Wikipedia entry, it is the symbol of freedom, and thus sometimes called a “Liberty” cap. It is used extensively in American iconography.

    2. Who is she? (Or, more precisely, what does she represent?)
    For the origins of this particular image, I did a google image search using the image file. Among the results was, which was a Google Book version of the "Teddysey," a panegyric created in 1918 by Ortho Cushing. The woman is Pallas Columbia (see page 19 of Columbia is the goddess of liberty, and she is depicted wearing this style of hat on the Walking Liberty Half Dollar (years after TR’s death, but still a prevalent image).

    3. Can you find another artistic portrayal of someone else wearing a hat like this?
    Just googling [liberty cap] or [Phrygian cap] gives many examples. My favorite cap wearers, however, are the Smurfs.

  9. I remembered seeing that style of hat on representations of "Liberty", so I looked up liberty hat on Wikipedia (my default search engine for information of this sort). I got redirected to "Phrygian cap" which was used by the Romans as a symbol of liberty. The French Revolution used a red version, the "bonnet rouge". (The Wikipedia article has pictures).

    The lady in the picture could be Liberty—but because the cap has stars on it, she is more likely to be Columbia, the female equivalent of Uncle Sam. (Another picture there).

    Total time, about 3 minutes—mainly reading snippets of the Wikipedia articles.

  10. 1. Liberty Cap - The liberty cap is a soft, felt cap, sometimes hung on a pole and accompanying its (usually female) owner, sometimes capping the owner's head. The meaning behind the cap derives from its use before the Roman Empire, when similar felt caps were worn by liberated slaves of Troy and Asia Minor to cover their shorn heads; the cap therefore once "symbolized emancipation from personal servitude rather than constitutional political liberty" (Fryd, 109). The caps are sometimes referred to by their Latin name, pilleus liberatis, and they became a significant accessory for the French in depictions of the French Revolution

    2. Lady Liberty (The other two are Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt)

    3. A number of images from the French Revolution but the most interesting to me is that this symbol appears within the Department of the Army seal:

    Other cool examples:

    I didn't recognize the hat initially, but after trying to search for variations on TR + Abe + Lady Liberty I had success with "Lady Liberty Cap" and "Liberty Cap" from there the top results were easily available.

  11. thought this was interesting - Pallas Columbia has a very Gibson Girl look -
    TR, Sam & C
    Otho Cushing
    Phrygian cap, see US Senate seal
    not to be confused with:
    Freedom, see J. Davis

    Catherine Deneuve as Marianne
    (a)… didn't know the cap (but recognized TR & Columbia), (b) it was a circuitous path (did use Goo image search)

  12. a red version, but maybe not artistic -

  13. Columbia
    poor search response organization on my part… meh, shutdown dysphoria.

  14. I first used the Google "search by image" feature in Google to find the image. I found that it was an image called Teddyssey, 1907 and then searched on that to find who was in the image (Columbia). Then did an image search on "Columbia wearing a hat" which took me to the Wikipedia article on the Phrygian cap, which explained that the cap symbolizes liberty (as does Columbia). There are numerous depictions of the cap in Wikipedia Commons. I had never head of this before, so it was interesting to me!

  15. final response, too s&m to skip over though -
    stern Columbia

  16. I started by doing an image search on the image, which led me to a blog which informed me that the image was from a book called Teddyssey a 1907 retelling of Teddy Roosevelt's life as though it were The Odyssey.
    That didn't tell me anything about the hat, so I tried to search hat with foldover top and ear flaps, then hat with peak and ear flaps, neither of which got me anywhere.
    Then I remembered that the hat looked like the hats worn during the French revolution, so I searched French Revolution cap, which led me to the name of the hat.
    Wikipedia calls it a Phrygian cap and says that it was worn by the inhabitants of Phrygia in the ancient world and that the Romans confused it with a different kind of cap worn by manumitted slaves and began to call it a liberty cap. Thus the French Revolutionaries adopted it as a symbol of their fight for liberty.
    I then pulled up a copy of the book on Google Books. The woman is Pallas Columbia, a take-off on Pallas Athena, the goddess of hunting.

    The Wikipedia article on Phrygian caps contains images of a sculpture, a bas-relief, and an engraving of people wearing hats like this.

    Search time: 13 minutes.

    1. Good memory (that this kind of hat was common during the French Revolution)!

    2. Thanks. I happen to be a history buff.

  17. i googled "political cartoon symbols hats" (without the quotes of course) and the top result was, which pretty much explained the symbolism. It's funny because this is the first time I've visited your blog and I read your challenge and thought, Oh some brilliant person would know how to do that, I'll probably never find it, but maybe i just lucked out. :-)

    1. That's a great search solution. Good job! (Other challenges will be harder, some easier.)

  18. I am new to this so here is how I searched for:

    I tried to search the image and found "The TEDDYSSEY" written on one of them.

    I Google for "The TEDDYSSEY" and found out it was a book written by Otho Cushing. In one of the images from Smithsonian libraries sites I found out that she is a symbolic character for Columbia and many where written as 'PALLAS COLUMBIA'

    A search for "PALLAS COLUMBIA" the teddyssey gave me a link to PDF file where I got that Columbia refers to United States

    I couldn't find the other two.


  19. Image Search - @ #1

    >>The Teddysee (Teddyssey) - Book of caricatures by Otho Cushing "The Adventures of Theodore"

    Google search "Otho Cushing" @ #2

    >>From the Smithsonian Institute Library/Caricatures and Cartoons-
    Cushing’s mentions "Pallas Columbia" as the character with the strange hat.

    Query "theodore roosevelt" @ #3

    >>Theodore Roosevelt Collection in the Chapin Library, Williams College in.doc format- Page 19 Section 32 - Refers to Otho Cushing & quote "identifies the statue of Pallas Columbia, rather than Pallas Athena; Columbia of course refers to the United States."

    This change in name to Americanize “Pallas Athena” to suit USA politics leads me to search “Columbia” @#4 (Tidbit found “A Phrygian cap can be seen on the seal of the United States Senate”)

    ANSWER # 1 & # 3 We see a painting by Paul Stahr, ca 1917-1918. wrapped in the American flag and mentions the “Phyrgian Cap”. @ #5 which provides a direct link to

    ANSWER # 2 Here we find “the Phrygian cap is sometimes called a liberty cap; in artistic representations it signifies freedom and the pursuit of liberty”






  20. Out of topic question:

    Dr. Russell, I was reading about "previous search" that now with Google Hummingbird is possible with voice. Then I tried this kind of search using keyboard with no results. Is it possible this kind of search? If answer is yes, when you have more time can you tell us more, please?

    Thank you. Hope you having a very good trip.

    1. Ramon - Your answer today was priceless. It gives the Smurfs a place in history. I didn't know before I started what the cap was unlike many others here. Since Mexico and the USA have used this cap I'll check to see if Canada has anything similar. I enjoyed reading everyone's results as usual. Some very clever ideas.

      I tried doing a voice search but I couldn't figure out how I could do an Image Search. Since I am usually in a cafe when I do my search it's unlikely I would use Voice Search. I would like to know if anyone is using "Evernote Webclip" or "Save to Google Drive". I gave both a try with mixed results. Saving the pages with notes etc. was great but I didn't get the url's with them so I had to go back and look them up. I want it all done automatically. I will keep experimenting in the meantime.

  21. Thanks Fred, Remmij and Rosemary. I thought many more would recognize the hat from the Smurfs.

    Rosemary what I do is:

    a) Make a query
    b) If I find any possible answer that might work, open that link(s) in a new tab(s). If it is helpful, then I copy the information and the link in Google Drive.
    c) A new query, a new tab. With that I keep information separated and it is easy to make a summary.

    Hope that helps. I'd keep searching, maybe we can find new ways to find the answer you are looking for.