(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
Three-cornered or tricorn hats were a popular fashion in the colonial period. Some were laced so that the wearer could lower the sides to give protection from sun, wind and rain. Tricorns were most commonly made of wool, but this one owned by Colonel Joseph Stebbins Jr. of Deerfield, Massachusetts, is made of a felt of beaver hair. Some American and British soldiers wore tricorns as part of their uniform, but units such as British Grenadiers and American Light Infantrymen wore different hats. Military units often tucked colorful pieces of cloth called cockades into their tricorns to tell them apart from other companies or regiments.