Homemade Ravioli

A place for Quattrones, Betteridges, and Praticos to share our family stories, history, and heritage.

WWI and the Hatter

While our memories and family photo albums may be incomplete, documents can help us fill in some of the gaps. If you take just one bit of information from one document, a part of our family narrative can crystalize.

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 10.21.03 AMScreen Shot 2015-01-30 at 10.21.22 AM On Ancestry.com I was able to pull a copy of my great-grandfather’s WW1 Registration Card. Ferdinando Quattrone signed up for the war at the age of 40 in on September 12th, 1918. He would have been signing up during the early stages of the Hundred Days Offensive which eventually drove Germany out of France. While the war would be officially declared as over two months later on November 11th, 1918, no one could have forseen it. Perhaps, morale was raised here at home as the Allies found small victories mounting and Germany falling back on her heels?

Ferdinando’s registration was part of a call for men to register, immigrant or native, but it was the third registration period (and only one to ask for men Ferdinando’s age) as noted on Ancestry.com:

The [third] registration on 12 Sept 1918, was for men aged eighteen to twenty-one and thirty-one to forty-five—men born between 11 Sept 1872 and 12 Sept 1900.

Note: not all men who registered were taken into the service.

However, the breadcrumb trail that I followed was his occupation and employer. At the time, Ferdinando worked as a “Hatter” for the John B. Stetson company. He lists the address as 5th and Columbia.

Performing a simple Google search I was able to find some images of the Stetson company. We can catch glimpse of what work may have looked like for Ferdinando.

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 10.34.19 AM

And considering the Stetson company was a major supplier of military hats during WW1, we can imagine a certain degree of patriotism, and perhaps pressure, on the men (and boys) working for Stetson.

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 10.33.37 AMWhen searching for what the Philadelphia transit system looked like in 1918 (I was trying to trace Ferdinando’s route to work) I kept pulling up information for the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak. Yet another breadcrumb trail to follow or certainly talk about as a family–are there any family stories or memories of someone being affected by the outbreak of the flu?

And did anyone ever see a Stetson hat in the family?

About Brian Kelley

Middle school teacher, co-chair of our ELA department, and co-director with PAWLP. Follow me on Twitter @_briank_.

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This entry was posted on January 30, 2015 by .
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