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The wind trolly is the elastic cord and button sometimes seen on mid-20th century through contemporary men’s hats. It is used to tether a hat to the wearer’s head in strong wind. When not in use, the cord wraps around the crown of the hat. When loosened, the button end can be secured through the buttonhole of a coat or jacket lapel. Though contemporary hats are sometimes sold with the cord already attached, formerly it was added at the request of the customer at the time of purchase.

Wind trolly is a more-recent term to describe one type of hat guard or hat-securing device. The same device is also referred to as a lapel button, wind cord, hat string or wind button. Many different types of hat guards were invented and patented in the late 19th century through the early decades of the 20th century. Among the many variations on these devices all serving the same purpose were retractable cords or friction bands concealed inside the sweatband of a hat, lanyards that clipped the rear hat brim to the back of a collar, and pairs of figure eight cords that clipped on one end inside the sweatband and then looped around the ears.

The description of a wind trolly-like hat guard in the 1897 Sears catalog, made with “elastic cord and eyelet” (to loop around a button) describes it as a way of “avoiding trouble and ‘cuss words’ in case the hat should blow off.”

Written by cur.iovintage

1940s wind trolly - Courtesy of wyomingvintage

1940s wind trolly

Courtesy of wyomingvintage