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Stetson, John Batterson (05 May 1830–18 February 1906), hat manufacturer and philanthropist, was born in Orange, New Jersey, the son of Stephen Stetson, a hatter, and Susan Batterson. Like several of his brothers, Stetson learned the hat trade at an early age as an apprentice in his father’s shop. The long hours necessary to acquire and perfect the craft kept Stetson from receiving much formal education, but his mother taught him to read and write using the Bible and newspapers....

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Swan, Timothy (23 July 1758–23 July 1842), hat maker and composer, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of William Swan, a goldsmith, and Levina Keyes. By age eleven he was apprenticed to a merchant in nearby Marlborough then moved to Groton, Massachusetts, to assist his brother in the same business. There he attended a singing school for three weeks in 1774. This experience, some fife instruction during a brief army stint in Cambridge later that year, and an article on music that he read in the 1797 ...