Headgear in the traditional shop was both practical (keep the dust out of your hair) and hierarchical (journeymen wore particular hats to separate themselves from the apprentices).
Paper hats were common in many trades, including printing and woodworking. Tools for Working Wood used to hand out paper hats and the instructions to make them at shows (Joel Moskowitz writes about them here).
Recently Jeff Burks dug up some vintage instructions for making paper hats, including this nicely illustrated example he cleaned up from Scientific American, Dec. 14, 1872. It’s a fun little exercise – and you can torture your cats with the result.
— Christopher Schwarz