The pressman’s hat, also known as the printer’s hat, was designed to protect its wearer from ink and grease splatters on the job — all of that 19th-century machinery could get messy — and was still commonly used until the 1990s.
Today, the people who work at the The New York Times’s printing plant in College Point, Queens, wear anything from baseball caps to do-rags (there are presswomen now as well). Some abstain from coverings altogether, since the newer printing systems are much more contained than those used in decades past.
Follow these steps to make your very own printer’s hat.
1. Take a double sheet of The Times. Lay it flat.
2. Bring the corners in from the closed end to the crease at the center of the page.
3. Fold the top sheet of the rectangular flap over the triangle. Leave the bottom sheet flat.
4. Turn the whole thing over.
5. Fold the ends of the triangle in as far as the center crease. (For a larger hat, fold short of center; for a smaller hat, fold over center.)
6. Fold the bottom flaps up over the fold you made in Step 3. Then fold the tip of the paper and tuck it into the cuff, forming an envelope shape. Crease the folds sharply. (There’s no shame in using a little tape here to the keep the tip within the fold.)
7. Spread the hat open like a boot. Two points will stick out.
8. Flatten the points into triangles, and tuck each one into the cuff. (Again, a little tape here could be helpful.)
9. Square the hat and crease the corners sharply again. Try it on and adjust to the angle of your choice.
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