An Experiment in Gyro-Hats

An Experiment in Gyro-Hats

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4.4
(5 Reviews)
An Experiment in Gyro-Hats by Ellis Parker Butler

Published:

1910

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An Experiment in Gyro-Hats

By

4.4
(5 Reviews)
"The idea of a gyro-hat did not come to me all at once, as some great ideas come to inventors. In fact I may say that but for a most unpleasant experience I might never have thought of gyro-hats at all."

By the author of "Pigs is Pigs."

Book Excerpt

defrauded by this waiter!"

Walsingham Gribbs looked at my wife, and then smiled.

"Very well," he said, "if what you wanted was to have him drunk, I'll admit that he is about the drunkest man I have ever seen. I only spoke as I did in order that I might spare your feelings, for most wives object to seeing their husbands stagger and reel. I myself stagger and reel continually, and I have never tasted intoxicating liquor in my life, but I can share the feelings of one who staggers and reels, or who has a relative that staggers and reels."

At this my wife said:

"Are you not Walsingham Gribbs? If you are I am delighted to have met you, even in this unconventional manner, for what brought us here will interest you."

She then told him of the gyro-hat I had invented, and explained just why I had come to this place and had swallowed the strong brandy. I took no part in this conversation, but Walsingham gladly agreed to accompany us, and he put my gyro-hat on my head.

The resul

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A brilliant short story as common with Ellis Parker. You’re sure to love it easy read, humor, and creativity.
A hat-maker’s business is disrupted when his daughter falls in love with a man she cannot marry because he staggers everywhere. The father resolves to invent a gyroscopic hat to steady drunks.
It's an oldish story, but still surprisingly funny. Read it if you want to be amused, there's not a mean or cruel word in it.
(1910) Humor (Inventor) / Short story


R: * * * * *


Plot bullets

A hatter and inventor, has a daughter who is in love.
His daughter's boyfriend has a problem, at first misunderstood, which makes him walk with a stagger.
The hatter invents a hat with a gyroscope inside, which should cure his problem.
The inventor makes some rather embarrassing self tests.
At last it is tested on the boy.
The results are favorable, but not for the reasons expected.

You might call this humorous story about an ingenious but eccentric hatter proto-steampunk. Were high hats and hat makers always inherently funny? Certainly the Victorians thought so, and Lewis Carroll and John Tenniel made the Mad Hatter an indelible image. First appearing in the June 1910 edition of Hampton Magazine, this story was reprinted in June 1926 in an early issue of Hugo Gernsback's Amazing Stories, the first science-fiction magazine.
Quite amusing in a 1920s silent movie kind of a way. It's ridiculous as jokes often are and more than a little dated, but reasonably endearing all the same.
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