Hard Hats | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Hard Hats

I wonder if anyone has any thoughts on the hat worn by the gentleman on the left in the photo below. This photo is a crop from a larger image of the Taikoo Cable Car from the sugar refinery up to the Sanitarium (sic) between Mount Butler and Mount Parker. We're wondering if it is some form of sartorial addition to further improve the protective qualities of the pith helmet? Has anyone seen anything similar? 

refinery-page33 crop.jpg
refinery-page33 crop.jpg, by Rob Jennings

That's quite a hat! I haven't seen one like that before. I wondered if it was a cloth cover stowed up there - something like the French Foreign Legion hats had - but the shape  looks too regular for that. If I see another one like it I'll remember to come back and mention it here.

In the  "Handbook of Cultural Geography" by muliple authors, a chapter entitled "Cultural and Spaces of Post-Colonial Knowledges" (quite a mouthful) refers to the  'double- layered crown topee'

Surviving examples are very rare but this website manages to show an example. Not exactly the same shape but there were many different designs of topees around in the colonial heyday and when only  'Mad dogs and Englishmen went out in the mid-day sun'. Designed by a Thomas Townend, it was marketed as the "Rodel model'


Many thanks. I think you might have it. Not the same design but the construction looks similar.