October 6th Mad Hatter Day

I think everyone knows about the Mad Hatter in Alice In Wonderland. That odd character who you wonder about their sanity. That’s probably because in Lewis Carroll’s day the people who made hats used mercury in the production, constant use of mercury drove the hatters crazy, literally! The 10/6 stuck in Lewis Carroll’s creation’s hat is probably the cost of the hat, 10 shillings and sixpence. The day was created by a group of computer programmers in Boulder, Colorado in 1986. Is mercury used in programming computers? That would explain a lot!

How to celebrate – Learn how to make a hat! Read Alice In Wonderland. Watch one of the many movies based on Alice and her Adventures.

October 6th Mad Hatter Day

Besides Alice, the Mad Hatter is probably the best known character in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I have to wonder what drug Lewis Carrol was on when he wrote this story. Maybe he was a little to close to his local hat maker, since most hats were made using mercury early on in history, and hat makers often went mad – hence the Mad Hatter. The 10/6 in his hat is probably the cost of the hat, 10 shillings and a sixpence. Today was created in 1986 by a computer group in Boulder, Colorado, who were probably bored, and maybe even driven a little mad themselves! Okay, maybe a lot. The intent of the day is being silly for the day, which can be fun for everyone, so long as it does not get carried away.

How to celebrate – Be silly! Wear the Mad Hatter’s hat. Read Alice in Wonderland.

October 6th National Mad Hatter Day

Oct. 6th National Mad Hatter Day

We all know the Mad Hatter from Lewis Carroll’s, “Alice In Wonderland”. The artwork originally was all done by Sir John Tenniel for Carroll concerning the Mad Hatter.  Since this all came from the late 1800’s they may have actually engaged in business with Mad Hatters. Haberdasheries made their hats with mercury, which prolonged use generally drove the hat artist insane. While we view this as humorous in Alice’s world, I doubt it was the same in the real world! The 10/6 in the Mad Hatter’s hat probably stood for the price of the hat, 10 schillings and a 6 pence. However, if you look at most of the characters in Alice In Wonderland it’s interesting to think he may have been one of the more sane citizens of the land.

How to celebrate – Dress up like the Mad Hatter. Read Alice In Wonderland. Pretend to be Alice!

October 6th National Mad Hatter Day

Today is Mad Hatter Day. It’s a day where you can truly go crazy if you want! After all, most hatters went mad. Of course it came from the use of mercury in the process of making hats called “carrotting”.

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Lewis Carroll put the Mad Hatter into Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to prove she had dropped into a world of insanity. (Duh!) And today is celebrate on October 6th because of the tag stuck in the Hatter’s hat, 10/6, which is believed to have actually been the cost of ten schillings and six pence it would cost the buyer. Of course, those were the prices back in the 18th century.

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I’m not sure why the Mad Hatter was included in the story by Carroll, but then… why were any of the other characters there either. Considering Carroll was actually Charles Lutwidge Dodgson maybe he was hiding something. He was born in 1832 and died in 1898.

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I also wonder if Carroll considered himself a Mad Hatter. After all, this story had been floating around in his head before he actually wrote it down. And to quote Carroll, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will do.”

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Maybe there is a reason why the Mad Hatter is one of the few intelligent characters in Alice’s Adventures… if you are mad and you know it, you have beaten half of the battle.

How to celebrate – Start making hats! Read, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. See if you can find a hole to fall into.

 

October 6th Mad Hatter Day

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, written in 1986 by Charles Lutwedge Dodgson (an English mathematician), included the Mad Hatter because it was a perfect character for this upside down storm (pun intended). Oh, and Dodgson used the name Lewis Carroll to keep his real identity private (it wouldn’t look good for a mathematician to be creating such and odd fairytale).

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There really were mad hatters throughout Europe in the 8th century when hatters used mercury in their production. The process was called “carroting” which required direct human contact with mercury.  The mercury would eventually drive the hatters insane, but at first they would just appear a little silly and out of step with the rest of the world.

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There was even a time when hatters were thought to be dangerous, and maybe they were. Typically, the Mad Hatter appears in a top hat with a sign on it indicating 10/6, which is believed to be the price of the hat, 10 shillings and sixpence. However Dodgson wrote the character as being less threatening and more quirky which is basically how we see the character today.

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Mad Hatter day was created in 1986 by a group of computer people in Boulder, Colorado. It is based more on the Lewis Carroll character than those men, and women, who actually went totally bonkers.

How to celebrate – Dress up like the Mad Hatter and see if anyone notices. Do silly things and blame it on the day. Read “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”.