Oh what a very fun thread! I'm not sure how it escaped my notice for two months but it's great that it bubbled up to the surface again.
Funny thing is, my teenage nephew was just visiting me a couple of weeks ago and we happened to walk by a great hat store, Goorin Bros., in North Beach. He picked out a hat very much like the ones profiled here for himself.
Thanks for the history lesson, Guido!