Trivia

Hard

The Panama Hat Isn’t Originally From Panama, But?

Ecuador
Australia
South Africa
Chile
Photo of a Monticristi Panama Hat.
Jmolina1999/Wikimedia

Answer: Ecuador

“Panama hats aren’t originally from Panama!” you say, “Next you’ll tell me Belgian waffles aren’t from Belgium!” While you can rest easy knowing that your Belgian waffles are actually from Belgium (they were invented there and brought to North America by a Belgian baker), Panama hats are distinctly, well, not Panamanian.

What we know as the Panama hat is actually a traditional hat that has long been made in Ecuador. Traditionally woven from the leaves of a Carludovica palmata plant, the hats have been produced continuously in Ecuador since crafting them became a cottage industry back in the 1600s. To this day, the highest quality Panama hats in the world are still produced, by hand, in Ecuador.

So why, then, is it not referred to as the Ecuadorian hat? It’s a combination of two factors: one practical and one a matter of popular image. Up until the mid-20th century, the vast majority of South American goods were first shipped to Panama and then distributed to the rest of the world via centralized shipping lines. Panama hats came to be known as such due to simple association with the location they were shipped from. That association was further cemented in 1904 when U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was photographed wearing a Panama hat while visiting the construction site of the Panama canal. The photo piqued American consumer interest in the hat and further cemented the association between the hat and Panama.

Trivia

Hard

Roller Coasters Originated In What Country?

Trivia

Hard

Which 1920s Era Game Came Roaring Back To Life In The 1990s?

Trivia

Easy

Which Electronics Company Originally Sold Noodles?

Trivia

Hard

What Early PC Had An Unofficial “Sound Card” Driven By Excessive Radio Interference?

Trivia

Hard

The First Photograph Depicting Someone Flashing The “Middle Finger” Is A Photo Of A?

Trivia

Easy

The Only Alcohol Recognized By Congress Is?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Bands Derives Its Name From Military Slang?

Trivia

Easy

The Plumbing Traps Found In Sinks, Toilets, And Other Drain-Connected Items Are Intended To?

Trivia

Easy

The Groove In Your Upper Lip Is Called A?

Trivia

Hard

Which Sci-Fi Actor Appeared In The Show That Inspired Him To Pursue Acting?