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In the time when top hats were all the rage, they were being produced mostly in Europe, Canada, and America. The fur from beavers was the preferred choice of material because it worked perfectly with the techniques involved. Other (cheaper) furs were needed when reserves went low. These other furs needed to be treated to gain the same feel as felt [source].
Carroting the hats involved mercury and turned the hats an orange color. After the application, the hat was heated and then even boiled. The fumes that were emitted from such a process were what made the hatters mad. Brain damage and organ failure are the actual diagnosis today, but back then they were just thought to be erratic and crazy [source].


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