This hat was created by the brother-sister hat-making duo Bes-Ben, and sold at their shop at 938 North Michigan Avenue in 1950s. It was purchased and worn by Mrs. Kendell Lingle, whose husband later donated it to the Chicago Historical Society.
This hat was created by the prominent Chicago milliners Bes-Ben. The brother-and-sister team of Benjamin and Bess Green-Field made and sold elegant and increasingly in-demand hats from the 1920s through the 1960s, serving clients from Chicago's high society and Hollywood stars. Ben Green-Field came to be known as the Mad Hatter in the 1940s when his designs became increasingly whimsical and witty, incorporating unique elements like rubber mice, cheese and a mousetrap, or cigarettes and matchbooks. The wearer of this hat could truly be said to have had a "bee in her bonnet" to use the familiar expression. Despite their sometimes humorous nature, Bes-Ben hats featured high-quality materials and workmanship and were regarded as status symbols. In his later years, Benjamin Green-Field became a philanthropist, and endowed an exhibition wing at the Chicago History Museum.