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Uncle Sams and John Bulls

Uncle Sams and John Bulls

Tall Toad has been making Uncle Sam top hats for over 30 years here in the Virginia foothills of the blue ridge mountains. We have sent many Uncle Sams to the White House and wait for the day when I see the occupant wearing one. I love to think that maybe Bill Clinton was playing late night sax while wearing his pajamas and our Uncle Sam Hat.

The history of the origins of the Uncle Sam character is interesting and is thought to have originated around the war of 1812 though the birth of the hat for the character is not clear.

 There are depictions of the hat with and without stripes and it has appeared in advertising campaigns from cars to cereals as well as the famous Uncle Sam Wants You! recruiting posters .

 Frank Zappa was dedicated to convincing young people to vote and used our Uncle Sam hat in his register to vote campaigns. This photo appeared on T shirts sold by Barfko Swill which I purchased and wore to shreds

Stephen Colbert used 2 of our Uncle Sams at the RNC in Cleveland Ohio in 2016.

Bill Murray showed up on Stephen Colbert in our hat shooting T shirts from what looked like a potato gun.

Betty Boop enjoys her Fourth of July costume.

 We have made mini Uncle Sams as well and my husband and I were seen at our local polling place on election day appropriately dressed. Mom didn't get the memo but she voted!


 Tall Toad has been making John Bull Top Hats for many years. They are useful in period costuming and steampunk styles. 

John Bull is an imaginary figure who is a personification of England, similar to the American ‘Uncle Sam’. He is shown in cartoons and caricatures as a prosperous farmer of the 18th century.

John Bull is still looked upon with affection by many English people. As Uncle Sam is the iconic representation of the United States, so John Bull is the personification of the character of the English: honest, generous, straightforward, with a zest for life and ready to stand up and fight for what he believes in.