Shopping From the Past

Duckbills in Review

Click over to Heddels to read my latest Ward Order Blank column: Duckbill Dynasty – the Cap We Want Back. Here are some of the photos of caps I collected during the research phase of writing this piece.

Original Archival designer, Tom Bonamici, models a Filson shelter cloth duckbill.

One of my faves: Filson short billed cap in tin cloth. The leather sweatband and fitted style sadly disappeared in the last generation of these caps.
Handsome cap shape looks terrific from above.
Not a duckbill, but I dug a little into the history of caps used in the film, Empire of the Sun.
WW2 issue summer flying cap. I love the numerical markings on the brim (a tradition worth bringing back?).
David Mamet movies are peppered with duckbill caps. Gene Hackman sporting a Quaker Marine cap in Heist (2001).

Military issues morphed into hunting headgear in the 1950s and 1960s.


Cavalcade of stars – Filson duckbill lineup in the cap style’s salad days. Merino, poplin, and waxed cotton versions all on offer. Ah, to go back in time and buy them all up.

1 thought on “Duckbills in Review”

  1. Great article Lesli. I too seek out duck bill caps. I was lucky enough to snag the Quaker Marine Supply Swordfish in natural. I love the low profile and long bill and wear it often. When I found out they folded I was crushed. I really wanted a navy Swordfish too! Back in college I bought the first iteration of the made in the USA Hemingway cap from the J.Peterman catalog – pre website and pre-Seinfeld. However, I was young and too self conscious to wear its long bill with confidence so I returned it. I wish I still had it.

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