Challenges have been discontinued, but I hope you will enjoy browsing through this wonderful archive of Alice-inspired art!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Happy Mad Hatter Day, United States Style!!!

There are two Mad Hatter Days every year. In the United States, today, October 6th, is Mad Hatter Day as we abbreviate our dates as month/day/year. Yes, I KNOW this makes no sense!  In the United Kingdom, Mad Hatter Day is June 10th as they abbreviate their dates as day/month/year. People who know me are aware of my obsession with details, and the fact that the UK date system goes from the smallest unit (day) to medium (month) to largest chunk of time (year) makes me incredibly happy!

So what do these dates have to do with the Mad Hatter?  In the original Tenniel illustrations, the Mad Hatter has a price tag tucked into his hat band. It says "In this Style 10/6" which, for us ingnorant Yankees means ten schillings and sixpence, or half a guineau back in Alice's day! So Mad Hatter Day falls on 10/6, and you can decide which date system to follow.

According to Chris Somerville, as posted on Lenny's Alice in Wonderland site, there is more to it:

The actual amount was significant also. Professional people (doctors, lawyers, architects etc) all charged fees, not in pounds but in guinneas. One guinnea was one pound plus one shilling. And while pounds were the currency of trade, guinneas were the currency of the professions. We used to have a gold coin called, and valued at a guinnea, and a smaller gold coin, a half guinnea, valued at ten and six (10/6). The pound, however was merely a paper note, as was the half-pound or ten shillings.
So the hat worn by the Mad Hatter was priced at half-a-guinnea, signifying its superior style.
As for me, I say let's celebrate Mad Hatter Day twice a year! Hopefully we'll have enough readers by the next one to have some kind of blog event, a virtual Mad Hatter's tea party perhaps or a blog hop or challenge.

Remember to celebrate your inner Mad Hatter!


  1. Wow interesting facts already! I knew about the guinea thing being used by professionals but did not associate it with the Hatters hat!
    And I agree, we should celebrate BOTH days!

  2. This is a fantastic idea for a blog!!

  3. Hey Lynn... ~I~ LOVE this blog!!! And... I would be honoured that you use some of the stuff I have done... email me if you would like me to send you the pics etc... thanks again for leaving me that fab comment... and yep... Jefferson Airplane.. the BEST :O))

  4. Awesome! I did not realize there was a Mad Hatter Day, but I love the reasoning behind it. I've written two novels set in Lewis Carroll's world. The first, Jabberwocky, is available in ebook form already and I have plans to publish the second book, Hatter, this summer. Looks like I've just found my release day!



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