Minnie Pearl's Hat

Minnie Pearl's Hat

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A straw hat adorned with a band of artificial flowers and a dangling price tag was an essential component of country comedian Minnie Pearl's stage persona. Born Sarah Ophelia Colley in Centerville Tennessee, she perfected her style of rural humor in numerous appearances at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, on radio, and on television.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Pearl, Minnie
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
straw (overall material)
paper (tag material)
overall: 2 3/4 in x 15 1/2 in x 12 1/4 in; 6.985 cm x 39.37 cm x 31.115 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Minnie Pearl
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Entertainment
National Treasures exhibit
Clothing & Accessories
Popular Entertainment
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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To this day, I leave hanging price tags on things in honour of Minnie Pearl, and I always greet people with a big ol', "HowDEEE!" (: She really was a favourite of mine.
The tag on Minnie Pearl's original hat was left on by accident, She forgot to remove the tag before going on stage. It was such a hit with her fans that she chose to leave it as part of her act. Ms. Minnie was such a wonderful, loving, caring person.
Is the price tag handwritten or stamped? I've seen the price quoted from other sources as $1.98. Is that correct? Also, either on the tag or in her act, is their any reference to what store it's from? For some reason I recall Bon-Ton department store being mentioned, perhaps due to its presence in West Virginia, but would love confirmation.
The hat was bought in downtown Aiken, SC at my great-great-grandparent’s hat store, Surasky Bros. She performed there in 1939 and most likely bought the hat right before her performance.
We live in Aiken, sc and have been on a local tour numerous times. The tour guide always tells the story of Minnie Pearl buying her hat in Aiken and the tag being left on.
Another associate and myself were discussing Minnie Pearl and her hats with the price tag. When did she start using the hats? We both really enjoyed her and her times on TV & radio.

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