Up Close & Peculiar

More than 100 years ago, the globetrotting Robert Ripley began collecting artifacts from his journeys around the world, which today form the heart of the greatest collection of oddities ever assembled. Up Close & Peculiar brings the curious history of these pieces to a personal level as our very own, Allyson Iovino, explores the strange relics that lie within our Warehouse walls! Become a part of the story as we share pieces for every history buff, pop culture junkie, and oddities collector alike.

Today: Roosevelt’s Top Hat  

Speak softly and carry a big stick, and you might just get a peek at Theodore Roosevelt’s top hat! Roosevelt’s Signature Head wear

The Iconic Hat

Today I am here with this very unassuming carrying case that contains the top hat of none other than Teddy Roosevelt. Let’s crack this open!

This is the original carrying case for the top hat. I love the embossed gold initials on the front. There is definitely no mistaking who this belonged to. 

Now let’s get to the good stuff! Look at that gorgeous silk interior! This “beaver silk” covered hat was a favorite of Roosevelt. He was known for being quite the fashionista in his time and loved a classic top hat. Inside the hat there is a large Dunlap & Company logo. but most importantly, you can see “Theo Roosevelt” stamped right on the bottom of the hat. 

The Wild Life of President Roosevelt

In my opinion, Roosevelt was one of the most Ripley’s-esque president’s we have ever had. Let’s go through some of his most unbelievable feats:

  • He was the youngest president we’ve ever had, taking office just shy of 43 years old. 
  • He was an avid outdoorsman and conservationist. He helped establish the United States Forest Service and many national parks and wildlife refuges. 
  • He was also a prolific writer and wrote over 35 books in his lifetime. 
  • Roosevelt was a skilled boxer and continued to spar and train throughout his life. 
  • He was even shot in the chest during an assassination attempt but delivered a 90-minute speech with the bullet still lodged in his body.
  • Roosevelt loved animals and had a ton of pets with him at the White House, including a lizard, five guinea pigs, a badger, a one-legged rooster, an owl, a pony, a rabbit, and, of course, a small bear named Johnathan Edwards. 

Do you have any questions about the United States’ most interesting president? Leave your comments below! See you next time. 


Discover hundreds of strange and unusual artifacts and get hands-on with unbelievable interactives when you visit a Ripley’s Odditorium!