It became known among people at the time as the "New Factory", after being founded in 1914 by António José Oliveira Júnior, a well-regarded personality in São João da Madeira who was awarded by the then government a diploma for Industrial and Agricultural Merit.
The factory was innovative when it came to manufacturing techniques and was always up-to-date regarding market needs. The company was also responsible for introducing the merino wool (fine wool) hat, the so-called "fashion hat" for being completely different from the old coarse wool hat produced up to then. As the only company in the country to have the manufacturing machinery and techniques for this hat, the Empresa Industrial de Chapelaria had a monopoly on its manufacture and sale for many years.
The Empresa Industrial de Chapelaria closed in 1995, having been part of the entire history of this industry and naturally reflecting its times of prosperity and decline. It will be forever associated with the image of the factory which employed and trained successive generations of hatters and craftsmen who devoted a lifetime’s work to it.
Located at Rua Oliveira Junior, the building that currently houses the Hat Museum is notable for its sober, symmetrical design, and is in itself a reflection of a period in the history of Portuguese architecture
Tuesday to friday: 09h00 - 12h30 / 14h00 - 18h00
Saturday: 10h00 - 13h00 / 14h00 - 18h00
Sunday and holidays: 10h30 - 12h30 / 14h30 - 18h00