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Cavanagh - Dobbs, Incorporated (Signed by John Cavanagh)


SKU: 6615
Product Details


Beautifully engraved antique stock certificate from Cavanagh-Dobbs, Incorporated, dating back to the 1930's. This document, which has been signed by John Cavanagh as the company President, as well as the company Secretary, was printed by the American Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 12" (w) by 8" (h).


This certificate's intricate vignette features a two allegorical angels flanking the company logo.


You will receive the exact certificate pictured.

Historical Context

John Cavanagh went to work for William A. Brown hatters of Norwalk at the age of 17. He worked as a sizer, trimmer, finisher, expert cutter, curler, and plant superintendent. In 1880 he began working for Crofut & Knapp, where he was mentored by James H. Knapp. By 1907, Cavanagh was vice-president of Crofut & Knapp, and from 1923–1937, he was President of the company.

In 1928 Cavanagh created the company of Cavanagh-Dobbs Inc., which included his own hat label, Cavanagh Hats, and a retail outlet in New York City, John Cavanagh Ltd.

In 1932, he founded the Hat Corporation of America, merging his brands with Knox & Dunlap. In 1934 the Cavanagh Hat Research Corporation was founded to research materials and manufacturing methods to benefit the industry. He gave his name to a method of finishing hat brims known as the Cavanagh Edge. Cavanagh's other innovations included introducing regular, long and wide-oval fitting hats to enable customers to find better-fitting ready-to-wear hats. In 1939 John Cavanagh was awarded a Neiman Marcus Fashion Award in recognition of his services to the American hat industry.

John Cavanagh

John Cavanagh's Signature

John Cavanagh's Signature


In 1902, Cavanagh was elected mayor of South Norwalk and in 1908, he was elected mayor of Norwalk. He is the only person to have served as mayors of both cities prior to their consolidation in 1913.

He was very active in Democratic Party politics, and in 1925 was considered for the candidacy for governor of Connecticut. However, he was unwilling, due to his business responsibilities. He was a founder of the Norwalk Hospital, and was a member of its board of trustees for 20 years.

He was a founder of the Shorehaven Golf Club, a member of the Merritt Parkway Commission, the Norwalk Housing Authority, the Norwalk Kiwanis Club, and the State Prison Board.


He retired from the Hat Corporation of America in 1947, though retained an honorary vice-presidency.


Cavanagh died in 1957. His son, J. Garvan Cavanagh, inherited vice presidency of the company, but left in 1961 to become a Roman Catholic priest.