Vignette from a lithographic plate showing the making of silk top hats. Shellac was used to stiffen the brims of top hats. Taken from 'The Cochineal and Lac Insects' in 'Graphic Illustrations of Animals - Showing their utility to man in their services during life, and uses after death' (1845), illustrated by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and R K Thomas and published by Thomas Varty. Printed by J Graf, C Graf, Day & Haghe.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library