guest post by mikl-em
There’s nothing really to say except follow this link and read the amazing history of this classic bit of comic strip headgear on the blog I’m Learning To Share!. It’s an exhaustive investigation of the facts, precedents, and myths of Archie’s buddy’s lid.
It turns out it’s not a crown, but a relative of the beanie, likely a modified hand-me-down fedora. These hats were very popular, especially with “the kids” in the first half of the 20th century.
The post includes numerous examples of variants of this style of hat including the one worn by Goober Pyle on the The Andy Griffith Show, and the aforementioned “kids” in the 1938 Cagney flick Angels with Dirty Faces, and in the illustration below from a 1945 print ad drawn by cartoonist William Steig (via Weird Universe).
Jeff Goldblum even sported one in his film debut the Chuck Bronson shoot-em-up Death Wish in 1974, so the style, though in decline, survived at least that long. Props to the blog that covered Death Wish for its moniker derived from a subtle reference to the classic 70’s flick The Warriors: He Shot Cyrus.
There’s also a followup thread on MetaFilter.