Ed Hillary's sunhat

Friday 23 December 2016

This simple cotton sunhat has quite a story. It has been to the top of the world’s highest mountain and is now cared for by Canterbury Museum. 

Sir Edmund Hillary wore this stripped cotton sunhat when he climbed Mount Everest in 1953. Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Everest at 11.30 am on 28 May 1953. They only stayed at the summit for about 12 minutes before starting the journey back down the mountain.  News of their achievement reached England on the day of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation and it was seen as a coronation gift.

The sun hat was made by Sir Ed’s sister-in-law for him to take to Everest. 

The sunhat was gifted to Canterbury Museum by Sir Edmund Hillary on 10 April 1972, at the launch of the Museum’s Appeal for the Antarctic Gallery. 

Images (L to R): Sir Edmund Hillary's sunhat in the care of Canterbury Museum; Sir Edmund Hillary on the deck of the Theron, Trans Antarctic Expedition 1956 - 1958. To the best of our knowledge this image is Crown copyright. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence. In essence you are free to copy, distribute and adapt the work, as long as you attribute the work to the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and abide by the other licence terms. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/ 2015.113.466;