Showing posts with label Stetson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stetson. Show all posts

Sep 2, 2016

What's in a Name, Stetson

John Batterson Stetson came from a long line of hatters, and when he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, he headed west during the 1860s. After setting up shop in Missouri, Stetson created the original cowboy hat - the Boss of the Plains hat.

It looks little like what we might imagine for the typical cowboy hat, with a round brim and uncreased crown. Originally made from beaver fur and designed to be lightweight and waterproof, it was not until the Boss of the Plains hat was already popular that it began to morph into something closer to the cowboy hats we think of today.

Wearers in different areas started customizing their hats, and the creases and folds of the hats developed into their own type of language. They defined status, occupation, and where a person was from, until Stetson adopted the five most popular creases into his official line.

Notable people who wore Stetson hats included Colonel William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, Calamity Jane, Will Rogers, and Annie Oakley.

Mar 6, 2015

Cowboy Hats

The cowboy is one of the most iconic images in American history, but that doesn't mean our understanding of it isn't flawed. The iconic Stetson might be what every cowboy wears in Westerns, but it wasn't what they actually wore in real life until the very end of the Wild West. The Stetson wasn't even around until 1865 and in fact, it became really popular at the end of the 19th century. Up until then, the derby, also known as the bowler hat was most popular. The sombrero was also quite popular, but a gentleman might have preferred a top hat.