|The iconic Tom Mix and his trademark 10-gallon hat|
(image in the public domain in United States)
It has been 150 years since John B. Stetson launched the company whose hats have become an icon of the American West. In the early 1860s on a trek to Pike's Peak, Stetson, in an attempt to weather-proof himself, fashioned a broad-brimmed hat from felted fur shavings, the first "Boss of the Plains," which he later sold right off his head to a cowboy for a $5 gold piece.*
One old cowboy once said of Stetson's hats, "It kept the sun out of your eyes and off your neck. It was an umbrella. It gave you a bucket to water your horse (the crown) and a cup (the brim) to water yourself. It made a hell of a fan, which you need sometimes for a fire, but more often to shunt cows this direction or that."**
Stetson Hats are still being made today in Garland, Texas, in the good ole' USA.
*Cowboys & Indians Magazine, October 2015