The Cowboy Hat – It is an item of apparel that can be worn in any corner of the world, and receive immediate recognition as part of North American cowboy culture….
The cowboy hat is a high-crowned, wide-brimmed hat best known as the defining piece of attire for the North American cowboy. Today it is worn by many people, and is particularly associated with ranch workers in the western and southern United States, western Canada and northern Mexico, with country-western singers, and for participants in the North American rodeo circuit. It is recognized around the world as part of Old West lore. The shape of a cowboy hat’s crown and brim are often modified by the wearer for fashion and to protect against weather. The first western model was the open-crowned “Boss of the Plains,” and after that came the front-creased Carlsbad, destined to become “the” cowboy style. The high-crowned, wide-brimmed, soft-felt western hats that followed are intimately associated with the cowboy image.
“Boss Of The Plains” Crease Below The concept of a broad-brimmed hat with a high crown worn by a rider on horseback can be seen as far back as the Mongolian horsemen of the 13th century. A tall crown provided insulation, the wide brim, shade. Hot, sunny climates inspire designs with very wide brims such as the sombrero of Mexico. It is not clear when the cowboy hat began to be named as such. Westerners originally had no standard headwear. People moving West wore many styles of hat, including top hats, derbies, remains of Civil War headgear, sailor hats and everything else. Contrary to popular belief, it was the bowler and not the cowboy hat that was the most popular in the American West, prompting Lucius Beebe to call it “the hat that won the West.” The working cowboy wore wide-brimmed, high-crowned hats long before the invention of the modern design. However, credit for “invention” of the cowboy hat as it is known today is generally given to John Batterson Stetson, Image below –
The original “Boss of the Plains,” manufactured by Stetson in 1865, was flat-brimmed, had a straight sided crown, with rounded corners. These light-weight, waterproof hats, were natural in color, with four inch crowns and brims. A plain hatband was fitted to adjust head size. The sweatband bore Stetson’s name. While only making one style of hat, they came in different qualities ranging from one-grade material at five dollars apiece to pure beaver felt hats for thirty dollars each. J.B. Stetson was the first to market the “Boss of the Plains” to cowboys, and it has remained the universal image of the American West.
The Pay Stage, by Wyeth –
The charisma of the West was carried back East when adventurers returned in the expensive “Boss of the plains” style hat. In the 19th century and first half of the 20th century, a hat was an indispensable item in every man’s wardrobe. Stetson focused on expensive, high-quality hats that represented both a real investment for the working cowboy and statement of success for the city dweller. The durability and water-resistance of the original Stetson obtained additional publicity in 1912, when the battleship USS Maine was raised from Havana harbor, where it had sunk in 1898. A Stetson hat was found in the wreck, which had been submerged in seawater for 14 years. The hat had been exposed to ooze, mud, and plant growth. However, the hat was cleaned off, and appeared to be undamaged.
USS MAIN –
The first American law-enforcement agency to adopt Stetson’s western hat as part of their uniform was the Texas Rangers. A Stetson-based design is also part of the ceremonial uniform of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Presidents Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon B Johnson wore cowboy hats manufactured by Stetson.
Creases in cowboy hats are used to give hats individual character and to help users identify with a particular subculture. Creases and dents make it easier to don or remove the hat by grasping it by the crown rather than the brim. A very popular crease used on modern cowboy hats is the Cattlemen. It is creased right down the center of the crown with a dent on each side. Returning in popularity is the Carlsbad crease, now sometimes called a “Gus crease” after a character in Lonesome Dove. It maintains a high crown at the back with the crease sloping steeply toward the front. The rodeo crease, the bullrider’s crease (Formerly called the RCA crease, for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association), the quarter horse crease, and the “tycoon,” with a pinched front, are also seen today.
Some cowboy hats have been called “ten gallon” hats. The term came into use about 1925, There are multiple theories for how the concept arose. Either way, using a hat as a water container is apt to seriously damage a modern hat. On one hand, fur felt hats were designed in part so they could be used in the rain. However, wool felt hats were designed for dry climates, and most straw hats can only handle a light rain for a brief time,While a very high quality felt hat made from animal fur may hold water, over time, any cloth container will leak. Furthermore, modern hats react differently to getting wet, depending on the quality of the materials used in construction. They are generally likely to lose shape and the felt may also soften up if they are completely drenched.
Thus concluding the information about The Cowboy Hat, Now come on into Trove and we will HOOK YOU UP…