Classic cowboy hats are possibly the most recognized symbols of Western living. It is also a common piece worn by farmers, horseback riders, and ranch workers throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Many country music singers and bull riders enjoy wearing these Western hats as well. Stetson is the original maker of this attire and the name is known as a synonym for quality as far as cowboy hats are concerned.
Before cowboy hats were invented, man wore several different styles of headwear to protect their heads from sun and rain. Some also sported hats for stylish purposes. The idea eventually came about by John B. Stetson to create a hat now known as the cowboy hat. Stetson is created as being the first creator of these western hats, and when someone wants to purchase a quality cowboy hat, they reach for the Stetson brand.
John B. Stetson hailed from a family who made hats for a living. The man had a nasty bout with tuberculosis that forced him to move west and away from the rain and cool weather of the East Coast. Even in the mountains where he moved, he found himself trapped into rainstorms that sometimes came out of nowhere. That's when he realized he needed to invent something that would keep him from getting sicker. He started by making a fur felt tent from beavers fur in order to repel the rain while asleep.
Then, he set out to create a headpiece that would shield rain and sun rays, which was the first ideas of the classic cowboy hats many wear today. From his father, he had learned that there needed to be a large pocket of air between the top of the head and the hat. This air would warm up and keep the head from getting cold.
He also decided to make the inside waterproof so it could double as a water container if need be. This is actually how these western hats have come to be known as "10 gallon hats." He also know from living outdoors that hats needed wide brims so they would protect the head and face from getting to much sun.
The first Stetson cowboy hat was created in the early 1860's. By 1865, Stetson had moved back to Pennsylvania and opened a hat factory to produce and sell his classic cowboy hats. At the time, he was alone in the venture and began with $100 to his name. To gain popularity, Stetson wore his own hat around town. Stetson hats were durable and could withstand a lot of rough conditions, making them popular in the West. By 1886, Stetson was a popular name for western hats, and by 1906, the company was creating and selling approximately 2 million hats a year.
Today, Stetson is still the most popular producer for classic cowboy hats. They now offer a wide range of colors, styles, and shapes to all the western hat wearers of the world.