What do all these images below have in common? If you guessed the cowboy hat, you’d be right. Personally I love a man in a cowboy hat. On paper, in movies and at the rodeo, but if I see a man wearing a cowboy hat out in public, well now, that’s a different matter, since I live in the city. So seeing a city-slicker wearing a Stetson does turn my head and make me question, why? It’s intriguing to say the least and only a few can pull it off and make you believe. Not so in the Old West though.
Here are some fun facts about the cowboy hat you may not know:
We’ve all heard the term “ten-gallon hat” but did you know it’s believed to come from not the exaggerated amount of water the hat can hold, but from the Spanish term “tan galán” which translates loosely into “handsome hat” or “really fine hat”.
It is the one article of clothing that if worn in other parts of the world, is immediately associated with the American cowboy and the Old West.
The term “Mad as a hatter” came from early hatters who used mercury in the making of their felt. Their bodies absorbed mercury, and after several years of making hats, the hatters developed violent and uncontrollable muscle twitching and for some, brain damage. Their weird movements and obvious strangeness was then attributed to madness giving no blame to the toxic mercury they worked with.
John Batterson Stetson created the “Boss of the Plains” hat and because each one of his hats was embossed with his name in gold, the hat soon became known as the Stetson. Some, in the early days called the hat, the John B.
Everyone from the Texas Rangers (the first law enforcement agency to wear these hats) to the famous men and women in American history, Buffalo Bill Cody, Calamity Jane, Annie Oakley, President Roosevelt and the U.S. Calvary, wore the Stetson.
If this is truly true, what a testament to the Stetson’s durability – It is said that some 14 years after the battleship USS Maine sank in 1898, the ship was raised from the Havana Harbor and a Stetson was found in the wreckage. Sitting in seawater and exposed to harsh elements, once the hat was cleaned off, it appeared undamaged. The durability and water resistant nature of the hat was heralded publicly in 1912 and only proved to the country the great product Stetson had produced.
***Take a peek at this 3 min video to see how a Stetson Hat is made today. I found it fascinating and now I know why they cost so much! http://www.stetsonhat.com/video.php
Do you or your significant other wear hats? My hubby wears ball caps all the time. He owns a cowboy hat, but doesn’t wear it, not even when we go to country western concerts. It’s not him. Takes a certain kind to wear a cowboy hat…like a real cowboy! Do you agree?
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