WIG: Cowboy Hat

by baltringer

For this weeks “What I’ve Got”, I have chosen the Cowboy Hat. I personally love my hat so I found it very fascinating to learn its origins. The concept of a high crown, wide brimmed hat goes all the way back to 13th century horsemen. It wasn’t until the “Boss of the Plains Hat” was invented by Philadelphia man John B. Stetson in 1865 that American Cowboys got their trademark look. Cattlemen needed a tough hat to protect them from the elements. The tall crown provided insulation and the wide brimmed protected them from the sun so that they could work endless hours in the hot southern sun. Being made from small animal felt made the hats durable and water resistant. The felt also gave the hats the ability to be endlessly customized. Cowboys were able to alter the hats to fit all of their specific needs. For example the pinch in the crown was for grip and control and the curved brim was so that you didn’t hit your hat while using a lasso. Because of the ease of personalization it was often possible to tell where a cowboy hat was from, right down to which ranch, simply by looking at the crease on the crown.

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