Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Boss of the Plains

The cowboy hat is a high-crowned, wide-brimmed hat best known as the defining piece of attire for the American cowboy. Cowboy hats have been worn by kings and ranch hands, by celebrities, political figures and businessmen alike.[1] If you wear a cowboy hat on your head, you’ll be called a cowboy.[2] It is an item of apparel that can be worn in any corner of the world, and receive immediate recognition as part of American cowboy culture. [3]

They were essential tools for anyone working in the intense heat or stinging cold of the open range in the American West.[4] [5]

Stetson’s first western model was the open crowned "Boss of the Plains," style hat.

After that came the front creased “Carlsbad,” destined to become “the” cowboy style. [6] The high crowned, wide brimmed, soft felt western hats that followed are intimately associated with the cowboy image. [7]

Basic hat style has changed little in the past five hundred years. There are only two essential hat styles, brimmed and unbrimmed, which come in two basic forms, hats and caps. These are most often produced in one or two materials, felt or straw. [8] Stetson built a wide brimmed felt hat, with an open crown and a simple band.

Modern cowboy hats are made of fur-based felt, straw or, less often, leather. They have a simple sweat band on the inside to stabilize the fit of the hat, and usually a small decorative hat band on the outside of the crown.

Hats are customized by creasing the crown and rolling the brim. and adding another hatband. For some uses, "stampede strings," may also be attached.[9]

Beginning in the 1940s, pastel colors were often used by movie cowboys and rodeo riders, along with the original black and natural shades. [8] Stetson's "Boss of the Plains" is still the foundation for most of the cowboy hats produced today.[10]

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[11] A tall crown provided insulation, the wide brim, shade.

The Spanish developed a flat-topped sombrero, which they brought to Mexico., which was modified by the vaquero into the round-crowed "Mexican" sombrero.

Cowboy hats go back to almost the inception of the cowboy himself.[12] However, It is not clear when the cowboy's hat got it's name. Westerners originally had no standard head wear. People moving west wore many styles of hat, including top hats, derbies, remains of Civil War headgear, sailor hats and everything else.[13][14] Cowboy's wore wide-brimmed, high-crowned hats long before the invention of the cowboy hat.[15]

==First Cowboy Hat==
The original "“Boss of the Plains," manufactured by John Batterson Stetson in 1865, was flat-brimmed, had a straight sided crown, with rounded corners. [8] These light-weight, waterproof hats, were natural in color, with four inch crowns and brims.[8] A plain hatband was fitted to adjust head size.[16] The sweatband bore Stetson’s name. [13] 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. [8]

A large brimmed felt hat, designed for plantation workers in the West Indies was supposedly, previously produced by Christy's hat factory in Park Lane, Bristol, England. [17][18]But J.B. Stetson was the first to market the "Boss of the plains," to Cowboys, where it has remained a universal image of the American West.[19]

"The Cowboy hat is recognized around the world as part of Old West cowboy 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 modern cowboy hat has remained basically unchanged in construction and underlying design since the Stetson creation.[20]

The cowboy hat quickly developed the capability, even in the early years, to identify its wearer as someone associated with the West.[21] "Within a decade the name John B. Stetson became synonymous with the word "hat," in every corner and culture west of the Mississippi." [22] The shape of the hat's crown and brim were often modified by the wearer for fashion and to protect against weather. Because of the ease of personalization, it was often possible for people to tell where a cowboy hat was from, right down to which ranch, simply by looking at the crease in the crown.[23]
As the mystique of the "Wild West" was popularized by entertainers such as Buffalo Bill Cody and later by Western movies starring actors such as Tom Mix, the Cowboy hat came to symbolize the American West.[24] John Wayne christened them "the hat that won the West."[8] The Boss of the Plains design influenced various wide-brimmed hats worn by farmers and stockmen all over the United States.

Designs were customized for law enforcement, U.S. Cavalry soldiers, and motion picture stars. The first American law-enforcement agency to adopt Stetson’s western hat as part of their uniform was the Texas Rangers. [8]A Stetson-based design is also part of the uniform of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. [25] Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, and Johnson wore cowboy hats manufactured by Stetson. [8]

^ Reynolds, William and Rich Rand (1995) The Cowboy Hat book. Pg7 ISBN 0-87905-656-8
^ Bender, Texan Bix. (1994) Hats & the cowboys who wear them. Pg25 ISBN 1-58685-191-8
^ Reynolds, William and Rich Rand (1995) The Cowboy Hat book. Pg 8 ISBN 0-87905-656-8
^ Snyder, Jeffrey B. (1997) Stetson Hats and the John B. Stetson Company 1865-1970 1997 pg5 ISBN 0-7643-0211-6
^ Snyder, Jeffrey B. (1997) Stetson Hats and the John B. Stetson Company 1865-1970 1997 pg6 ISBN 0-7643-0211-6
^ Foster-Harris, William (2007) The Look of the Old West: A Fully Illustrated Guide pg106 ISBN 160239024X
^ Snyder, Jeffrey B. (1997) Stetson Hats and the John B. Stetson Company 1865-1970 1997 pg5 ISBN 0-7643-0211-6
^ a b c d e f g h i j Snyder, Jeffrey B. (1997) Stetson Hats and the John B. Stetson Company 1865-1970 ISBN 0-7643-0211-6 pg10
^ Christian, Mary Blount. (1992) Hats off to John Stetson 1992 ISBN 0-02-718465-X
^ http://www.hitching-post.net/history2.php
^ Bender
^ http://mycacties.com/blog/country-western-style/123/cowboy-hat-history
^ a b Carlson, Laurie. (1998) Boss of the Plains, the hat that won the West. ISBN 0-7894-2479-7
^ http://www.cowboyhathistory.org/
^ Bender, pg.11
^ Bender, p. 54
^ http://www.gertlushonline.co.uk/west-country-cowboy-hats.html
^ http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Stetson
^ The Cowboy Hat book, William Reynolds & Rich Rand 1995 pg.17 ISBN 0-87905-656-8
^ Reynolds and Rand, pg.8
^ Reynolds & Rand, pg.10
^ Bender, pg,12
^ Reynolds & Rand, pg.17
^ Reynolds & Rand, pg.15
^ http://www.hitching-post.net/history2.php


  1. hi friend...

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    leave comment if have a free time, hope we can shared..^^ thx friend

  2. A variety of hats available in the market but the hat is the traditional cowboy hat. As is always welcome to new styles of fashion and the fashion industry even from his home town in the style of an elegant.

    Top Hats

  3. What would you say Bob Dylan is wearing these days? Close to a "Boss of the Plains" John Batterson Stetson 1865, sort of...