Western Stetson

Written by James Lyons
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The Western Stetson is to hat like Kleenex is to face tissue. The Stetson is a rich part of American history, a symbol of ruggedness, the West, Manifest Destiny, style, and a whole bunch of other great things. The Stetson has endured the test of time, transcending generations and styles, because of its great look and sense of history.

The Stetson was created by John B. Stetson who came from a family of hat makers. His father taught him a number of essential things about hat making. One such piece of advice that John's father gave him was to keep a space between the top of the head and the crown of the hat thus giving space for warm air to sit, keeping the head warm.

Creating the First Western Stetson

Living outdoors in the western United States gave John a number of ideas for making a great, functional hat. First of all, John realized that an effective hat should have a wide brim to keep nature's elements at bay. In addition, the ability to haul water was essential for survival on the new frontier, so he made sure the inside lining of the hat was waterproof, leading to the nickname, the "10 gallon hat."

The first Stetson hat looked a little like an oversized Indiana Jones hat with a seven inch brim and a six inch high crown. After moving back to his native Philadelphia, John began manufacturing these great hats. The Western Stetson quickly caught on and now the name is synonymous with quality and rugged individualism.


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