Texas is another country...

Texas is another country...I have driven into Texas from all four directions and can affirm that after crossing that imaginary state line you just know you are in Texas . The world becomes wide open space, the sky feels higher, you can stretch out and rest a spell.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

THE COWBOY HAT


Post by Alana Cash


Nothing says Texas like a cowboy hat – except maybe cowboy boots, but that’s another blog story.  I know there are lots of cowboys in New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma and other neighboring states where you’ll see a cowboy hat at the rodeo or in a country western bar, but still, if you see an image of a cowboy hat, it’s Texas that comes to mind.

J. B. Stetson is credited with the creation of the cowboy hat.  In 1865, he rented a small room and with a few tools and $10 worth of fur he started the Stetson Hat Company. The original hat had a straight-sided crown with rounded corners and was called "Boss of the Plains."  


Stetson hats were made of fur-based felt and put together so well that they could hold water (you’ve probably seen illustrations of horses drinking from a Stetson hat).  There’s a true story of a Stetson hat going down with the sinking of the Maine during the Spanish American War.  The hat was recovered 14 years later, cleaned off, and was good as new.

Texas Cowboys wore hats before the Stetson, and the hotter the climate, the wider the brim which explains the sombrero and wide-brimmed cowboy hats in South Texas.  The cavalry had their rough-rider hats.  And later on, other companies made variations of the cowboy hat.
Conagher
10 Gallon with a Carlsbad crease
Tycoon Crease on Stetson

Cattleman style


Telescope

If you aren’t a cowboy hat officianado, you won’t notice the variations in creases both to the crown and the bill that you see in movies and old photographs.  In the days when everyone wore a hat, you used to be able to tell what part of Texas they were from (sometimes even the ranch) by looking at the crease in the crown.  The crease was sort of a “brand.”  

The Cattleman is creased right down the center of the crown with a dent on each side. The Carlsbad crease , now sometimes called a "Gus crease" after a character in "Lonesome Dove," keeps the crown high at the back with the crease sloping steeply toward the front. The “tycoon crease" has a pinched front and was worn by J.R. Ewing and Lyndon Johnson.

There are a lot more types of hats and creases now than when the cowboy hat was created, and I would like to have a "PHOTO ESSAY" on this blog of the different types of cowboy hats people wear all around the world.  So, if you have a photograph from a rodeo, western dance hall, picnic or downtown Moscow or Marseilles, send it to me and I'll post them with your name and any short description of where the photo was taken.  


The first person to send me a great photo (taken by you or a friend) will get the Texas cowboy hat mug seen at the beginning of the blog post. The mug was made by Muddy Waters Pottery in 1989 and is pretty rare.



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