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Hat history

By Tod Bell, Owner Of Rockin' B Hats - | Aug 24, 2020
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Historical photo shows past hat shape trends

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Old time cowboys with various hat shapes

Written by Tod Bell

Rockin’ B Hats owner

The original variation of the cowboy hat dates back to the early 13th century when Mongolian horsemen preferred a wide brimmed tall crown hat. Although no one is really sure when the hat we now know as the cowboy hat received its name, John Batterson Stetson is credited with originating what is now known as the modern day cowboy hat.

Did you know? Many people know that the bow on the inside of the hat is how you tell the font of the hat from the back. This is true, but did you know that this really acts as a memorial to past hatters; back in the early years of felt hats, the felt hats were treated with mercury. Often times these “hatters” would develop uncontrollable muscle twitching. With the lack of medical technology back in those days many people thought these individuals had gone “mad” or crazy, hence the term “Mad hatter.” The hats were latter marked with a skull and cross bones to warn people of this effect. Now that mercury is no longer allowed to be used, the skull and cross bones was replaced with the aforementioned ribbon memorial.

Do you know why you set your hat upside down on the crown? Most cowboy hats are turned up on the brim, setting the hat upside down will keep the brim from flattening and help hold its original shape. Another reason and this is purely superstition, it will let your good luck run out of the hat.

Do you know why the brim on hats are turned up slightly? Although there is not a definite answer to this question, many believe and it stands to reason that they are turned up simply to make it easier for you to swing a rope.

Well that does it for this months issue of Hat Tricks, remember the cowboy hat is the most iconic item you can wear that says you are a cowboy, but being a cowboy just isn’t about wearing boots or hat. Being a cowboy is a lifestyle, a statement of mind, a way of thinking. Until next month remember positive times!


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