are often known as ten-gallon hats,
is actually a brand name, not a type of
John B. Stetson Company
by John B. Stetson, the inventor of the
felt hat with a tall crown and very wide
brim. It functions to protect its wearer's
eyes from the sun, and can also double as
a water bowl.
In the 1860s Stetson created a rugged hat
for himself made from thick beaver fur
panning for gold in Colorado. According
to legend, Stetson invented the hat while
on a hunting trip while showing his companions
how he could make cloth out of fur without
weaving. Stetson made an unusually large
hat from fur-felt he made from hides collected
on the trip, and wore the hat for the remainder
of the expedition. Although initially worn
as a joke, Stetson soon grew fond of the
hat for its ability to protect its wearer
from the elements. It had a wide brim for
protection from the elements, a high crown
to keep an insulating pocket of air on the
head, and a waterproof lining so the hat
could be used to carry water.
The hat was first
sold in Central City, Colorado in 1865 under
the name "Boss of the Plains,"
more commonly known as the "ten-gallon
cowboy hat". Later,
hat was renamed the "Stetson",
after its inventor.