Stetson Hats — 1930

“All Texas loves a Stetson.”  The following is from the Stetson entry in the Handbook of Texas:

The Stetson hat, a badge of the stereotypical Texan, was the contribution of John B. Stetson of Philadelphia, who went west to regain his health in the 1860s and fashioned himself a big hat that would protect him from rain, sun, and wind. After his return to Philadelphia, Stetson made a hat that he called the “Boss of the Plains,” and sent samples to Western dealers. Texas Rangers adopted the hat and found that it could be used to drink from, to fan a campfire, to blindfold a stubborn horse, to slap a steer, to smother grass fires and to serve as a target in gunfights. It could also be brushed for dress wear. Because of its versatility and durability the hat became a distinguishing characteristic of the real cowboy as well as of popular fictional ones.

As far as Washer Brothers Clothiers, I have to admit that until now, I was unaware of the apparently very well-known Fort Worth business. (Being a native of Dallas, I’m always a little ashamed by how little I know of neighboring Fort Worth.) Washer Brothers was established in Fort Worth in 1882 as a men’s ready-to-wear clothing store which branched out into clothing and goods for cowboys and ranchers; the landmark business continued into the 1960s. A cool photo of the store in the early 1900s can be seen here (click to view larger image):

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2 responses to “Stetson Hats — 1930

  1. Curious, they didn’t come in black. I wonder where the bad guys got their hats. ;)

    • I’m fairly certain there were black and darker-colored Stetsons. I found this ad in a 1930 “souvenir annual” for the Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show in Fort Worth, held that year in March. My guess is that these lighter colors were the ones they were pushing as spring was approaching. Bad guys had to wait for fall to see the new styles!

      Interestingly, I just tried to Google this particular hat style — “Frontome” — and got exactly ZERO hits! Also, I’m not familiar with a “coney” color, but a commenter on my Facebook page described it as a “gray-brown” rabbit-y color. Live and learn.

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