Cowboy hats are an everyday part of life here in Oklahoma. Have you ever wondered why the cowboy hat looks the way it does? Radiolab has an interesting take on how the cowboy hat evolved.
Radiolab Podcast - The Boss of the Plains
In the mid 1860s, John B. Stetson introduced a new hat to the American West, and it caught on like wild fire. But according to author Jonnie Hughes, the history of how and why the cowboy hat conquered the Plains is a lot more complicated than that -- and it says a lot about where ideas come from, and how they evolve.
Wikipedia: The Boss of the Plains
The Boss of the Plains was a lightweight all-weather hat designed in 1865 by John B. Stetson for the demands of the American West. It was intended to be durable, waterproof and elegant. This design and the term "Stetson" eventually became all-but-interchangeable with what later became known as the cowboy hat. More ...
The cowboy hat is a high-crowned, wide-brimmed hat best known as the defining piece of attire for the North American cowboy. Influenced by 19th century Mexican culture, today it is worn by many people, and is particularly associated with ranch workers in the western and southern United States, western Canada and northern Mexico, with country-western singers and ranchero singers in Mexico, and for participants in the North American rodeo circuit. It is recognized around the world as part of Old West lore. The shape of a cowboy hat's crown and brim are often modified by the wearer for fashion and to protect against weather. It is an item of apparel that can be worn in any corner of the world, and receive immediate recognition as part of North American cowboy culture. More ...