Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Boss of the Plains Hat

Henry Stetson & Hugh Tolford

Did you know?
The son of a Philadelphia hat maker created the first cowboy hat in 1865. His name was John B. Stetson, now known as the inventor of the cowboy hat.
As the story goes, John B. Stetson and some companions went west to seek the benefits of a drier climate. During a hunting trip, Stetson amused his friends by showing them how he could make cloth out of fur without weaving. Stetson used the fur from hides collected on the hunting trip. Kneading the fur and working it with his hands, dipping it into boiling water, spreading it out, kneading it, and dipping it again, he created a soft, smooth piece of felt. Using a technique that has been known since the beginning of modern civilization, Stetson amazed his friends by using the only material he had at hand--fur.Stetson made a unusually large hat out of this fur-felt. He then wore the hat for the remainder of his hunting trip, at first as a joke, and then grew fond of the hat for its protection from the weather. He and other cowboys of the west ended up liking the idea so well that Stetson soon manufactured and sold a hat true to his original idea. Since his hunting trip, J.B. Stetson intended his new hat creation to be for the cowboys that he came to know in the west. Thus, the creation of the first cowboy hat..............character and sun block for the men of the west

2006 Encampment Cloisonne

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


The Death Valley '49ers is a non-profit, membership organization established in 1949. Our purpose is to promote interest in and the preservation of all matters relating to the history of Death Valley.
We support this purpose through the publication of historical keepsakes, newsletters, and books; education and scholarship programs; special events such as the annual Encampment and history conferences; and active research and preservation of documents important to the history of Death Valley.
Keep history alive and join us today!