Cowboy Hat History

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Cowboy Hat history

Cowboy Hat History

Hats ship in 6-8 weeks

HAND-MADE  HATS FROM THE LAST BEST WEST™

It’s the last thing you take off, and the first thing that’s noticed!

About our hats :: Testimonials :: Rodeo Champions wear our hats.

Boss of the Town HatThe first mass produced cowboy hat was the Boss of the Plains.

The first Boss of the Plains was sold in Central City Colorado in 1865, and quickly became a marketing marvel. Everyone in the west had to have one, and Stetson was hard pressed to keep up with the demand.

Most people think John B. Stetson invented the Boss of the Plains. He did not. Mister Stetson was a talented promoter and marketer – and there in lay his gift. Christy’s Hats of Bristol, England, held the patent on this design and after losing a lengthy court battle,

Stetson ended up having to pay a licensing fee to Christy’s Hats for the use of the Boss of the Plains design. No fooling.

1898 Bow for a Cowboy Hat

1898 Bow
This was one of the most common bow styles of the 19th century, especially on military hats. If you prefer this bow style for any of our hats, just request it in the PRODUCTION notes section of your order.

LADIES BOW
Back in the 19th century and the first 4 decades of the 20th century, when hats were a very common part of every day dress, women’s hats had the bow on the right hand side. If you want the bow on the right – request it when your hat details are confirmed via e-mail.

Our custom western hats are made the old west way – one at a time, starting with the best fur-felt hat body available – made in the USA – and fashion as fine a custom western hat as you can find anywhere, for any money.

You’ve owned the rest now wear the best!

True Old West Cowboy Hats

Order your hat in 100X undyed, pure beaver fur-felt, and be one of the first to hearken back to an era in hat making a hundred and forty years ago. The first cowboy hats were made from 100% beaver fur-felt, natural and undyed, and unless the cowboy lost it or had it stolen – the hat lasted a lifetime. For an all weather hat – nothing beats a traditional western hat made from beaver fur – it’s what old west cowboys wore.

BEAVER FUR FELT:

Beaver Fur Felt is dense and virtually waterproof. It consists of beaver and rabbit/hare fur blended with felt to produce a material that lasts 5-10 times longer than wool-felt. What makes it so exceptional is the beaver hair has a barb on the end like a fish hook, and as a consequence the beaver fur in the hat body meshes together, making it strong and rigid.

A fine Beaver OR Beaver blend fur-felt hat can be re-blocked and shaped numerous times, with just a decent steam iron and a bit of patience.

Western Movie Hats :: Cowboy Movie Hats :: Hat FAQs :: B-Movie Cowboy Hats
Fedora :: Cowboy Hat History :: Classic Cowboy Hats :: Cowboy Hat Care

Made to order. Made to last. Made in America by the Cowboys at The Last Best West™. 


  • Augustus Custom Handmade Hat

    $335.00$750.00
    augustus custom handmade hat style from the classic mini-series, Lonesome Dove (1989) Loveable old Ranger Augustus McCrae is the scalawag that keeps the Hat Creek Cattle Company loose and is a great counter balance to the salty Woodrow Call.  This style of old west crown with it's 3 pinch cavalry creasing was first called the "Tom Mix" after the early movie star, and then became known as "The Gus" crease because of  Lonesome Dove. This is a great look for both men and women! 250_white_filials
    • CROWN: 6 inches
    • BRIM: 4"
    • Crown: Modified 3 pinch cavalry
    • Brim: Hand worked and rolled
    • Hatband: Custom 1/2" leather twist
    • Color shown: Sand
    • hats ship in 6-8 weeks
    • Personalized with your name inside the crown
    • Hats ship in 6-8 weeks
  • Captain Call Handmade Hat

    $335.00$750.00
    A custom cowboy movie hat from Lonesome Dove (1989) Our take on the hat style worn by Tommy Lee Jones The Tommy Lee Jones cowboy hat from Lonesome Dove. The Captain Call Handmade Hat is like the character simple, unrefined, and basic. A classic Boss of the Plains with a heavy dip front and back on the bound brim.
    • Crown: 6 inches
    • Brim: 4"
    • Crown: Open - uncreased
    • Brim: Bound Hand shaped dipped front and back.
    • Hatband: 1" grosgrain ribbon with bow
    • Color shown: Black in 20X fur-felt
    • hats ship in 6-8 weeks.
    • Personalized with your name inside the crown
    • Hats ship in 6-8 weeks
    • Hatband not sold separately
  • Samuel Jones Movie Hat

    $360.00$750.00
    Our version of the Samuel Jones Movie Hat - from The Missing The Samuel Jones Movie Hat is the one worn by Tommy Lee Jones, as Samuel Jones, a  white man turned Apache, who returns to his estranged daughter in time to try and rescue his grand-daughter from slave traders. Like the character there is nothing fancy about this hat, a simple open crowned cowboy hat with a bit of a pencil roll.
    • CROWN HEIGHT: 5" INCHES Open
    • BRIM: 4" 1/2" Pencil roll, with a gentle hand roll - Bound.
    • Color: Pecan
    • Hatband: Satin Ribbon with bow, with matching bound edge.
    • Personalized with your name inside the crown
    • Hats ship in 6-8 weeks
  • Sundance Kid Cowboy Hat

    $370.00$750.00
    Our take on a classic western movie hat Sundance Kid Cowboy Hat - the hat worn by Robert Redford in 1969s, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  This hat is pretty nondescript and is a good representation of the type of hat that would have been seen in the later half of the 19th century on many of the cowboys riding through the west.
    • Crown: 4 1/4" inches Telescope
    • Brim: 3 1/4 inches open with a gentle hand-roll
    • Color: Chocolate with light trail dust
    • Hatband: 1/2" distressed brown leather
    • Personalized with your name inside the crown
    • Hats ship in 6-8 weeks
  • Hickok Old West Cowboy Hat

    $360.00$790.00

    a historical reproduction of Wild Bill Hickok's hat 

    Hickok Old West Cowboy Hat. We start with an over sized hat body to make this classic western hat, with a short crown and wide pencil rolled brim. Brims worked different - but essentially the same hat worn by Wild Bill on HBOs Deadwood.
    • Crown: 4 1/2 inches Texas flat
    • Brim 4" Pencil rolled and Bound
    • Color: Black
    • Hatband: 1" inch Satin with Bow
    • Personalized with your name inside the crown
    • Hats ship in 6-8 weeks
  • Yellowstone Kelly

    $360.00$805.00
    an authentic old west hat with over sized brim  Yellowstone Kelly Custom Hat - We introduced this hat design in 2008 based on what we think Yellowstone Kelly is wearing in the historical photo from the 1890s. The brim we have pretty dang close and we have used a crown treatment that would have been in keeping with the style exhibited by this cultured warrior. 250_white_filials
    • CROWN: 5 1/2 inches
    • BRIM: 4 1/2 inches
    • Crown Shape: Modified Cavalry Pinch
    • Color: Whiskey
    • Brim: Hand rolled with 1" kettle curl Bound Edge
    • Hatband: 1" inch Chocolate brown satin with 1898 bow
    • Personalized with your name inside the crown
    • Hats ship in 6-8 weeks
  • Jeb Stuart Hat

    $360.00$790.00
    Jeb Stuart Hat - Based on the General's Original Hat Additional color and option information is located on tabs at the bottom of the page.
    • Crown: 4 1/2"
    • Brim: 3 1/2" inches
    • Crown: Modified Cavalry
    • Color: Sand with optional medium trail dust
    • Brim: hand shaped/right tacked to crown - bound
    • Hatband: 1 1/2" grosgrain ribbon, with 1898 Bow
    • Personalized with your name inside the crown
    • Hats ship in 6-8 weeks

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