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John B. Stetson created the first Stetson Hat in 1865 in a small rented room with $10 worth of fur. Stetson’s father, a master hatter, trained him in the art of hat making. A year after making this first hat, the John B. Stetson Hat Company had become known for the “Hat of the West” and the “Boss of the Plains” hats. They had a reputation for quality, durability, beauty and innovation. Today, the Stetson hat factory in St. Joseph, Missouri is one of the largest in the country and produces a huge line of hats in a multitude of different styles and colors.

Each customer's order determines the size and style of hat. A felt hat body is steam blocked to a specific head size, shape and brim width. A stiffening machine is used to shellac the brims and keep them firm. The crown iron machine is used to tighten and to smooth the felt before it is finished. The brim and crown are greased and pounced using very fine sandpaper to achieve the proper finish. In this finishing operation, the felt is sanded down to create a very fine finish for the felt hat. A specially mixed powder is hand rubbed into the body to even the tone. Crown press machines are used to shape the crowns. The hat is steamed to restore the smooth finish and to clean it before the lining is sewn into the hat.

A few of the Stetson styles include: Stetson Temple Dress Hats, Stetson Weekender Dress Hats, Stetson Chatham Dress Hats, Stetson Dress Hats "The Ark", Stetson Homburg Dress Hats, Stetson Indy Dress Hats, Stetson "Stillwater", Stetson "Silver Springs", Stetson "Odessa", Stetson "The Valley", Stetson Roadmaster Dress Hats, Stetson Nostalgia Dress Hats, Stetson Chevron Western Hats, Stetson Catera Western Hats, Stetson Starburst Western Hats, Stetson Sportsman Western Hats, Stetson Gunslinger, Stetson Grant 4X Western Hats, Stetson Regalia 4X Western Hats, Stetson Rancher 6X Western Hats, Stetson Fort Worth 4X Western Hats, Stetson "Pasadena" 4X Fur Felt, Stetson Dune Western Hats, Stetson Carson Western Hats, Stetson Range Western Hats, Stetson Open Road (L.B.J.) Western Hats, Stetson Rancher Western Hats, Stetson Premier 500X-El Optimo -Genuine Beaver & Chinchilla Western Fur Hats, Stetson 200X El Ray- Limited Edition Genuine Beaver Western Fur Hats, Stetson El Presidente 100X- Limited Edition Genuine Beaver Western Fur Hats, Stetson El Aguila 50X (The Eagle) Western Fur Hats, Stetson El Patron 30X ( The Boss), Stetson Rancher 20X Stetson Carson Straw Hats, Stetson Rancher Straw Hats, Stetson Royal Flush Straw, Stetson Winston (Heather Tweed) Hats, Stetson Brady (Herringbone-Wool) Hats, Stetson Safari (Pigsuede) Hats, Stetson Andes Rain Hats, Stetson Cambridge Rain Caps, Stetson Poplin Rain Hats, Stetson Rover Rain Hats, Stetson Campaign Style (Smokey The Bear) Hats, Stetson "Cavalry" Hats, Stetson "Brigade" Hats, Stetson "Platoon" Hats, Stetson "Battalion" Hats, Stetson "Squald" Hats.

Stetson Hats are a part of western American culture and history. Many people own one as a way of remembering that culture and celebrating it.