John B. Stetson headed west prepared to make his fortune. But what he wasn't prepared for was the wet and cold that followed him every step of the way. So, in 1865, Stetson set out to make the hat that could tame the American West.
The hats were a big hit in the thinly populated West, where being rugged was a requirement for clothes (and for people). The rugged individualism of the West was perfectly represented by a hat that could be shaped differently by each wearer - a punched-in crown, a blended brim and a braided leather band were all different ways to make a Stetson one's own.