Hardee Hat as the origin of the modern Cowboy Hat?

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#1
I happened upon an interesting character in Tucson the other day, wearing a Hardee Hat! Not something you see every day. I didn't have my phone handy, so unfortunately I couldn't snap a pic of it.

I inquired about it, and he told me he used steam to reshape an old cowboy hat he had, into the shape of this 'ubiquitous Federal chapeau.'... his exact wording. It looked spot on, which made me wonder.

Could the origin of the 'modern' high crowned cowboy hat be that of surplus Hardee Hats? Certainly soldiers in the Army of the Tennessee were no strangers to reshaping their hats as their tastes required.

Any thoughts on this subject?
 

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AUG

Brigadier General
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#2
My understanding is that it was more so a mix between the general civilian slouch hat of the era, coming in various sizes and shapes, and the the later Boss of the Plains hat designed by John B. Stetson that was so popular in postwar years.

Boss of the Plains, which could be reshaped into something like a modern day cowboy hat.
100_0691_new.jpg
 

major bill

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#3
I happened upon an interesting character in Tucson the other day, wearing a Hardee Hat! Not something you see every day. I didn't have my phone handy, so unfortunately I couldn't snap a pic of it.

I inquired about it, and he told me he used steam to reshape an old cowboy hat he had, into the shape of this 'ubiquitous Federal chapeau.'... his exact wording. It looked spot on, which made me wonder.

Could the origin of the 'modern' high crowned cowboy hat be that of surplus Hardee Hats? Certainly soldiers in the Army of the Tennessee were no strangers to reshaping their hats as their tastes required.

Any thoughts on this subject?
Various hats had been worn for years before the Hardee Hat came out. I would suspect that the hats developed parallel. The Hardee Hat was an American version of the Kossuth Hat; A hat with flat-top crown and rolled brim. Named for the type of hat worn by the Hungarian patriot and statesman Lajos Kossuth. When Kossuth toured America he was considered a hero and the type of hat he wore was in fashion.
 

zburkett

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Orange County, Virginia
#4
The wide brimmed felt hat is illustrated in some of the earliest illustrations of the American west. In Plains Indian sign language dragging the thumb across an imaginary hat brim is the sign for White Man.
 

gary

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Feb 20, 2005
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#7
Concur with JimKlag. The Stetson 4" brim was taken from the Mexican sombrero. You needed a wide brim for protection against the sun.
 

7thWisconsin

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Nov 21, 2014
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1,017
#8
"Cowboy" hats change shape and style depending on the location and times. Truth be told, a lot of "Western" style evolved during the 1930s when rodeo participants began wearing fancier, somewhat stylized versions of their everyday workclothes: tall hats, big buckles, ornate leather tooling, and so forth. They did exist in the world of the working cowboy, but not in the fancy and extreme styles we associate with western clothing style.( I tell ya: one of the great disappointments of my life has been coming to the realization that the historical "Old West" didn't look a thing like an episode of "Bonanza.")
 

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