Ten Gallon Hat

Hopalong Cassidy Ten Gallon Hat film poster

The big hat from the West

ten gallon hatThe Ten Gallon Hat is a form of cowboy hat with the term coming into use in the mid 1920s. There are many theories of how the Ten Gallon Hat got its name.

One of them is that the Stetson Hat Company boasted that the tight weave of Stetsons hats made them waterproof enough to be used as a bucket. Early print advertising by Stetson showed a cowboy giving his horse a drink of water from a hat. However, even the Stetson company notes that a Ten Gallon Hat only holds 3 quarts – a way short of 10 gallons!

In terms of filling one with water, fur felt hats were designed so they could be used in the rain while wool felt hats were designed for dry climates, and most straw hats can only handle a light rain for a brief time. A very high quality felt hat made from animal fur may hold water but will eventually leak.

Famous Ten Gallon Hat wearers

  • JR Ewing from Dallas
  • Hopalong Cassidy