John Batterson Stetson – 1830-1906
A native of Orange, New Jersey, Stetson became a hat maker. In the 1860s, he journeyed to the West for his health and was inspired to make a new kind of hat, suited to the cowboy. He designed and manufactured the high-crowned, broad-brimmed headgear known as the Stetson, which became a symbol of the cowboy. Based on its popularity, the John B. Stetson Company, formed in 1885, became one of the largest hat firms in the world.