The ten gallon hat…. How, ever did this term come about? Although there are many theories on how this description of a cowboy hat came about none the less it has been used for decades, approximately since 1925 to be a little more accurate.
One interesting theory is, the tight weave of the fibers in a felt hat most noted ably Stetson hats are matted enough to make for a make shift bucket if need be. In earlier as well as recent advertisements of Stetson hats depict a man using his hat as a bucket for water for his horse; this painting was called “The Last Drop From His Stetson” it was painted by a south western artist by the name of Lon Megargee. Interesting enough this theory does not hold water, an fabric with liquid in it will eventually leak; and Stetson claims that a hat with a large crown can only hold three quarts (that less than one gallon)!
Perhaps it came from an old war story, in 1889 the USS Maine battleship sunk in the Havana bay. Some fourteen years later when they raised the ship back up in 1912 though the mud and water they found a Stetson hat, it was then carefully dried and renovated. Today the hat looks almost as good as new, so new publicity for Stetson arose thus feeding the fire to this urban myth.
Finally the last theory and most probable would have to be, that the term "ten gallon" is possibly a corruption of the Spanish term "galón", or galloon, a type of narrow braided trimming around the crown, possibly a style adapted by the vaqueros. "The term ten-gallon did not originally refer to the holding capacity of the hat, but to the width of a Mexican sombrero hatband, and is more closely related to this unit of measurement by the Spanish than to the water-holding capacity of a Stetson." The term came into use about 1925. Thus, the term "ten-gallon" did not originally refer to the holding capacity of the hat, but to the width of a Spanish hatband. When Texas cowboys misunderstood the word "galón" for "gallon", the popular, though incorrect, legend may have been born.
- A Little History of AA Callister
- In 1952, Arthur A. Callister began trading wool with his father in a little shop on Redwood Road in Salt Lake City, Utah. Noticing how many customers were in need of quality tack to outfit themselves and their horses, AA Callister's Western Wear and Tack was born! Over 50 years and many satisfied customers we are still a family owned tack shop still located on the original site. We are proud to represent the traditions and lifestyles that made the West famous. We are also proud to feature some of the finest tack, clothing, and equipment made. Come live part of the American West today!