When you think of cowboy hats, Pennsylvania probably doesn’t come to mind. But the iconic Western accessory got its start in Philly.
In 1865, New Jersey-born hat manufacturer John B. Stetson founded his own company and began selling a durable and fashionable hat for outdoor use, called the “Boss of the Plains.” He first opened a shop on 4th and Chestnut Street, but once sales exploded, Stetson moved production to a factory on the edge of Kensington.
Stetson’s hat quickly became a symbol of the cowboy lifestyle, and by 1886, Stetson was a household name.
City Cast Philly spoke to WHYY's Avi Wolfman-Arent about Philly’s claim to this classic American hat.