This vintage hat was made by the John B. Stetson company in the 1960s. It is their Beaver One Hundred model, made from pure beaver felt, originally retailing for a hundred dollars. It has a lining from Rand’s of Billings, who probably did some cleaning or renovation at some point. It measures 21-1/2″ inside, about a 6-7/8″.
This hat was made by the high-end custom Rocky Mountain Hat Company of Bozeman, Montana for Dave Viers Jr. It is pure beaver and has a wide, curled brim, high crown and distinctive arrow point ribbon. A comparable hat from Rocky Mountain Hat co now would run in the range of $800, with an eight month wait time. It is a 7-1/4 and has a 4-7/8″ brim.
This vintage hat was made in the 1950s by Peters Brothers Inc. of Fort Worth, Texas. It is “The Texas Hat” – the Shady Oaks Banker’s Special. Later models would change the name to the Shady Oak, dropping the s. These were the models famously presented to presidents, and worn by wealthy Texas oilmen. It retailed for $50 in the 1950s, an extremely expensive hat for the time, and the quality really shows. I would say it is comparable to Stetson’s 7X Clear Beaver felt of the period.
The beaver felt hoods used in these earlier models were made in Switzerland. I have read they used these imported felt bodies because mercury processing was still done in Switzerland at that time, which resulted in a higher quality felt.
This vintage hat was made in Fort Worth Texas by Peters Bros. It is a “Shady Oak Banker’s Special”, and originally sold for seventy five dollars, making it more than three times as expensive as an average fur felt Stetson of the time. It is made from dress weight beaver felt. The hat is styled similarly to an earlier Stetson Playboy, with a raw brim with a stitched edge detail and a thin ribbon. At some time, the hat must have had some work done, as it has a liner from Fort Worth’s other noted hatter, Hatter’s Hats.
This vintage fedora was made in the 1940s by Stetson. It is their 7X Clear Beaver Quality. Pure, undyed beaver, with a mode edge. When it was new, this hat would have cost $50, a lot of money at the time. It has a reeded sweatband, with the 1940s version of the Stetson Crest. The sweatband is deeply blind embossed “mode-edge”. The hat was originally sold by Charles of Atlantic City, located at 1627-29 Boardwalk. There is a moth bite on the brim at the reed seam, and some staining on the wind string button. The crown has a diamond crease. The liner is Rayon Satin of Celanese yarn.
This is one of the few hats I’ve regretted selling. The felt on these is so nice. The sweatband is one of the only modern ones I’ve found comfortable. But somehow, I just found myself not wearing it as much as I should. The rest of my hats I just plop on my head and I’m off. This one I worried about what would happen to it- if someone would spill a drink on it, if it would get stolen. As much as I’ve been able to dodge the Indiana Jones comments that seem to follow any hat with a brim, or any leather, this one really invited them. Because it is THE Indiana Jones hat. This one was an earlier custom job, without the dimensional brim, and it doesn’t have the raiders pinch, but even so- I always somehow felt this hat was wearing me, and not the other way around. So off it went. Someday I’ll get a custom to replace it, with dimensions and a color that suit me better.