what is a cowboy hat?
Normally it is a hat used by a cowboy, the profession established just after the civil war in Texas. The trade was only practiced by Anglos in very small numbers “before the war.” Hats pictured in early photos of cowboys fall out in two type: 1 -The Pork Pie: This was the dominant style of hat for riders in the 1860’s. It has approx. 3″ brim & 3″ or so crown telescoped so the top looks like a meat pie, thus the name. The crown looks similar to modern “roper hats” but is almost round on top. The pork pie is the hat popularized by Confederate Cavalrymen during the war. The narrow brim facilitates keeping the hat on the head as the stampede string was not in use this early on, although some hats from the 1860’s have a lanyard that goes around the crown and can be let down and attached through a button hole. The pork pie had the advantages of being inexpensive as well as stylish. It was usually soft and was most often seen in “drab” (which in the 19th century meant gray, not olive) and bla