The son of a Philadelphia hat maker created the first cowboy hat in 1865. His name was John B. Stetson, now known as the inventor of the cowboy hat.

As the story goes, John B. Stetson and some companions went west to seek the benefits of a drier climate. During a hunting trip, Stetson amused his friends by showing them how he could make cloth out of fur without weaving. Stetson used the fur from hides collected on the hunting trip. Kneading the fur and working it with his hands, dipping it into boiling water, spreading it out, kneading it, and dipping it again, he created a soft, smooth piece of felt. Using a technique that has been known since the beginning of modern civilization, Stetson amazed his friends by using the only material he had at hand--fur.
Stetson made a unusually large hat out of this fur-felt. He then wore the hat for the remainder of his hunting trip, at first as a joke, and then grew fond of the hat for its protection from the weather. He and other cowboys of the west ended up liking the idea so well that Stetson soon manufactured and sold a hat true to his original idea. Since his hunting trip, J.B. Stetson intended his new hat creation to be for the cowboys that he came to know in the west. Thus, the creation of the first cowboy hat..............character and sun block for the men of the west !

Original Boss of the Plains Hat
"Original" Boss of the Plains