10 gallon hats

Ok, I made my attempt to search for this in the archives, but perhaps my searching ability is lacking. Because I can’t believe no one has asked this before.

Why are they called “10 gallon hats”?

Old-time marketing hype.

Here’s the strightdope on 10 gallon hats.

the Master’s Minion speaks: http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mtengallonhat.html

I remember that column. But, do you remember The Comment Thread about it?

I’ve been doing some ongoing research into the term, what with greater access to electronic database searching that has become available since I replied in 2002.

I think that Jill, much as I love her, was incorrect in that article(but, in her defense, it was the best available info at the time).

There are newspaper cites for the terms “two-gallon hat” and “three-gallon hat” from 1900-1915. They were in reference to high-top hats and such as worn by Easterners when dressing up in formal clothes, NOT about cowboy hats that I could find. The first cites about Western cowboy hats that I can now find are from 1920-21. And they referred to the size of the hat in sizes such as 2-3-5-10 gallons. There was no standardization. I probably found more cites saying “five-gallon” hat than any other size.

The “ten-gallon” hat seems become the most used size in the late 1920’s, with other sizes gradually falling by the wayside.

So, I guess I’m saying that there is little evidence that the “gallon” came from the Spanish “Galon.”

And, since this is a comment about a Staff Report, I’ve moved it there.

samclem GQ moderator

Does anyone here even wear a hat?
Apparently not. When you’re buying yourself a hat. There are a few things to consider. But I’ll keep it short. Quality vs. price. A nice felt hat the basic factor determining the quality and price is the number of XXX’s or percentage of beaver that is in the fabric. A 10X beaver hat used to mean that is was 100% beaver felt and would last a lifetime if treated normally. Now the XXX’s don’t mean shit. I saw a 20X hat awhile back. It’s a joke and most folks don’t have a clue.

When purchasing a good durable straw hat… you should check the weave count. That is the number of braids or the “tightness” of the straw in the hat. That will determine how well it repels water and it’s shape retention esp. in a high wind. A cheap straw hat will come apart in the rain if it’s not weaved tight enough. How that or if that translates into galons…y’all can figure it out. I’m just saying.

And now, for the rest of eternity, this thread will come up in the results for anyone who searches the SDMB for “XXX and beaver”

:smiley: I see what you mean. Just looking back over it there’s a long list that we might come up with.
In addition to my slip of the tongue into the xxx beavers issue. It seems that I also made references that money is a key factor in determing the quality. If you like 'em tight it’s gonna cost you more. If you don’t mind 'em a little loose and wet then get you a cheap one. They are usually a lot more limber too.

I originally said that I’d try to keep it short, but that’s a hard thing for me to do sometimes. See ya t/k :wink:

My lord :smack: who started this thread anyway?

Well, I started the thread. So now one can search xxx, beaver, and pussy to find it.

Anyone who mentions any OTHER euphemisms in this thread, gonna deal with the Moderator. ::: rolling up sleeves ::::

Sorry Dex I didn’t mean for my original post to run so far astray.
My point was supposed to be that the determining factor in straw hats/sombreros is the weave count. 10 galons being very good in other words.
Lo siento… :frowning:

::::imagines Tom Mix in a straw hat:::::::nope!


I guess that’s one way of discounting a theory based on facts. It makes more sense that Anglos mistakenly confused thread count galon as a reference to size gallon and began referring to ALL hats (regardless of material) in gallon sizes.

Well, on my first try I found at least a couple of references to galon as a reference to braid and having a french, spanish or more likely a latin origin.
Here’s a cite from 1889 discussing a galon hat.

My facts or your facts?

I found cites from 1900-1910 referring to men’s top hats as two-gallon and three-gallon hats. Since these hats were rather larger than most hats that men wore, it seems logical that the writers were referring to how much liquid they could contain.

You found a cite in 1889 that uses the word “galon” referring to the fancy enbroidery around a ladies hat band. And, yes, I know all about the galon referring to braiding on Mexican sombreros. And that was, indeed, very early.

Show me an early cite for X or XX or any such referring to “thread count galon.”

Why would the earliest cites say a “2 or 3-gallon” hat, then go to 5-10-gallon?

The easiest answer is that it was a figure of speech, invented to describe an over-sized hat, first by Easterners(formal top hat) and then the oversized “cowboy” hat of the West.

Damn Sam I didn’t say anyone was wrong here. This is COSR I made a comment regarding the (quality=weave count) at least in straw hats. If you need a cite showing the fact that tightly weaved straw hats are considered to be better quality, then I guess I can probably accomodate you. But I figured you already knew that. Surely you knew the number of X’s in the hatband of a felt hat are the quality marks?
Actually, I figure it went something like this. Hoss Cartwright goes to town to get a new hat. He overhears some dude or dudettes talking about the latest trend in Paris. A five galon hat. Little Joe laughs and says, durn brother with a head as big as yours, it’ll take a ten gallon hat at least. :wink: Combined with other various confounding variables and we got ten gallon hats.
Chill brother, I was just adding some info regarding hats that had failed to be mentioned before.