Boss of the Plains

by Laurie Winn Carlson and Holly Meade

The creation of the Stetson, the hat that took the west by storm, is the subject... read more

The creation of the Stetson, the hat that took the west by storm, is the subject of this delightful picture book history. A hatmaker in the East, John Stetson headed toward the West he'd always longed to see when poor health forced him to quit his work. His health improved in the clear western air and he joined the quest for gold in the Colorado hills. The scorching sun convinced him that he needed a better hat than the one he'd brought with him--something that would keep the sun from his eyes and the rain off his back. Something "big and picturesque" he declared, perhaps thinking of the western landscape itself. When a cowboy later offered him a five dollar gold piece for his high-crowned, wide-brimmed creation, the iea was planted for what would eventually become the "Boss of the Plains," the most popular hat west of the Mississippi, and the inspiration for the John B. Stetson hat company, which has gone on to make hats in many styles. Colorful artwork spanning the two-page spreads, a photograph of Stetson with a brief historical note detailing the popularity of his hats and the rapid growth of his Missouri factory, and a bibliography citing the author's sources provide the crowning touches for this volume. (Ages 7-10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1998

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