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Dating Vintage Stetsons by size tag

JessieJames

One of the Regulars
Messages
278
Location
Montreal, QC
Pretty certain I found a gem at a vintage shop but it's not my size :/ it's a 1940? 1950?

Open road. Anyone have more info?
 

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M Hatman

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Felt pretty soft though, wondering if the Canadian Stetsons don't follow the same quality felts and time as the American ones. No liner

So no good felt after 1950?????? Hmmmmmm

Note: yours is the dress version of the OR and not the western version.....

First....look closely at your size tag and look through this whole thread...granted there is limited info on Canadian tags BUT there is some important info on them.....including gold vs silver in the tag.

THEN look very closely at your crest then read this thread: https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/stetson-crest-dating.40021/

AND look closely through the Open Road thread:https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/the-open-road-guild.7047/

And then look though other Stetson threads to see around when Stetson moved the model designation from the front of the sweat to the side of the sweat along with the felt quality designations on their dress hats.....

Also when reading note when Stetson even introduced this version of the Open Road.

Then I guess you tell me...........

PS: it is a nice hat and a good find.........to bad about the liner (this hat would have had one) but nice to find this color too.....As a note: the box is 1950's too.........

Then finally look for some blocking tags behind the sweat and even possibly a date on the sweat itself....Canadian Hats some times had dates on the back of the sweat like the Philadelphia Store did on theirs.....
 

Louis Mountbatten

One of the Regulars
Messages
251
Pretty certain I found a gem at a vintage shop but it's not my size :/ it's a 1940? 1950?

Open road. Anyone have more info?
Jessie, I agree that it is likely late 50s early 60s. ORs of color other than silverbelly are not very common, for sure. And, yes, that roil size tag and "acquanized" note means its Canadian. Good buy.
 

M Hatman

My Mail is Forwarded Here
The OR was sold then and recently in Royal Deluxe, sometimes seen in Royal as well, which are both Stetson Dress Felt Designations AND would sport those liners as well. Often these would have a nice soft hand and body/brim...

The 3X (typically marketed as a western weight), was marketed with the Last Drop Liner and was often quite stiff by comparison to the dress weight felt versions (Quite very stiff now) though a nicer grade of Stetson felt "back in the day" than "Royal Deluxe" (opposite now, now 3X is junk and cheaper than Royal Deluxe).

The 7XCB ran from soft to stiff and carried both the Last Drop Liners AND dress hat liners.

Advertising seen also addresses these with the OR....just look at some Miller- Stockman to see what they say about the varied OR's offered in the same catalog....

It's not like this has not been talked about before.........

So..............
 
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Messages
14,749
Location
Buffalo, NY
The OR was sold then and recently in Royal Deluxe, sometimes seen in Royal as well, which are both Stetson Dress Felt Designations AND would sport those liners as well. Often these would have a nice soft hand and body/brim...

I've misunderstood your observation.

In identifying differences between a western hat and a "dress western" hat I think of Fedora Lounge differentiation between a hat with a narrow ribbon and a brim of 3" and over (western) and a hat with a bound brim under 3" and a 3/8" narrow flat ribbon (dress western) - the latter best attributed to the Stratoliner and Open Road brands. While the Open Road began in the 1930s as a dress hat with a wide ribbon, it emerged in the 1940s as a popular dress western style with a 3/8" ribbon and a 2 7/8" brim (at least during the years that Stetson was manufacturing hats in Philadelphia - I've not kept track of the modern license era). True that the Open Road was made at many price points (from Royal to 7X) and felt character varied greatly throughout this price range and over the years. Examples of the Open Road exist in many different liners (last drop, Royal and Royal Deluxe, 3X - 7X rondel). Also, many hats were released with dress western styling that were not marked Open Road.

I don't believe I have seen a hat designated "Open Road" in a western style (raw edge, pencil roll, or any other brim over 3") at any price point.

I have not studied the catalog archives thoroughly. Perhaps there are listings in Miller-Stockman or other catalogs that muddy the waters on this?
 

M Hatman

My Mail is Forwarded Here
On muddying the waters on OR's

YES, on ads in Miller-Stockman and
YES on marked OR examples that Loungers have posted
AND all made in Philadelphia.......

There are several of each with 3" (and even up to 3 1/2":eek:) brim {and other brim widths Stetson (of Philadelphia) sold, down to just over 2" and still called an OR:eek::eek::eek:}...and stiff and soft varieties.......marketed and sold in Western and Dress hat felts. The only defining OR features on these marked hats are the narrow ribbon and narrow binding (and the same general flange and blocking).

Edit: And they seem to run just as crazy on the 7XCB OR's...I think mine is 3 1/8 or 1/4 if I remember correctly.....and this is seen on other marked examples listed here on the Lounge.

AND dare I say Western hats with narrow and wide ribbons and narrow and wide binding on the brims all exist....Ribbon nor bound edge seem to define a western or dress hat from each other....LOTS of dress hats with thin ribbon and LOTS of westerns with wide ribbons...and LOTS of each with bound brims..........so......

EDIT: I am not sure here on the lounge that I have seen, but personally I have NEVER, defined a western hat by the ribbon width.

I would say brim widths and perhaps more important stiff vs soft (outside derbys) are better used to differentiate between "working" or "Western" modern and post- modern hats (like the OR) as apposed to soft felt dress hats as has been historically marketed and defined by the hatters themselves (especially true in the 40's through the 70's).....Though many a "Fairly Soft to soft" western had been marketed and sold as well....especially pre 1940.

Edit: Stetson has marketed the OR as a "Fedora" (and even advertised pictured fedora creased WITHOUT the so called "rancher crease"), as a "western" and as "Western Dress", and ALSO as a crossover "ranch to boardroom" and "Country or City" hat. It seems to be always listed in their Western catalogs and often to be found in their dress lines as well.....They even have a wider brim version listed as a "working Man's" OR in the early 1950's :eek::eek::eek::eek:!!!

Personally I have always considered it in a class by itself as it can seem to go "both ways" :eek:depending on the felt of course......;)

So.....the lines do blur.........now and then I suppose...;)
 
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M Hatman

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Maybe we are using "western" to broadly?

In modern parlance it seems a "Western" hat is ANY hat with a "Rancher" crease..........:eek:;)
(Pressing in a "rancher" crease CERTAINLY saves the hatter felt and straw AND often prevents doing any other crease with the hat. :mad:)

OR for many people who yell "howdy cowboy where is your horse" when you are wearing a fedora it is: ANY HAT!!
:rolleyes: (except perhaps the little porkpie hats or cloth trilbies so many wear now that MOST people seem to see as different than a Western);)
 
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Messages
14,749
Location
Buffalo, NY
On muddying the waters on OR's

YES, on ads in Miller-Stockman and
YES on marked OR examples that Loungers have posted
AND all made in Philadelphia.......

There are several of each with 3" (and even up to 3 1/2":eek:) brim {and other brim widths Stetson (of Philadelphia) sold, down to just over 2" and still called an OR:eek::eek::eek:}...and stiff and soft varieties.......marketed and sold in Western and Dress hat felts. The only defining OR features on these marked hats are the narrow ribbon and narrow binding (and the same general flange and blocking).

If you or any member can share a hat stamped Open Road that left the factory with other than a bound brim or 3/8" ribbon I would be in your debt. I have seen Miller-Stockman advertise a 3ply ribbon on an Open Road, but have not seen such a hat in the flesh.

thanks!
Alan
 

M Hatman

My Mail is Forwarded Here
I have not seen any "other" western style OR either (in hand, in an ad, or listed by loungers) nor did I say I did.....

I just mentioned (very specifically) muddy waters as regarding OR: brim widths, (I now also add to the list crown heights) and quite often classification by Stetson (fedora, western, crossover) as I described.

I also described the shared OR characteristics of ribbon, binding and block, flange AND mentioned NO others.............nor did I imply there were other OR characteristics (or other types of labeled OR's).

PLUS I made general observations regarding your surprising remarks about western hat classification........were you refering only to OR's.......if so that was not made clear......
(You also mentioned strats which have only ever been advertised as a fedora, so again not clear)

It seems you and I keep misreading each others posts and talking around one another............:eek::rolleyes:

Got to love the internet...........;)
 
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