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The Open Road Guild

Just Daniel

One Too Many
Messages
1,396
I’m not much help, but maybe someone in the “ask a question get an answer” thread pinned to the top of the forum will get a few more eyes. There might be some custom options for you as well, but this is really outside my small hat area.


Need help here, please. Does anyone know of a version of the OR (need not be Stetson, but same proportions, Cattleman crown) in straw for summer but with a more classically Western/Cowboy shape to the brim; dipped down in front and back, and with mild curl on the sides? This Miller "Ranger" looks close, but it has a 3" brim. It's only a quarter inch, but I really would like the OR's smaller brim View attachment 347152 . Thanks!
 
Messages
16,220
View attachment 350515 View attachment 350516 View attachment 350506 View attachment 350514 View attachment 350506 Hello all, I am new to this group. Back in March I went to visit some family I had not seen since I was a kid. Seems when my dad passed back in 1978 my mom gave a cousin my dad's old hat. He had been holding on to it for the day we got to see eachother again. He gifted it back to me. When I got home I hightailed it to a hat store here and they sent it off to be restored. After almost 4 months I got the hat back. Best I can tell it is an OR. The hat band was still in pretty good condition so they were able to use it again. Which I wanted. Would love to hear y'alls opinion on the hat. Does anyone know what Bull Dog shape is? I googled it but could not find anything on it. I can't wait to wear it out somewhere.
Welcome to the forum & I'm happy that you now have your dad's hat.
Excluding slight variations in the actual crease themselves there is very little difference in the Cattleman & the Rancher. In days gone by it was called a Cattleman crease on hats with brims <3", a Rancher crease on hats with brims 3">. The Dogbone was a variation of the Cattleman, the Brick a variation of the Rancher. The Bull Dog, Cutter, etc were offshoots of the crease used by rodeo competitors. You get even further name variations when you roll & shape the brim. All the nomenclature has been confused today, just like the Drover, Gambler, etc. @Desert dog might be able to shed more light after working hats in a shop as a young man.

It might help if you post the name of the shop doing the restoration if you know.
 
Messages
16,653
Location
Central California
View attachment 350515 View attachment 350516 View attachment 350506 View attachment 350514 View attachment 350506 Hello all, I am new to this group. Back in March I went to visit some family I had not seen since I was a kid. Seems when my dad passed back in 1978 my mom gave a cousin my dad's old hat. He had been holding on to it for the day we got to see eachother again. He gifted it back to me. When I got home I hightailed it to a hat store here and they sent it off to be restored. After almost 4 months I got the hat back. Best I can tell it is an OR. The hat band was still in pretty good condition so they were able to use it again. Which I wanted. Would love to hear y'alls opinion on the hat. Does anyone know what Bull Dog shape is? I googled it but could not find anything on it. I can't wait to wear it out somewhere.


It only superficially resembles the Open Road. Many of Stetson’s models were not named and many more were named but the name was not printed anywhere on the hat. There really isn’t a way to determine the exact model without more information. Your hat looks like it was made after Stetson went out of business and sold the right to use their name to another hat company. Some folks don’t want anything to do with Stetsons of this era, but I own several and find them serviceable hard-wearing hats. They aren’t collectible and there is hardly any beaver fur in the 3X Beaver felt, but they are honest and simple daily wearers. The fact that it was your father’s makes it priceless.
 

Vicshalls

New in Town
Messages
3
It only superficially resembles the Open Road. Many of Stetson’s models were not named and many more were named but the name was not printed anywhere on the hat. There really isn’t a way to determine the exact model without more information. Your hat looks like it was made after Stetson went out of business and sold the right to use their name to another hat company. Some folks don’t want anything to do with Stetsons of this era, but I own several and find them serviceable hard-wearing hats. They aren’t collectible and there is hardly any beaver fur in the 3X Beaver felt, but they are honest and simple daily wearers. The fact that it was your father’s makes it priceless.

Thank you for the information. I was hoping to maybe get some history. I live in Houston so I took it to the hat store (that is the name of the place) they sent it off to a company called Catalina to have it restored. The people at the hat store told me it was a great hat and was a collector item. Not that I really care. It was my dad's and that is all that matters to me. I was 8 when he passed and due to financial issues my mom did not keep many things of his. I am just happy to have it and will cherish it. Plan to wear it all the time. Thank you all for the information. It is appreciated.
 
Messages
16,653
Location
Central California
Thank you for the information. I was hoping to maybe get some history. I live in Houston so I took it to the hat store (that is the name of the place) they sent it off to a company called Catalina to have it restored. The people at the hat store told me it was a great hat and was a collector item. Not that I really care. It was my dad's and that is all that matters to me. I was 8 when he passed and due to financial issues my mom did not keep many things of his. I am just happy to have it and will cherish it. Plan to wear it all the time. Thank you all for the information. It is appreciated.


I have custom hats from Catalena and hats that have had refurbishment work done by them. Those folks do a good job and your hat should be ready for another few decades of use.
 

jonesy86

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,595
Location
Kauai
I picked up a 60s 3X fairly stiff beaver felt off The Bay. Price wasn't too bad but with shipping it added up. Well, I do live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Don't know much about it, but it came with what I think is the original box, which I guess is a thing for collectors. I just wear em. Fits nicely, almost as if it is a Long Oval which is what I am. Don't see these in larger sizes too often so I am happy.

What does The Guild say?

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Messages
10,780
Location
Alabama
I picked up a 60s 3X fairly stiff beaver felt off The Bay. Price wasn't too bad but with shipping it added up. Well, I do live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Don't know much about it, but it came with what I think is the original box, which I guess is a thing for collectors. I just wear em. Fits nicely, almost as if it is a Long Oval with is what I am. Don't see these in larger sizes too often so I am happy.

What does The Guild say?

View attachment 352324 View attachment 352325 View attachment 352326 View attachment 352327 View attachment 352328 View attachment 352329 View attachment 352330 View attachment 352331

Looks good, Jonesy. Pairs well with that Rockmount sawtooth pocket denim shirt, khakis and boots. Really clean hat.
 
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I picked up a 60s 3X fairly stiff beaver felt off The Bay. Price wasn't too bad but with shipping it added up. ... What does The Guild say?

I say it looks great on you. I picked up one at a thrift store that doesn't fit, but I avoided shipping costs. Not sure what liner is older, but I want to think yours is (transitioning from the embroidered Last Drop). The boxes appear to be the same era. When did Stetson go to mixed (with metric) size tags?


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Messages
16,220
I picked up a 60s 3X fairly stiff beaver felt off The Bay

Not sure what liner is older, but I want to think yours is (transitioning from the embroidered Last Drop)

I think the screen print LD is very late 60's & into the 70's. As far as felt stiffness I sometimes wonder if it was a retailer price thing. It just seems to me that 3X OR's that come from low volume retailers like Tractor Supply, feed stores & the like are much stiffer than those that came from nice Western Wear & hat shops. Then you also have the case of hats that come from high volume retailers like Drysdales & Sheplers being stiff as cardboard. Retailers that hammer the manufacturer on price points must get these hats. Drysdales & Sheplers had OR's as hard as today's 6X long before there was a 4X or 6X.
 

jonesy86

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,595
Location
Kauai
I say it looks great on you. I picked up one at a thrift store that doesn't fit, but I avoided shipping costs. Not sure what liner is older, but I want to think yours is (transitioning from the embroidered Last Drop). The boxes appear to be the same era. When did Stetson go to mixed (with metric) size tags?


img-0533-jpg.352102


img-0534-jpg.352103

img-0535-jpg.352104


img-0536-jpg.352105


img-0537-jpg.352106


img-0538-jpg.352107


img-0539-jpg.352108


img-0540-jpg.352109


img-0541-jpg.352110


img-0543-jpg.352111
My liner has plastic covering the last drop, but I don't grease my hair.
 

jonesy86

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,595
Location
Kauai
I think the screen print LD is very late 60's & into the 70's. As far as felt stiffness I sometimes wonder if it was a retailer price thing. It just seems to me that 3X OR's that come from low volume retailers like Tractor Supply, feed stores & the like are much stiffer than those that came from nice Western Wear & hat shops. Then you also have the case of hats that come from high volume retailers like Drysdales & Sheplers being stiff as cardboard. Retailers that hammer the manufacturer on price points must get these hats. Drysdales & Sheplers had OR's as hard as today's 6X long before there was a 4X or 6X.
The felt seems quite dense and smooth, it is pretty nice, but the brim definitely has more stiffness than I expected, which is actually good since my hats tend to get a bit floppy in this climate, and it snaps down nicely. I just noticed that the crown is much softer than the brim, and is much thinner than my modern Royal Deluxe.
 

Kreyzhorse

New in Town
Messages
10
Location
NKY
Hello -

Quick question.

First - I scored a Silverbelly from Etsy. It was sold in 2004 and looks like it was worn less than a couple of times. It looks brand new. I'm a 7 1/8 and the hat is a 7 1/4 but a few felt pads and it is perfect.

So... here is my question. My current Open Road, bought last year is 6X. The old one is 4X. They both feel the same to me.

Did Stetson change the felt mix between 2004 and 2020 or did they just change what they call the the same felt?

Not a big deal either way, just more curious than anything.
 

jlee562

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,920
Location
San Francisco, CA
Hello -

Quick question.

First - I scored a Silverbelly from Etsy. It was sold in 2004 and looks like it was worn less than a couple of times. It looks brand new. I'm a 7 1/8 and the hat is a 7 1/4 but a few felt pads and it is perfect.

So... here is my question. My current Open Road, bought last year is 6X. The old one is 4X. They both feel the same to me.

Did Stetson change the felt mix between 2004 and 2020 or did they just change what they call the the same felt?

Not a big deal either way, just more curious than anything.

the current 4x is a wool felt and there is no 4x OR in the lineup.

So, yes, grades have changed. As to whether your 4x is the same composition as the current 6x, who knows? The blends are never disclosed.
 
Messages
16,653
Location
Central California
Hello -

Quick question.

First - I scored a Silverbelly from Etsy. It was sold in 2004 and looks like it was worn less than a couple of times. It looks brand new. I'm a 7 1/8 and the hat is a 7 1/4 but a few felt pads and it is perfect.

So... here is my question. My current Open Road, bought last year is 6X. The old one is 4X. They both feel the same to me.

Did Stetson change the felt mix between 2004 and 2020 or did they just change what they call the the same felt?

Not a big deal either way, just more curious than anything.


I like the old 4X Beaver better than the current 6X hats. You’ll also see that the current 6X doesn’t mention “beaver” and I suspect that the small amount of beaver that we think was in the 3, 4, and 5 “X” “beaver” hats of the 1970s to the….2000s(?) is no more. The current 6X is a rabbit and/or hare fur felt.

Over the years the “X” count has changed and it is only useful in establishing quality level between the hats made at the same time. There was a time when 7X was as high as Stetson went and now there is 10X, 20X, and even 100X, but none of them are as subjectively as nice as the vintage 7X. Some hat makers now offer 1,000X and higher felt, and there are 10,000X straw hats!

What you need to do now is find yourself a mid-1950s or earlier 3X Beaver Open Road and see how much better felt was back then. Have fun with the hunt.
 

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