The Open Road Guild

Discussion in 'Hats' started by John in Covina, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. jimmy the lid

    jimmy the lid I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,647
    Location:
    USA
    Based on my own research into this, the "Shady Oak" hats were the result of a design collaboration between Amon Carter, Tom Peters and Stetson. The actual lids, produced by Stetson, were Stetson Amon Carter/Shady Oak Open Roads. My own belief is that the original incarnation of the modern-day Open Road (as opposed to Stetson's earlier Open Road model, circa 1937) was the lid that Stetson first made specially for Amon Carter.

    An excellent source of information on this topic is a book by Jerry Flemmons entitled Amon: The Texan who Played Cowboy for America. According to Flemmons, the hats passed out to dignitaries visiting Carter's Shady Oak Farm were originally supplied by Borsalino. These hats were rather large, wide-brimmed and high-crowned, as reflected in some early photos. After Mussolini declared war on Ethiopia (1935), Carter turned to Stetson to produce hats for him. Flemmons reports that "after months of design research," Stetson began producing the Shady Oak Open Road. In a previous post here on the Lounge, Jimmy Pierce has noted that Tom Peters of Peters Brothers was involved in the design of the hat. According to the Peters Brothers web site, Tom Peters left Fort Worth for Philadelphia in 1921 in order to work for Stetson, where he learned his craft from Stetson's master hatters. Thus, it seems like a relationship existed between Tom Peters and Stetson that could well have served as a basis for collaboration. Jimmy Pierce also confirms that the hats resulting from Tom Peters' design efforts were produced by Stetson. According to Flemmons, Amon Carter "bought them through Washer Brothers, an old-line Fort Worth store, and later through Peters Brothers, a downtown hat shop." Flemmons estimates that, at the very least, Amon Carter gave away "many, many thousands" of Shady Oak hats. Apparently, Hat Life magazine proclaimed Carter the "world's greatest retail hat customer."

    The Stetson Shady Oak Open Road contained a unique liner. The liner crown reads: "Shady Oak Farm, Ft. Worth, Texas, Where the West Begins." On the front part of the hat, the liner reads: "The Latch String Always Hangs Outside, Amon Carter." My own hunch is that, having initially produced the Shady Oak Open Road for Amon Carter, Stetson produced and distributed the Open Road more generally, without the Shady Oak liner.

    According to Jimmy Pierce, Peters Brothers retained the rights to manufacture a Shady Oak hat, and Flemmons notes: "Peters Brothers Hatters in downtown Fort Worth, operated by a grandson, Joe, continues to manufacture its version of Stetson's Amon Carter Shady Oak Western hat."

    I have posted these photos before, but I include them here as part of this discussion:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Cheers,
    JtL
     
    Ross Young and Jhoff_1979 like this.
  2. Dinerman

    Dinerman Super Moderator Bartender

    Messages:
    10,562
    Location:
    Bozeman, MT
    My shady oak special has very different markings.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Ross Young likes this.
  3. jimmy the lid

    jimmy the lid I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,647
    Location:
    USA
    D-man --

    Made in Switzerland? Whoah. Could you post some shots of the outside of the hat, as well? Very interesting...

    Cheers,
    JtL


    Edit: To make sense of the next few posts below, insert photos of red OR here...:)
     
  4. Lefty

    Lefty I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,640
    Location:
    O-HI-O
    I thought I saw that up on ebay in the stores section. Did someone buy it, or are those ebay shots?
     
  5. Lefty

    Lefty I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,640
    Location:
    O-HI-O
    You're the expert, but based upon my guess that it's at least late 60s/early 70s, I guess it's possible that it was a short-lived factory issue for the Summer of Love folks.
     
  6. shortbow

    shortbow Practically Family

    Messages:
    744
    Location:
    british columbia
    'Twould make a good huntin' hat where the other guys ain't too careful.:D
     
  7. frijoli

    frijoli One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    269
    Location:
    Northwest, NC
     
  8. jimmy the lid

    jimmy the lid I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,647
    Location:
    USA
    Not under these circumstances. It's a completely fair use of those photos, which Dinerman posted for the purpose of comment. I'm tempted to re-post them, but don't want this thread to get bogged down in back and forth over this issue.

    That was a rare view of what looked to be a mid/late 60's red Open Road...

    Cheers,
    JtL
     
  9. AlanC

    AlanC My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,175
    Location:
    Heart of America
    I missed the above, but were these simply pictures posted from a public auction? I have no problem with them being posted here. I would consider it for educational purposes, which is fair use. We have a whole thread dedicated to the posting of (completed) ebay auctions and pictures, for that matter.
     
  10. jimmy the lid

    jimmy the lid I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,647
    Location:
    USA
    Say no more...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. XPLSV

    XPLSV One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    215
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    The next thing ya' know...

    So, there I was, reading through The Open Road Guild thread...and the next thing ya' know, I've managed two great finds and they both show up on my doorstep on my return from Alaska! No major complaints from the Wife either on having two same-style hats arriving on the same day...I won't even dare to ask why (or should I be asking why???).

    Anyway...here's the pics of the first one, a Royal Deluxe Open Road. I have most of the story on it, too, which is always interesting. Appears it was purchased by a gentleman from Oklahoma on a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park in the early 1950's (the sweatband mark of "Humphrey's, Grand Lake, Colorado collaborates this). He apparently wasn't much of a hat wearer and his daughter in law believes he bought it as a souvenir of Colorado at the behest of his wife. She thinks it sat on a shelf all these years...and that could very well be the case. He passed a way a year or two ago and the son/daughter-in-law were clearing some stuff out and I managed to bring it back home to Colorado from where it had been residing up in Washington state. I believe the $12.50 price tag fits with the early 1950's date. I'm going to rebash it, but here are a couple shots of how it arrived. It has the colored lining, which I remember seeing a similar Royal Deluxe somewhere on the lounge, but cannot find it at present.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I'll post some pics of the Stetson Twenty Five Open Road tomorrow evening...
     
  12. yackitydo

    yackitydo New in Town

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    st joseph mo
    Stetson and St Joseph

    During the late 1960s the Stetson plant in Philadelphia was outdated and had labor troubles. A small plant in St Joseph Mo was making a few westerns hats for Stetson. When Stetsons president decided to sell the rights to make the hats, it looked all over the county for a reputable firm to license
    the Stetson name. The Stevens Hat Manufacturing Co in St Joseph was chosen from many suitors. Stevens was a small two family owned manufacture of hats, caps and gloves. The third generation of hatmakers were in control and were excellent hatmakers. All of the equipment and a few of supervisors were moved to the St Jo location. At that time Cowboy movies was released and the western hat boomed. Truck drivers, lawyers, business men all wore cowboy hats thanks to John Travolta. I traveled West Texas and I had a limit on how many dozen hats per store. The Stevens Company purchased Paisano Hat Co in Laredo Texas. They made western straws and was moved to St Joseph in the 250000 sq ft plant. The salesmen carried Stetson cologne, Stetson gloves, umbrellas, belt buckles and hat bands.
    The sales continued and in 1983 the Stetson Licensee Co purchased the entire Stevens stock. Unfortunately they knew nothing about making a great hat and the quality disappeared and Stetson went bankrupt. Irving Joel, another quality hatmaker bought the company and when he died Hicks-Muse and Tate bought Stetson and after a few years moved the operation to Garland Texas.
     
  13. XPLSV

    XPLSV One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    215
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    2nd Open Road

    This is the second of the two Open Roads I obtained this past week. It is a Stetson Twenty Five...although I did have to pay $2 more than that ;) Looks like it spent its entire life in Texas, from what I can tell. I was originally thinking it might have been late 50's from my conversation with the late owner's daughter and the the fact the only photo I had of it was it sitting on top of one of the Stetson oval hat boxes w/buckle, similar to the first one I have below. Upon arrival, I saw it had a black leather band as opposed to brown, and I've read those were late 60's/70's and beyond. I haven't run across the adjustable sizing sweatband before, which I thought was pretty neat. I also saw it specified "mid oval," something else I haven't seem. Is this different than a regular oval? I'd appreciate any additional info those of you of the OR Guild can provide!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Mark G

    Mark G A-List Customer

    Messages:
    342
    Location:
    Camel, California
    XPLSV, that Stetson 25 is a beauty!!! I'm chartreuse with envy. I love the adjustable sweat band ribbon.:eusa_clap :eusa_clap :eusa_clap
     
  15. Thanks for the information that makes sense based on my own research. :D
     
  16. Excellant

    Jimmy,

    Thanks for that marvelous history lesson. That's why we all come to the Lounge.
     
  17. Orvil Newton

    Orvil Newton One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    220
    Location:
    cruisinglealea.com
    Resistol "Dalworth"

    Does this qualify me for the Guild?
    [​IMG]

    I'm keeping the Cattleman's crease but I snapped the brim. The hat is very light and cool; perfect for the so-called summer in the Pacific Northwest.
     
  18. RBH

    RBH Bartender

    I'll say it qualify's... sweet hat!!!!

    Also check out the Brother of the Thin Ribbon.....
     
  19. Very nice

    Orvil,

    Love that color. I think out of all my OR and the clones, I like my Resistol San Antonio the most.

    Robin
     
  20. Orvil Newton

    Orvil Newton One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    220
    Location:
    cruisinglealea.com
    I'm very pleased with the color as well. It was hard to tell in the auction photos. Some of them looked like it might be silver belly.

    I'm confused about the models though. This one has a tag in it that says Style: "Dalworth". What is different about a San Antonio?
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.