RCMP “Boss of the Plains” Hat

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“John Batterson Stetson of Philadelphia, who was the son of a master hat maker from Orange, New Jersey, created what became the famous Stetson. In the 1870s he began producing the western-style hat, then called “Boss of the Plains”. This hat with the stiff brim and dented peaked crown soon became symbolic worldwide with the Mounted Police of Canada.

In 1894, Sam Steele ordered some of these hats in order to effect some uniformity amongst the headdress of his men at Fort Macleod . In 1897, the Mounted Police contingent that went to London, England for the Queen’s Jubilee were issued these “Boss of the Plains” hats. The Force approved this style hat for private purchase in 1900, and finally in 1904 approved it as the regulation pattern. By the 1960s the hats were pre-dented with a uniform shape.”

-RCMP Museum

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