Or maybe bad guys Butch and Sundance as imagined by Paul and Bob?
Or the ropenist, fightingest, meanest of them all
Our collective memory, even our artistic memory (consider Frederick Remington) identifies the man of the west by his dusty Stetson. Sadly, it just wasn't so.
The hat of choice in the old west wasn't the classic cowboy hat, but a standard hard top Victorian Derby, bowler or Coke if you prefer.
Have you ever examined photos of the 1870 and 80's? Here are photos of some folk whose names you may recall from the movies. Count the Stetsons.
Original photograph of the 'Dodge City Peace Commission' in June 1883. Front, l-r; Chas. E. Basset, Wyatt S. Earp, Frank McLain, and Neil Brown. Back, l-r; W. H. Harris, Luke Short, W. B. Bat Masterson, and W. F. Petillon. This is the version with Petillon beside Masterson. All rights reserved. FCHS.
The Hole in the Wall Gang
Butch Cassidy's Gang
Frederick Remington and Hollywood are to blame. Now try and imagine Clint Eastwood in a derby.