John Batterson Stetson founded the Stetson Hat Company in 1865 in the Kensington area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The hats made at the Philadelphia factory were instantly a hit. His main customer focus was in the American west, rather than the east coast because of the large market there. His original design for the cowboy hat would remain as the template for all other cowboy hats made by other companies. Stetson himself was against unions, and instead, provided his workers with various programs and facilities, building a surrounding factory community where Stetson employees lived.
There are many resources about Stetson Hat Company. Local archives have collected various photographs, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and other materials on this topic. To learn more, one can websites browsing websites such as PhilaPlace.org, Phillyhistory.org, and historicstructures.com to learn more about the history. The links below are some great places for you to start exploring the history of the Stetson.