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Stetson Open Road

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    Posted 9 years ago

    (2 items)

    Hello does anyone know how you can tell how old a Stetson is and is Royal Deluxe their top grade? This hat has the name of the store from which it was purchased , Joseph's Man's-Shop Austin Texas and research links the store to the late president Lynden B. Johnson as being where he purchased his hats, There was a mural bearing his likeness wearing a Stetson Open Road hat beneath Joseph's name. I aquired this hat through an auction , Thanks alot, Marvo

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    1. mrmajestic1 mrmajestic1, 9 years ago
      This so reminds me of the hat worn by the officer, who was escorting Lee Harvey Oswald, reeling back in shock as he, was shot in the Dallas police station in 1963.
    2. pjtramdack, 9 years ago
      Marvo--Here are just a few quick details on Open Road hats, of which I am not an expert although I own 10 or 12.
      1. OR is the distinctive stingy-brim style favored by LBJ and other ranchers and stockmen mainly from the 40s through the 80s, although Stetson still sells the model new in both fur felt and straw.
      2. There are long discussions of OR hats and quality on Fedora Lounge and other similar hat forums. Google vintage hat forum, get on one or two, and search it out. To keep up with the auctions search ebay for "open road" and "[your size- like 7 1/4" both in quotes.
      3. My understanding is that Royal Stetson or Royal Deluxe Stetson connoted a good grade but not the top grade of hat. The RS hats I own (none OR) are all very nice but I would say upper-middle grade.
      My finest Stetsons are a 40s or 50s Stetson '25' and a late 50s or so Stetson '100'. Supposedly this grade had something to do with the price of the hat, like $25 or $100. My fawn OR Stetson 25 is as soft as a baby's bottom, very light and flexible (almost like fur-flannel) and has a very fine and thin split hide sweat with adjustments, gold leaf stamped and backed by the oil silk moisture barrier. The best ORs have a sweat similar in feel and quality to the best vintage Borsalinos. The lining is sewn in and the whole thing looks and handles like its worth about $10,000. Once you have seen this you will never confuse a mere 3x or 4x (or 7x) beaver Stetson, Royal or other wise, with the genuine article. I cannot say however if within the Royal grades there is not an equivalent aristocracy-- maybe there is.
      4. Joseph's men's store is indeed where the denizens of the Texas legislature bought their hats and other fittings. I bought a Joseph's 7x beaver Stetson rancher on ebay and investigated the store. Somehow I managed to get in touch with a family member who was studying at UT. The Joseph brothers were from Lebanon or Syria (not sure which) and opened their store on 500 S Congress about 1912 or thereabouts. The store thrived right through the booms in cattle and oil and only went under in the early 2000s. I value and treasure my Joseph's hat as a real piece of Texas history, and you should you value yours.
    3. Vintagefran Vintagefran, 8 years ago
      Wow, great looking hat, and agree with last poster, a great explanation.
      Thank you
    4. HWOODTX61, 6 years ago
      I bought many a hat and men's items from the Joseph Family...The Parents and The Son and His Wife were such nice people. I really miss them. They had two huge blown up photos of LBJ and Gov. Connally and it said: "The Day The President Came To Visit... I wish I still had one of those old hats from them. Joseph was the middle name of the Family Patriarch. The Old Timers came from the part of Syria which is now Lebanon. The Son always had a tailor's tape around his neck,and sometimes when I would go by,he would be out taking his afternoon walk. I miss Old Austin. If they didn't have it in stock,they would get it for you and call when it came in. Try and get Customer Service like that anymore.
    5. HWOODTX61, 6 years ago
      howardeye...Brag much ?
    6. HWOODTX61, 6 years ago
      Nor do I !

      Nor do you live in Austin...

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