Cattle ranching is essential to our economy and life here in the United States of America. Texas alone holds 130.2 million acres devoted to farms and ranches and generates billions in revenue each year. According to the USDA, “Cattle production is the most important agricultural industry in the United States, consistently accounting for the largest share of total cash receipts for agricultural commodities” and would bring in $391 billion in 2021. With such a monumental industry in our own backyard, do you wonder how it all began?
The practice of leathercraft has been around for many, many years. Through the process of hand tooling, many beautiful leather products have been created over the centuries. These items have often been passed down, possessing both useful as well as aesthetic purposes. The history of leather hand-tooling in the United States is closely linked to western culture.
It’s pretty hard to beat the good fried food and action-packed entertainment of a rodeo. Even for those who haven’t experienced a rodeo yet, you’ve probably heard of the iconic “Daddy of Them All,” Cheyenne Frontier Days. Rodeo is considered the state sport of Texas, Wyoming and South Dakota! But where did this favorite Western pastime of America begin?
When you think of a cowboy’s attire, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? If it isn’t the boots, it’s likely the iconic cowboy hat. This notable hat style can be seen throughout the West, whether on a ranch, at a rodeo, or in a classic western film. In the words of Lucius Beebe, “It was the hat that won the West.” But how did this infamous hat of the West come into being?