Governor Hickenlooper: ‘By 1906, Mr. Stetson was selling 2 million hats a year’

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Here’s the State of the State address from Governor Hickenlooper’s office (Eric Brown). Here’s an excerpt:

John B. Stetson left Pennsylvania in the early 1860s, suffering from tuberculosis, and came west. He soon found himself panning for gold in the Colorado Rockies. Fierce storms, without warning, would come up over the mountains and drench the mining camp. Mr. Stetson saw a problem in need of a solution, and he had a unique skill. His father had taught him hatting as a kid, and he made a felt hat that could protect him from wind and cold. The other miners were envious. One fellow bought the hat right off his head for a $5 gold coin. A business was born. By 1906, Mr. Stetson was selling 2 million hats a year. Cowboys would sleep on their Stetson or bend it to provide better visibility. They would fill the hat up with water – ever heard of the 10 gallon hat? – because it was water proof on the inside. Cowboys still do this … and even a smattering of our legislators…

…costly litigation and endless court battles have characterized the state’s water policy over many years – the Interbasin Water Roundtable Process represents a better way forward. The process created a historic agreement announced last year between Denver and the Western Slope…

We must preserve Colorado’s great landscapes, protect the state’s water and keep the air clean. Not just because this will attract businesses, but also because it is part of our moral obligation to future generations.

More 2012 Colorado legislation coverage here.

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