Monday, December 06, 2010

John Clum Apache Agent Hat Rant Recap

December 6, 2010
Just got in the new Cowan's Auction catalog today (December 10, 2010), and it has some wonderful new images in it. First up, here is a photograph I have never seen of John Clum of Tombstone Epitaph newspaper fame. This was obviously taken before Tombstone, when he was the agent for the Apaches at San Carlos:

I think the caption in the catalog is wrong. It says the 1874-78
photograph shows "Clum seated at the left and his assistant M. R. Sweeney on the right." I'm pretty sure that is John Clum on the right (the guy on the left seems too old for Clum, what do you think?). And check out that cowboy hat on his head! Great sweep with winged sides, just like Tombstone Territory (the TV show not the place). See, this is the kind of hat that is banned from modern Western movie sets and here it is on the head of a famous Old West character in the early 1870s.

Oh, and how about that Rastafarian Apache in the middle? Ha. Now I would split a gut if I saw that in a Western, but there you have it. Photos don't lie, too much, anyway.

I have a theory that these sweeping, winged hats were more popular among the general population in the sixties and seventies and then they kind of go a bit flatter in the eighties. Case in point, check out this Kansas Jayhawker. J. H. Green, from the 1860s:

Now that is a great cowboy hat. Or, I should say a Jayhawker hat. Big, deep bowl brim. Fantastic. Give me this in a Western and I'll stop my hat rant, in a Boss-of-the-Plains minute.

"There is nothing sexier than a man being honest."

—Honkytonk Sue

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