Resistol Hats is a Garland, Texas, United States–based manufacturer of premium hats, many of which have been worn by or given to notable figures around the world. The company is best known as a maker of cowboy hats. The company has long been an important part of Garland's manufacturing base.
"If you are among those behatted hordes and live in Texas, chances are yours is a Resistol," wrote Peter Applebome in Texas Monthly. "Based in Garland, Resistol sells about a million cowboy hats a year, ranging in price from $15 for a straw workingman's special to $3000 for a beaver-and-ermine number. The cowboy hat may be the single most resonant throwback to the glory days of the open range, the one thing that most says "Texas" to the rest of the world."
The company was founded by E.R. Byer and Harry Rolnick, who established Byer-Rolnick in Dallas, Texas in 1927. At the time, the company produced men's felt hats. The company used the name "Resistol Hats" to indicate that the hats could "resist-all" weather conditions. Some accounts contend the name was given because the headbands in the company's hats were more resistant to scalp oil.
The growing firm needed to expand. In 1938, it moved to a larger facility in Garland, Texas, where Resistol hats continue to be manufactured today. For decades, residents surrounding the hat factory could set their clocks to its whistle.
Among the celebrities who have worn a Resistol are actors John Wayne and Henry Fonda; United States Presidents Lyndon Baines Johnson and Ronald Reagan; the Dallas Cowboys's legendary coach Tom Landry, who wore the company's trademark dress hats. Also, the Texas Department of Public Safety troopers wear Resistol hats as part of their uniform. These are made in a custom color called Textan.
In the Johnson administration, gifts of Western-style hats were a diplomatic gesture.
Riding on the cowboy craze of the late 1970s, "Resistol put its factories on 24-hour shifts, and its business doubled in three years. But booms do have a tendency to go bust, and by 1982 the cowboy hat had become last year's Nehru jacket," according to Applebome. The company is reportedly well diversified and makes a wide array of hat types, including safari and baseball styles.
Since 2009, Pro Equine Group has owned Resistol.
- Texas Monthly: Read Me. Texas
- Resistol - The Best All Around
- Threads: Ronald Regan fulfills the Republican dream of cowboy politics: Threads: mensvogue.com
- Tamony, Peter. "The Ten-Gallon or Texas Hat," Western Folklore, Vol. 24, No. 2, Apr., 1965, pp. 115-118.
- Resistol getting back to normal/With craze over, Dallas hat maker catering to real cowboys again