Cody Harrison from Longview Alberta has a passion for making Cowboy Hats that and his enthusiasm and love of what he does shines through in this episode. Cody is a “Hatter” at Smithbilt Hats a company with a long history and tradition in Canada. Smithbilt has made hats for some of the most epic western films, music artists and dignitaries.
Initially Smithbilt produced mostly dress hats with small brims, styles that flourished in the East and in Europe. In 1926, however Morris began a co-operative effort with local businessmen and the Stampede Board to promote western wear for spectators as well as partisans in the Calgary Stampede. The Stampede was providing a focus for local manufacturers who responded by developing products of western style.
Increasingly, Smithbilt made Western hats a specialty, and in 1946 Morris created the first white cowboy hat. He was very proud of the White Smithbilt, and indeed this small contribution to the Canadian identity became a symbol of the Stampede and of Calgary. The White Smithbilt, proudly worn by local officials, was traditionally presented to visiting dignitaries and Royal guests. It is now known throughout North America and the rest of the world.