John B. Stetson was responding to an emergency when he created his first hat in the early 1860s. This marked the birth of the cowboy hat, the symbol of the Wild West, and the birth of John B. Stetson Company, founded in 1865, as well. The iconic men who have worn Stetson hats include Buffalo Bill, George Montgomery, Bing Crosby, James Dean, and John Wayne. A company rich in tradition, Stetson still makes all of its hats in the US. Since 1998, Friedrich W. Schneider GmbH in Cologne has had the license for Europe, producing the majority of its hats in Germany while following the Stetson hat tradition.