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A fedora is a type of hat.

Indiana Jones favored a high-crowned, wide-brimmed sable fedora through many of his adventures, sometimes risking his own life to make sure he retained it.

He also wore gray fedoras in his everyday life but the sable hat he was given as a teenager was the one with which he had most sentiment for.

Adventures with the fedora[]

Early adventures[]


Garth in 1912, the first owner of the fedora

Indiana Jones's preferred felt fedora hat[1] originally belonged to a treasure hunter named Garth, who discovered the Cross of Coronado with his gang in 1912 in Utah. Jones, while on a Boy Scout trip, stole the cross and eluded Garth and his men and returned home. The Sheriff arrived to reclaim the cross for Garth's employer, but Garth, seeing spirit in the young man, put his fedora on Jones' head, and told him, "You lost today, kid, but that doesn't mean you have to like it."[2] Indy would go on to become attached to the fedora, refusing to leave it behind even in danger of death[3] or buying a new hat[4], even to the point of enraging if it was damaged.[5] Young Indy once thougth that his hat was either a Weston[6] or Stetson.[7]

Jones took the fedora with him to New Mexico in 1916, and from there, he wore his hat as he got involved in the Mexican Revolution,[8] and then in adventures in Ireland[9] and the United Kingdom. After enlisting in the Belgian army for World War I,[10] Jones took the fedora with him as he went to war, however he sported a variety of military headgear while out in the field as a soldier and courier. At times, Indy was permitted to wear his beloved fedora, mostly while carrying out missions for French Intelligence.[11]

At the war's end, the fedora returned to daily use as Jones and Remy Baudouin journeyed in search of the Peacock's Eye.[12] Back home in the United States, Jones wore it through his college life, and it accompanied him on many archaeological adventures. As a professor, Jones rarely wore the hat around class, opting to travel with gray variant, but out in the field, along with his jacket, whip, and pistol, the sable fedora formed part of his traditional expedition attire.[13]

Main adventures[]

In 1935, he entrusted the fedora and the rest of his gear to Short Round when he dressed up to meet with Lao Che. After fleeing Shanghai, Jones changed back into his adventuring gear, and promptly lowered the fedora over his eyes to get some sleep on the plane. Later in Mayapore, Jones took off his fedora as a guest,[3] but let Short Round wear it. He remarked later in his journal to remember to get the kid his own hat.[14] On the way to the Temple of Doom, Indiana almost lost his hat in the "spike room" as he rolled out of the door, barely reaching back in to swiftly retrieve his beloved fedora.[3]

In 1936, Jones took the fedora with him to South America to try and retrieve the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol. The fedora accompanied Jones to Nepal and Egypt as he tried to keep the Ark of the Covenant away from the Nazis.[13] His fedora helped keep the beating desert heat and sun off of Indy's head.

In 1938, Jones wore the fedora on his journey to Venice, though didn't wear it when exploring the Knight's tomb in the catacombs. He donned it again, when rescuing his father from Castle Brunwald and escaping from Germany. In a battle near the Canyon of the Crescent Moon, Jones momentarily lost the hat as he fell off a cliff atop the tank, but just as he climbed up to the top and rejoined his companions, a gust of wind brought his fedora back to him.[2]

In 1941, Jones nearly lost his hat during a plane crash off the coast of Haiti. Curious about Jones' sentimentality with the fedora, George McHale asked him about its origins. Jones related the story with the Cross of Coronado, and how he had spent a fortune on maintaining his lucky hat - getting it blocked and dry-cleaned, having the sweatband replaced, having hatmakers repair holes in the felt.[15]

In 1944, the fedora was among the equipment that Basil Shaw was carrying while Jones attempted to infiltrate a Nazi-held castle in the French Alps in disguise while seeking to retrieve the Lance of Longinus, only for Jones and Shaw to both be captured. After escaping and boarding the train that Shaw was being held on, Jones donned the hat and the rest of his gear while successfully stopping the train. Although the lance was a fake, Jones and Shaw did gain possession of one half of the Antikythera.[16]

In 1951, while taking the Antikythera from Shaw, who had been driven mad by his investigation of the device, Jones nearly forgot his fedora at Shaw's house, only for Basil's daughter, Helena Shaw, to hand it to him just before he drove off.[16]

In 1957, Jones was captured in the Yucatán Peninsula by Soviet soldiers, who took him to Hangar 51 in Nevada. Dumping him and George McHale on the ground, Jones had to put his hat firmly on his head before confronting their captors. The fedora accompanied Jones on his adventures to Nazca and Akator. After returning to the States, Jones hung up his hat at the door to the chapel where he and Marion Ravenwood were wed. A gust of wind knocked the fedora to the feet of Mutt Williams, who attempted to wear his father's headpiece, but Jones snagged it and put it on, walking outside with his bride.[17]

In 1969, a now-grown Helena Shaw contacted Jones about the Antikythera, leading to a conflict with ex-Nazi scientist Jürgen Voller in which Jones was forced to flee with the aid of Sallah, who ensured that Jones had his fedora along with the rest of his adventuring gear.[16]

In the 1990s, an elderly Jones continued to wear his trademark fedora while talking to people in the New York City area.[8]

Behind the scenes[]

Indiana Jones has become well-known for his signature fedora hat. Although no particular importance had been placed on his sable fedora in Raiders of the Lost Ark—the character was scripted to lose it while boarding the Wurrfler and the headwear goes unseen for the rest of the movie—by Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, with Jones nicknamed "The Man with the Hat", it was used in the teaser poster tagline, given an origin story, and director Steven Spielberg included a gag where the fedora lands back with Jones following the Tank Chase in reference to how it somehow manages to return to him.[2]

The French novel Indiana Jones Jr et l'Enfant Lama depicts Indy gifting his fedora to the Dalai Lama,[18] implying that the fedora worn by Indy in later adventures was not the same one he received from Garth in Last Crusade.[2] This is contradicted in Indiana Jones and the Mystery of Mount Sinai and Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead,[4][15] where it is stated that Indy never bougth a new hat[4] and that the fedora owned in 1943[15] was the same one acquired in 1912.[2]

Indy's fedora was based on a style known as "The Poet" which had been in continuous production since the 1890s.[19] Herbert Johnson in London was the company who supplied the fedoras for the trilogy. They can still be purchased today from their shop in London. With each Indy film a new shape to the fedora came with it:

Raiders fedora[]

The Raiders of the Lost Ark hat appears to be the tallest, yet not as tall as most people think. The crown was a 5 1/2" crown that looked straight sided, wide brim, with very little rounding at the top. The brim also has a dramatic swoop in it, particularly noticeable when the hat is pulled down towards the eyes.

While Herbert Johnson did make the hats used in the movies, their standard hat arrives slightly too tall, at 5 3/4", instead of 5 1/2". Some fans when acquiring Indy attire want the name, but one should keep in mind that there are several other hatters available who do an outstanding job of creating an Indy hat. Many hats can be found in the correct specs and often for much less money.

Temple of Doom fedora[]

With the filming of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indy's hat took a few twists of its own. Herbert Johnson didn't use a new model to create their Indy hats. What some people mistakenly imply is that Stetson also provided Indy's hat. This is one of the more common rumours; they did not provide any hat for this movie. Again all Indy's famous lids came from Herbert Johnson. This movie's hat showed a lot of resemblance to the Raiders hat, yet missing the tighter front pinch. Another interesting fact is that the current Herbert Johnson, at its standard 5 3/4" open and unstyled height, is correct for the Temple of Doom fedora.

While Temple of Doom was playing in the theatres, fedoras were produced commercially in conjunction with its release. Stetson had their hats crafted in two locations, Austria and the United States. The Austria hats were noticeably different, made with a finer quality of felt, not coarse, like the U.S. versions. In 1988 Stetson stopped selling their Indy hats, and let their license of the merchandising hats expire right before Last Crusade started filming.

Last Crusade fedora[]

With Stetson letting their license expire, Dorfman Pacific hats began to commercialize the Indy hat, and these hats eventually made their way into Disney theme parks. The hats for the movies were still crafted by Herbert Johnson, and are now actually more straight sided than the Raiders hat. This due to the fact the top dent is bashed differently as is the crown. The LC crease shows more of a triangle shape with a not so tight front pinch.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade featured scenes of Indy riding a horse to get after the tank holding his father and Brody, and the fedora flew off Harrison Ford's head during most of those scenes during shootings. In jest, Ford put a stapler against his head when a documentary crew visited during shooting of Last Crusade. This created the urban legend that Ford stapled the hat to his head, as the fedora continued to stay on his head in further shootings.[20]

Kingdom of the Crystal Skull fedora[]

The fedoras for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull were made by Steve Delk and Marc Kitter of the Adventurebilt Hat Company. The Adventurebilt Hat Company started out making Indiana Jones fedoras for the fans, but ended up being the ultimate winner, having Harrison Ford wear their hats as Indiana Jones in the latest chapter in the Indiana Jones saga.

Dial of Destiny fedora[]

Herbert Johnson returned to make the fedoras for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

Video games[]

In LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures, at the end of the level "The Opening of the Ark", Indy's fedora is colored gray in accordance to how the movie ended, and is made by The LEGO Group.[21]


Non-canonical appearances[]


Notes and references[]

External links[]