The Bowler hat was devised in 1849 by the London hatmakers Thomas and William Bowler. They designed a close-fitting, low-crowned hat to protect a gamekeeper's head from low-hanging branches while on horseback. The keepers had previously worn top hats, which were easily knocked off and damaged.
The bowler hat - also called a bombin - has also been worn by Quechua and Aymara women in Peru and Bolivia since the 1920s when it was introduced to Bolivia by British railway workers. For many years a factory in Italy manufactured the hats for the Bolivian market, but they are now produced internationally.
The popularity of the bowler hat increased in young men during the 1960s and 1970s after the release of Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange.