Top 25 "It" products of all time: #3 -- Davy Crockett Coonskin Caps


Davy Crockett may conjure images of huntin', fishin', and campin', but he was actually a national craze born from same marketing machine that pumped up crowds for the opening of Disneyland. In a mere five episodes, the frontiersman went from historical footnote to a folk hero and fashion trendsetter.

By the end of 1955, Americans had snapped up an astonishing $300 million in Crockett souvenirs, and three versions of the new song "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" hit Billboard's Top Ten simultaneously. Crockett was a phenomenon, and his character spawned a modern fashion must-have: the faux-fur coonskin cap with the raccoon tail.

For a few years, no self-respecting little kid would be seen without one. Which was ironic, considering that the cap was actually a Native American fashion accessory, and that the real Crockett didn't even like them. He wore European fabrics.

Davy Crockett, the one of the fad, was the result of heavy promotion by Walt Disney. You see, in the early '50s, Disney decided that he wanted to open an amusement park, and to make sure he'd could convince enough patrons to trek all the way down to the orange groves of Anaheim, he went to the boardrooms of the TV network ABC.