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Friday, March 15, 2013

Wild West Photo Friday: Four Forgotten Cowboys

Many of the historic photos that have come down to us lack information. Looking at these two images, I have to wonder--who were they? Where were they? And are they really cowboys?

The reason for this last question is that by the turn of the century, the West was already becoming a tourist attaction. People went to see the sights and as a memento would have their picture taken in Western gear. In some posed images they didn't even leave the big city, they just went to a photographic studio and picked out a costume!

The top photo looks real to me, but the bottom image rings a bit false. Maybe it's the contrast between the ties and the heavy weaponry. Maybe they don't look as hard-bitten as the guy in the top photo. Or maybe I'm reading too much into it. What do you think?


  1. I think you're clever to have spotted the 2nd is probably a fake. When I studied it, I realized the men (and horse) have no shadows, and their feet seem to be resting on top of what's either mud or sand. Nope, I don't think that one's real.
    Great post! :-)


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