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Historic Unedited Photos They Don’t Want You To See
Publication: HistoricalHistory. Posted by
760a631d0dea2ae92cb6e9f7b157b927
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Entertainment
Historic Unedited Photos They Don’t Want You To See
Publication: Historical History.
Posted by
760a631d0dea2ae92cb6e9f7b157b927
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Unidentified Cowboy

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Where:
Unknown
When:
1800s
Summary:
An unidentified cowboy immortalizes the mystique and tradition of the Wild West

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Unidentified Cowboy



  Where:
Unknown

  When:
1800s

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or read more about below

In this day and age, a lot of us take countless photos. Whether it be of ourselves (the classic “selfie”) or we were tagged in a photo that someone else took, our lives are very well documented. Our names happened to be attached to many of these photos, but that wasn’t the case in the old west.Advertisements:


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Instead, having your photo taken was seen as a luxury, and many of the photos that we see from these times come without a name, including the one that you see here. This cowboy, like many of the others from his time, can be seen in these historical photos while maintaining anonymity. Not every cowboy back then was as famous as Wild Bill or Buffalo Bill.

Life wasn’t always about getting into shootouts, rounding up horses or getting into fights. There was a lot of downtime back then, which provided for photos like the one here. Many of these cowboys liked to show off their attire, showing that some things have stayed the same. Instead of showcasing major fashion designers, however, they’re more interested in showing off their unique holsters and firearms.

This particular cowboy is showing off a pair of his Colt Single Action handguns, with one sitting in his holster while the displayed proudly in his hand. Rounding out the ensemble are the typical boots, chaps, hat, shirt and bandana that was the common look. Maintaining that pose for the photo would take much longer than it does these days, too.

It’s hard to say exactly when this photo was taken, but the belief is that it was definitely between 1873 and 1892, when the Colt Single Action Army was in service during multiple wars that included the American Indian Wars, Spanish-American War and Philippine-American War. The Single Action is still being produced today, as it took breaks from production in 1975 and between 1941 and 1956.

While this man may be toting a pair of pistols, how much does it really represent life in the old west? Was it as wild as people say? It’s hard to find some accurate representations thanks to movies, television shows and books that have portrayed the old west as being a gritty warzone that pitted cowboys against Native Americans where only the roughest and toughest survived.

However, it’s been found that fewer than five percent of pioneers in the old west died in conflicts with Native Americans, and that there were plenty of cowboys before Americans even headed out west. Early versions of what we consider to be the cowboy were actually from Mexico, and they were known as vaqueros. Movies made it seem like the Americans were the first ones to do so, and that most of the land was comprised solely of white people.

We’ve learned from history, though, that the old west was a melting pot of cultures. Whites, blacks, hispanics, Native Americans, all of them lived in the old west and didn’t have as many standoffs as you might think. Many of these cultures blended in together more smoothly than what you’d see in the eastern part of the country, and there wasn’t even as many bar brawls, as people relied on their neighbors to get by, forming a strong sense of community.

In fact, the guns in the photograph might have even been illegal. In many settlements and towns, guns were outlawed, especially in the early days of the old west. A sheriff in any of these towns had the ability to take guns away if found illegal, but that doesn’t make for a very fun movie. Were there shootouts and fighting and horse chases? Of course, but it wasn’t a daily occurrence like you see in the films.

Many of those in the old west lived normal lives that you’d still get a glimpse of in small town America today. It was when small rural communities were formed, which led to the development of states and means of shipping goods across a large country. Rober V. Hine and John Mack Faragher said of the old west that it wasn’t all about conquest, “but also one of survival, persistence and the merging of peoples and cultures that gave birth and continuing life to America.”

Tales of herding cattle, trying to find water to bathe or drink, chugging whiskey until you passed out in the street or rounding up your wagon for a slow sprawl into town were all more common activities than what you might believe. People tend to romanticize the old west when they see photos like this one, but you’d likely be bored to tears if you had to live through it knowing what the 21st century holds.

Still, it’s a great and important period of American history, and the country and world as we know it wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for the old west. You can still catch a glimpse of what it was like back then at local (not the commercialized national) rodeos or at rural farms in the United States, which are two activities that have withstood the test of time without being changed much.

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