Old western photos
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    Old western photos

    I enjoy looking at all the old photos of westerners and their firearms, clothing, hats,etc. It is obvious that a number of the photos are taken in a studio. That makes me wonder if the firearms and clothing actually belongs to the person in the photo or do they belong to the studio.

    Any input on that?

    Joe

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    I cant prove anything but I agree. Hell, I had it done myself with my ex wife and a girlfriend (not the same time) at Virginia City where they had a lot of old timey clothes available to choose from. They are found in tourist traps., Virginia City, Calico, Knotts Berry Farm etc.

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    fullsizeoutput_299.jpeg

    Here's the real thing. The fellow on the right with the 7.5" 45 Colt strapped on was Carl Wills and the other person is his oldest son Don Wills. At the time of the picture Carl was a rancher in Baca County Colorado, west of Springfield out in the Cedars. He was also a US Deputy Marshall for the southern district of Colorado. He used to have to trail his prisoners over 100 miles to the Federal Court in Trinidad, Colorado on horseback. The picture is not dated so it is pretty much unknown when it was taken. After he was divorced by my great Grandmother due to too much love of hard liquor, he got to rodeoing and ended up out in southern california where he opened a riding academy to teach people to ride etc. He taught a lot of movie stars or so he used to say. His son used to be a farrier at Santa Anita raceway before he died. Carl was buried in Lancaster, California in 1964. All four of his ex wifes were at the funeral. I spent a couple of weeks with him when I was 12 and he taught me to take horses over some pretty high jumps. I liked him and never saw him drunk. But in my family his consumption of alcohol was legendary.
    Ugly, Colt-SL, Chaffee and 7 others like this.
    The reason I carry a .45 is, Colt Don't make a .46

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    L.A. Huffman was a very prolific photographer before barbed wire and the last of the buffalo in Montana's earlier days.





    Huffman has a lot of fine old photos to look at. But there is a pearl handled Colt with a broken grip that shows up in a lot of the shots of cowboys. They used all sorts of "props" inside and outside to get the best effect and tell the best story. But unlike some studio photos that dress up the model in the extreme I think most of Hoffman's phots were trying to realistically tell the stories he photographed mostly out doors. Props were hauled around in his little wagon where ever he went to take photos.

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    There is a clear difference between the real-life shots, even if somewhat staged, shown above and the quite distinct category of studio portraits which the OP addresses in his question.

    These types of portrait photos were very popular in the late 19th and early 20th century, and the guns and often the “Wild West” equipment like holsters, hats, and other accoutrements were standard props provided by photographers, who often advertised and recruited customers the same way their modern successors do in Old West theme parks as feralmerril describes above. Many studios had stage sets with themed backgrounds for such photos. Analyzing these for any insight into how folks actually armed themselves and carried back then is unlikely to yield accurate results.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    I think the majority of them are staged- some have the subjects in there regular clothes with personal weapons etc. But most are studio shots with props etc..






    Really fun to look at them though- I see them as real time machines.



    The first two photos above are studio shots may or may not be the weapons the individuals took to combat in the civil war. The third is a outside shot of a union cavalryman with at least two revolvers and a saber- saddled up and ready to head out. I think that is his real load out almost for sure.

    When I look at the "time machines", I am damn glad I was born when I was- back in the day a tooth ache could croak you.
    Last edited by Ugly; 08-21-2019 at 02:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cozmo View Post
    L.A. Huffman was a very prolific photographer before barbed wire and the last of the buffalo in Montana's earlier days.





    Huffman has a lot of fine old photos to look at. But there is a pearl handled Colt with a broken grip that shows up in a lot of the shots of cowboys. They used all sorts of "props" inside and outside to get the best effect and tell the best story. But unlike some studio photos that dress up the model in the extreme I think most of Hoffman's phots were trying to realistically tell the stories he photographed mostly out doors. Props were hauled around in his little wagon where ever he went to take photos.
    +1
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    I like all these old photos too. Here is probably my favorite, ever since I saw it as a kid in Time Life's 'The Gunfighter's'. The reason is that the two sitting are holding my favorite Colt's. Conversions. In this case 1st model Richards.
    'This is King Fisher's Road--Take the other one'

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    This was my gr, gr, grandfather. Born in germany, he joined the 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer`s the first to go in the civil war. Taken prisoner at Bull Run, escaped or traded out to fight again and got wounded at Gettysburg. He went through the entire civil war.
    The picture is blew up from a much larger picture my wife cropped. It was of a large thrashing crew of about ten people on his farm.
    Not too romantic dressed but a "working" picture.
    lboos, Jagman64, joehaber and 5 others like this.


 
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