A LOVE FOR THE OLD WILD WEST | VINTAGE AMERICANA POSTCARDS

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Yes, I have a thing for vintage linen postcards– with old Curt Teich works being at the top of that list.  I also love the lore of the American Wild West (the maverick, pioneer spirit lines-up well with my own modus operandi)– bowlegged, dusty cowboys with tobacco-stained fingers and hooded eyes, and the soulful sages that we call Native Americans with their incredible art, customs and culture.  I could feast on these beautiful little pieces of art for days.

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1917 — American Map Showing Vital Spot to Hit to Kill the American Spirit of Justice. — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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Circa 1925, Pendleton, Oregon — There are many tribes of Indians in the Northwest and they live on reservations. The Bannocks and the Nezperces of Idaho, the Umatillas of Oregon and the Yakimas of Washington are the chief tribes. Fishing and hunting is part of their livelihood. They have great meetings at the rodeos where they parade in war costumes and perform their tribal dances. — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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Circa 1943, Elk City, Oklahoma — Texas Kid, Jr., Riding “Joe Louis.” A past time Range Sport of the Pioneer Southwest, being reproduced by a crack rider during Woodword Elks Rodeo. Stock furnished by Beutler Bros., Elk City, Okla. — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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Circa 1939, San Antonio, Texas — OLD “TEX,” the best known specimen of that hardy race of cattle, the famous TEXAS-LONGHORN, escaped the early day cowboys who herded and drove them to distant railroad shipping points. He roamed the prairies of Southwest Texas to an undetermined age and is now full body mounted as shown and stands as one of outstanding exhibits in the Buckhorn Curio Store Museum, originally the Famous Buckhorn Bar in San Antonio, Texas. — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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Circa 1933 — NAVAJO INDIANS SPINNING YARN FOR RUGS. Navajo Indian Rugs are famed the world over for their beauty and durability. In infancy children receive the ambition to create designs which express their understanding of life, supply, or surroundings. No two rugs are designed identical. The picture shows one rug just completed, and the never idle fingers are spinning yarn from the raw wool and preparing for another rug of some design which inspired thoughts have conceived. — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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Circa 1945, Bowie, Arizona — GERONIMO’S CASTLE-GREYHOUND BUS DEPOT-BOWIE, ARIZONA. GERONIMO’S CASTLE, RESTAURANT and INDIAN CURIO SHOP. Erected near where Chief Geronimo of the Apaches was captured. “Stop for a Bottle of Ice Cold Beer!” Clifford B. Head, Proprietor — Image by © Lake County Museum/CORBIS

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Circa 1916 — Sioux Indian Chiefs — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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(Lt.) Circa 1934, Texas — Time Out to Roll His Own! A West Texas Working Cowboy, Rear View. No moving picture acting in his life-just hard work on the range as vividly proven by his wide and powerful shoulders, bow legs, and saddle-worn chaps! — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

(Rt.) Circa 1927 — CHARLES MARION RUSSELL. This is an early picture of Charles M. Russell, Montana’s famous Cowboy Artist. Born in St. Louis, Mo. in 1865. Died at Great Falls, Mont., Oct. 25th, 1926. — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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Circa 1943 — Dixie Lee Reger, Jumping Car on Her Famous Horse. Dixie Lee one of Rodeo’s best trick riders, and who is not afraid to ride. This photograph shows her riding her famous Palameno horse when he jumps this brand new car and clears it by almost four feet. It is an easy stunt, try it some time when you get a new car. — Image by © Lake County Museum/CORBIS

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ca. 1908-1910 — 528-Indian Witch Doctor Visiting Patient — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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Circa 1942, Cheyenne, Wyoming — Cheyenne Frontier Days, universally recognized as the World’s Greatest Outdoor Rodeo, is held at Cheyenne annually the last full week in July. Here are Thrills, Spills and Chills as the World’s Best Cowboys contest with outlaw broncs and steers for honors. — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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1902 — From this point one can see across the Grand Canyon, across the Painted Desert to the Navaho Mountains 125 miles away. Also Newberry Terrace, the Angeles Gateway, Vishnu Temple, Solomon’s Temple, Sheba Temple and Apollo and Venus Temple may be seen. A half mile below the rim is Horse Shoe Mesa. Trails lead in all directions from Horse Shoe Mesa to the lower depths of the Canyon. Grand view is 10 miles up the river from Bright Angel Trail as the crow flies and about 16 miles by wagon road. — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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1905 — “Hotel El Tovar, Grand Canyon, AZ” Postcard — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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Circa 1943, Elk City, Oklahoma — Frank Finley, Riding “Joker”. This scene shows a horse and rider just leavin the chutes. Horse owned by Beutler Bros., Elk City, Okla. — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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(Lt.) ca. 1936, Eagle River, Wisconsin — Heap Big Chief — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

(Rt.) ca. 1924 — Yaz-Yah, A Navajo Girl. When a traveler journeys to Hopiland in Arizona he crosses a portion of the Navajo reservation. There are some 16,000 Indians on the reservation. Nowhere, however, are they gathered into anything like a village as are the Pueblo Indians or even in groups such as are found among other tribes in the Southwest. They wander here and there like true nomads. The great industry of the women is carding and spinning wool and weaving it into blankets. The men look after the flocks of sheep, and many are excellent silversmiths. Postcard No. H-2275 — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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Circa 1948 — 316 – INDIAN SHIELD DANCERS — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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Circa 1944, USA — 1600 Lb. Bull Jumping Car — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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Circa 1938, Albuquerque, New Mexico — A-3 KIMO, AMERICA’S FOREMOST INDIAN THEATRE, ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO. The Kimo Theatre Building expresses architecturally, in its composite design, the traditions of New Mexico and the old Southwest. One of the few typically American Indian architectural expressions, with a suggestion of the Spanish in its contours, this unusual edifice, both inside and out, provides an atmosphere of historical romance unequalled elsewhere in America. — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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Circa 1927, Arizona — PAINTED DESERT. Hopi Indians on the edge of the Painted Desert, in Arizona. — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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Circa 1925 — ELKO, NEVADA. On both Southern Pacific and Western Pacific railways, is best hotel and auto supply town on Victory Highway between Salt Lake and Reno – population 3,000. Elko is a U.S. Air Mail Division point and also supply center for Nevada’s principal stockraising county. Assessed valuation $40,000,000. White Sulphur Hot Springs, unexcelled for rheumatism, also located at Elko. — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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Circa 1928 — The Navajo Indian house or home is still built in aboriginal style of sticks and mud with dirt floors. From ancient custom the door always faces the east. During the summer months they move higher into the mountains and build a temporary Hogan. In case of death of any member of the family, while in the Hogan, they immediately desert it and it is known as a “Chin-dee Hogan” or haunted house. — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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(Lt.) Circa 1888-1905 — Pueblo Indian Postcard — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

(Rt.) Circa 1915-1925 —  Seminole Indian “Billy Bowlegs” — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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Circa 1905-1939 —  “Native Roof Garden Party, Hopi House, Grand Canyon, Arizona” Postcard — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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1905 —  “Hopi House, Grand Canyon, Arizona” Postcard — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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Circa 1908-1910 — M 343. A Wild Horse Rider, without a Saddle. This rider coming from Texas entered the Bucking contest at Cheyenne, Wyo. Frontier Day stating “Bring out your worst horse without bridal or saddle.” Note the hat of the rider is flying backward. — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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Circa 1934, Taos, New Mexico — PUEBLO OF TAOS, NEW MEXICO. The most primitive of the upper Rio Grande Indian pueblos is located between the rivers Taos and Lucero, near the Taos Mountains and the Spanish-American village of Fernandez de Taos. In its many-storied adobe communal houses live about 400 Indians, white-robed like the Arabs and very conservative. — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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Circa 1940, North America — “PUEBLO INDIANS, REHEARSING FOR THE DEER DANCE” postcard — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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Circa 1929 — Navajo Indians on Reservation, 26. There are approximately 40,000 Navajo Indians occupying a Reservation of about 9,000,000 acres in No. Arizona and New Mexico. They are self supporting and derive their living from marketing cattle, sheep, wool and hides. Navajo rugs woven by the squaws are famed for their beauty and durability. Silver jewelry hand hammered from Mexican pesos by Navajo silversmiths is very much in demand and highly prized. — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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Circa 1913 — “Crow Indian Sweat Teepee” Postcard — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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Circa 1905-1939 —  “Navajo Mother and Child Weaving, Indian Building, Albuquerque, N.M.” Postcard — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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(Lt.) Circa 1904-1905 —  “MINNEHAHA” Postcard — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

(Rt.) Circa 1946 — OKLAHOMA NEWS CO., TULSA, OKLA. Choctaw Indian Princess, Oklahoma. — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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1905 — “A Group of Navajos, Albuquerque, N.M.” — Image by © Lake County Museum/Corbis

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7 thoughts on “A LOVE FOR THE OLD WILD WEST | VINTAGE AMERICANA POSTCARDS

  1. wow.. those are all so great! I also have a new mission- to see if I can find Bowie, AZ and find that TeePee place. I hope it’s still there! Doubt it tho-they way they destroy all the cool old stuff these days. But, fingers are crossed!

  2. FANTASTIC.

    Though I must ask. I am a massive Deadwood fan, due in no small part to the show’s costume designs. The first time I saw characters dressed in Nineteenth century workwear was a revelation for me – my traditional image of the Old West (of course this term doesn’t only encompass cowboys and ranchers) would be nuanced to reflect what this show represented. I guess I have two points here.

    First, would anybody know a good resource from which I could further research Nineteenth century menswear?

    Second, the Old West is huge geographically, culturally and as the narrative to the founding myth of the great nation of America. It is amazing how diverse the depictions of it are, spanning regions and epochs. At the same time, it makes me wonder about the real Old West, if there is a real Old West. Can it be accurately depicted? Does an accurate depiction exist? Or is it so fundamental to American identity that any attempt to find authenticity will be thwarted by the crushing weight of history?

    Clearly that was super thought provoking and really struck a chord for me. Thanks JP.

  3. “the soulful sages that we call Native Americans with their incredible art, customs and culture”

    Yikes- romanticizing native culture much? One sided stereotypes are harmful, no matter which side.

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