was the wild west real
In the second half of the 19th century and early 20th century, the media focused largely on the American West, which is sometimes called the Wild West or the Old West. Back then, every man, woman, and child came pre-equipped with an old-timey revolver, which was used for everything from personal defense and hunting to celebrating. Following are 48 photos from the real Wild West you probably haven’t seen: John Wayne was not a real Wild West Cowboy, but his portrayal of the era is what earns him a special place on this list. Being that the sheriff's office was usually no more than a few doors down, you were probably pulling your big heist within earshot of the law. We have some bad news: the U.S. was never the "underdog" we think we were, everything you know about ancient Egypt is Hollywood nonsense and your favorite book sellers are now taking pre-orders for a text book written and illustrated entirely by the Cracked team! Connect to your existing Cracked account if you have one or create a new Cracked username. Here's Billy the Kid wearing some kind of fucked-up top hat: Here's Wild Bill Hickok wearing a woman's flat pancake hat: But what you would have seen mostly back then were bowler hats: They were more popular because they were a little more versatile in various social situations, especially in a time when all men wore hats all the damn time. In any case, the nickname stuck. As towns formed and communities grew, the need for and tolerance of handguns started to fall. Drinking water without a doubt was as expensive in the old west as gold. 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New Logo Exemplifies Why We Hate Brand Redesigns. Another is a bit simpler: Jane was a popular nickname for women in the Wild West (Lewis and Clark called Sacagawea “Jane”), and her life had been such a calamity. It would have taken hours to get everybody together and hooked up in circle formation. In reality, the situation in the old west was not that bad, actually less violent than the other parts of America. His leading role in America’s Western Hollywood films brought to life the nation’s frontier heritage. They were doing what nobody else was crazy enough to do. Another injustice that movies did to those who lived in the west all through the 19th century was the fact that they were all portrayed as either gunslingers, land grabbers or mere sheep who worshipped the powerful. Today, if you find a political rally of people proclaiming themselves to be patriots, you can damn well bet you'll find cowboy hats in that crowd. This may come to many as a shock that Native Americans were absolutely flabbergasted to see the hygiene of the new western emigrants; they were disgusted. Photographs were taken of the families that traveled West, and they offer glimpses of what life was like during that time period. One reason Americans have always been so in love with the Old West is that it's so distinctly American. They were surely more civilized from the new settlers, more hygiene conscious for sure. The Wild West era, a period of myth-making cowboys, gunslingers, and saloon madames, actually lasted only 30 years. On a riverbank in Texas, a master of disguise waited patiently with his accomplice, hoping that his target, an infamous horse thief, would show himself on the trail. This created a whole new business industry; many ‘entrepreneurs’ took gallons of waters from the other side to sell it to the travelers and locals for high prices. The real-life Django: The legendary African-American Wild West marshal who arrested 3,000 outlaws and killed 14 men. Now, the most famous robberies -- the jobs pulled by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid -- were actually true. While the Wild West wasn’t quite the world of gunslingers and desperadoes portrayed in movies, it was still a dangerous place. Check For Blue Teeth. The circle formation of wagons in the nights that Western got ‘right’ (perhaps the only thing they got right about the west) was not a defensive measure against attacking Native tribes; it was rather a move to stop the animals from wandering off and leaving people helpless in the wilderness. Contrary to Hollywood scripture, RL Cowboy Lyfe was less Rawhide and more A Million Ways to Die of Dysentery in the Desert. Reconstruction of C. hesternus – By Sergiodlarosa – CC BY-SA 3.0. There may be no name more evocative of the Wild West than Deadwood. Another fact which was totally ignored by the western filmmakers was the presence of camels in 19th century Wild West. Brothels flourished in the Old West … The American frontier, also known as the Old West or the Wild West, includes the geography, history, folklore, and cultural expression of life in the forward wave of American expansion that began with European colonial settlements in the early 17th century and ended with the admission of the last few territories as states in 1912. They could take entire fortunes from banks that had slightly less security than a modern hot dog stand. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. As for the "circling the wagons" thing, that ring formation was done each night not to keep hostile Indians out, but to keep their absurdly expensive cattle from wandering off. Days were long, very long if you put in the equation the scorching heat. Regardless of the vision of the Wild West one may have, the old west was nothing like what it has been portrayed on a cinema screen for the better part of last century. When most people think of the Wild West era of 1865 to 1895, they imagine ultra-masculine cowboys who drank whiskey, roped steers, shot revolvers and frequented brothels. As a point of comparison, bank robberies in 2010 amounted to 5,600. You're almost done. You’ve seen it in countless westerns. So if you get in your time machine and set it for 1870, you'd damn well better be packing one of these: Lots of people wore hats back then, that part's true. While Natives were laughing their heads off on the smelly cowboys, the incoming people faced the struggle of life and death. No one's disputing that one. That's why, even among those who used guns, six-shooters weren't the favorite. The natives were absolutely repulsed at this, as this was a strange behavior for them. The curved brim, those dips in the crown, the band -- the Stetson is about as iconic as clothing gets. There's always the boots, too, but they kind of go together as a pair. In reality, the people moving towards frontier traveled in groups of hundreds of wagons on dirt roads. Wild West has become a legend, but the real world of the American frontier played out just a short time ago. Hickok is said to have been a great shot, even as a youngster, and was well known for his marksmanship with a pistol. Wayne’s unforgettable image is what many of us picture today as what an Old West Cowboy looks, sounds, and acts like. Now, clearly pop culture has turned much of the true West into bullshit legend -- there were never quick-draw artists who could shoot a six gun out of your hand with another six gun. Just look at HBO’s Westworld — it’s filled with blood-thirsty bandits but nary a gay cowboy. To put this in perspective, at the time a pound of meat cost approximately one cent or even less in some places. Real Wild West: The 101 Ranch and the Creation of the American West This led to an entire genre of books and film devoted to the drama and romance of the period, as well as comic books and toys. Thanks for connecting! Are you frightened by MS Paint and simply have a funny idea? It was a rainbow cowboy coalition! Vaqueros rode the long-haul cattle drives, and their sombreros were probably the precursor to cowboy hats. In 1843 US camel corps was formed after authorities imported some sixty-six healthy camels from Egypt and Morocco. It's safe to say that Deadwood has embraced its Wild West past. Even the cowboy hats that Stetson was making in the late 1800s didn't look like the Stetson hats we call "cowboy hats" today. Believed to have committed 17 killings as a hired gunman throughout the West. What was like back then: People got gunned down over hands of poker (aces and eights, the dead man's hand is from here). This inevitably created massive clouds of dust to even turn the day into night (or a nightmare) for those poor folks lurking at the back. Following are some of the facts about the life on the frontier that is in sheer contrast with what we envisioned all these years. Others were widowed with no other way to earn a living. But it's not like the six-shooter of the time was very dangerous anyway. Well, not really. sparsely populated and uncultivated, not that it was particularly lawless or dangerous. You can even visit Calamity Jane's grave. This timeline of the American Old West is a chronologically ordered list of events significant to the development of the American West as a region of the United States. In the beginning, there was definitely gun violence, as there was neither standardized law nor a good way to enforce it, but the Wild West didn't stay wild forever. The term 'Wild West' was initially referring to the fact that the area was 'wild', i.e. Originally known as "the Boss of the Plains," it looked more like modern Amish hats, and may have been just a modified sombrero. The Wild West of nineteenth century America was at times a chaotic and unruly place, not helped by the lack of law enforcement officials. … Hitting shelves in October, Cracked's De-Textbook is a fully-illustrated, systematic deconstruction of all of the bullshit you learned in school. They were little more than a weapon of last resort. The hats were practical, lightweight, and made with utility in mind. The ultimate item of the cowboy outfit is of course the Stetson hat, which most of us just call a cowboy hat. The Wild West was the home of many colorful (often disreputable) characters. In fact, famed Western historian Lucius "Clearly a Fake Name" Beebe went so far as to call it "the hat that won the West." A court even allowed him to legally adopt the bandit’s name. Copyright ©2005-2021. Black Bart, the Dalton Gang, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid all were famous for their daring robberies. Here, Robert Walsh debunks the myths and shares what really happened. Some of the camels were captured by the circus for shows and carrying stuff. But that's the point -- they got famous for a reason. RARE photos of Colorado brothels during the 1800s show America’s Wild West and the tough women who plied their trade. Especially when you're talking about someone providing a potentially life-saving service (a guide kept you from getting lost, when getting lost meant getting dead). Hell, even if we'd never seen a Western in our lives, that would seem like a low number. The most famous shootout in the history of the Wild West – the gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona – lasted just 30 seconds. What it's like now: Watch daily Wild West Show shootouts on Main Street or re-enactments of Wild Bill Hickok's slaying. Tom Horn Jr. was a scout, cowboy, soldier, range detective, and Pinkerton agent in the 19th-century American Old West. Then you were building railroads in hellish conditions. The banks might as well have left their big white bags of gold sitting out on the porch. The good guy and the bad guy meet in the street at high noon. 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About 300 to 400. A man named J. Frank Dalton who came forward around 1948, at age 101, claiming he was the “real” Jesse James. Even so, many myths have arisen about the period. First, towns back in those days were much smaller, with the sheriff's office, saloon, general store, and bank usually clustered together for convenience. Travelling in heat, fighting with nature, starving for days and searching for every drop of water; the emigrants had no view of their ‘wardrobe’ especially when they were literally fighting for their lives. And all of this has to be true; we know that horrific numbers of people died when settlers expanded West. And that's not exactly what your mind jumps to when you think of cowboy hats, is it? Brothels were nearly impossible to escape from as their controlling owner… Even the Native Americans would help move the cattle with their white, Mexican, and black brethren. During this same period, settlers killed over 400 Native Americans. Those frontiersmen must have been firing bullets and dodging arrows on a daily basis, right? Shotguns and rifles were the preferred weapons, having both the power and the range to put down a mountain lion or a card-cheating son of a bitch. One in three cowboys were Mexican vaquero. Related story from us: Quick on the draw: Famous gunmen of the Old West. Despite what Hollywood would have you believe, not every cowboy (or human being, for that matter) was a white male. The cost of a mere cup of water started from one dollar, five dollars and in some places went as high as one hundred dollars. Unlike the Natives, emigrants wore long and thick clothing which obviously made things worse for them while traveling in high temperatures. The 'soiled doves' of the Wild West: Photos reveal the everyday lives of prostitutes in the brothels of the American Frontier. Regardless of the public's perception, gun control laws may have actually been stricter back in the 19th and early 20th century than they are now, especially in the West. They had curved edges that could defend you from both sun and rain, and they made you look incredibly stylish while doing what amounted to staring at cows for weeks at a time. In reality, the Cowboys at the time did not wear such headgear, purely because it was not practical and did not go with their overall rough and rugged attire. In 2019, Pearce was restored and opened as a museum, which showcased treasures of a bygone period, offering visitors the chance to gain an understanding of life in a Wild West town. Corral was caused by one gang being unwilling to abide by the anti-firearm rule of Tombstone. When wagon trains saw a raid of Cherokee or Sioux coming, they would "circle the wagons" to form a defense perimeter -- and to this day, "circle the wagons" is shorthand for "hunker down and fight back.". Looking For The Best Medieval Artists? Hell, it wouldn't even be possible to "circle the wagons" in an emergency -- these wagon trains typically traveled spread out in a line several miles wide, rather than in the column that the term "train" suggests, in an effort to avoid each other's dust, wheel ruts, and debris. This documentary series, which was made in 1992, shows stories of how the real West was created and separates fact from fiction. The flurry of western movie production perpetuated the American romance with the Wild West and doing so went off course with fewer facts and more fictional conjuring. Well ... not exactly. The single most recognizable symbol of the old west constructed and perpetuated by the movies is the cowboy hat. Second, the banks actually weren't that easy to get in and out of. Bass Reeves was born a slave in 1838 and later broke from his owner to live among Native Americans. Some common myths you probably still believe include ... Old Westerns treat Native Americans kind of like The Walking Dead treats zombies -- sudden, murderous ambushes could come from anywhere, at any time. But it turns out the reality of cowboy life was way less romantic and way more prone to stuff like STDs. Unfamiliar with the terrain the people moving to the old west feared death by thirst and starvation. Native Americans had become accustomed to the elements and learned to live with the hardships, and most of them washed regularly; far more frequently than the emigrants. Again, that's not zero, but it does mean that the vast majority of settlers never got into a murderous conflict with hostile tribes. The WILD women who ruled the outlaws of the West: Stunning photographs capture the madams and prostitutes of the 1880s frontier who would stop at … Real Wild West: The 101 Ranch and the Creation of the American West [Wallis, Michael] on Amazon.com. But for everyday criminals, common targets were often trains and stagecoaches because they were more isolated, easier to get into, and easier to escape. You can create an infographic and you could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow! Take the Wild West: we like to think we have a pretty good idea of what the frontier was like—punching cows and shooting cheats in places with names like Drunkman’s Creek and Dead Squaw’s Buttocks. So why bother with a bank, which would be a suicide mission in comparison? Native Americans were nothing like the barbarians and killers that western movies portray them as; they were rather clean, thinking, spiritual and mostly peaceful people, much like any community of humans. And stop by LinkSTORM to discover why you should always be ready to save a lady from the train tracks. Deadly gunman and Old West folk hero James “Wild Bill” Hickok was born in Illinois on May 27, 1837. Copyright © 2005-2021. Many of us will associate the term traffic jam with modern lifestyle; in fact, the good old west had its fair share of traffic jams on its trails. The rate of homicide was significantly low; there were no choreographed gun-bouts, no mass hangings; to put it in one term ‘west was never the way you may remember from the western movies’. The 1860s and the 1890s gave birth to the period known as the Wild West and laid a foundation to its ensuing mythology. But the basics were true, right? So you had to be really sure you wanted to shoot that dude. Then sign up RIGHT NOW and pitch your first article today! The original cowboys were Mexican cattlemen known as vaqueros, and they are literally everything you imagine a cowboy to be. Looking back on most portraits from the time, you can find that almost every single major name in the West owned a bowler hat, at least if they had class. But they seemed to wear everything but what we think of as "cowboy" hats. In addition, some authors assume that the West was very violent and then assert, as Joe Franz does, that “American violence today reflects our frontier heritage” (Fran… Reeves … However, during and after the American Civil War a large number of camels were either killed or ran into the wilderness. This one-stop social-needs block usually made up the dead center of town. With law enforcement often miles away, criminals flourished, and people were left to take matters into their own hands—often with terrifying results. We repeat: not tens of thousands, not even thousands. They didn't even use regular bullets like they currently do, instead opting for the so-called "cap-and-ball" system that was little more than a marble launched by black powder. We've also included the kinkiest sex acts ever described in the Bible. In 1855, after a fight Hickok mistakenly believed had ended with the death of his adversary, the 18-year-old headed west. Now try to find that in western movies. Despite the apparent hardships the people at the time had no infatuation with regular bathing or cleaning, most men and women went months without taking a bath, and they seemed fine with it. The flurry of western movie production perpetuated the American romance with the Wild West and doing so went off course with fewer facts and more fictional conjuring. Writer Emma R. Marek found Laura Evens of Salida, Colorado, … And with good reason. Eight. Research can find evidence of only about eight true bank heists, and that's across 15 states in 40 freaking years. The term "American Old West" refers to a vast geographical area and lengthy time period of imprecise boundaries, and historians' definitions vary. Most of the travelers packed a pair of goggles to avoid being devastated by the thick dust clouds and looked like a freshly unearthed mummy by the time they reached their destination. 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The real-life Django: the 101 Ranch and the 1890s gave birth the! In 1838 and later broke from his owner to live among Native Americans settlers killed 400.
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