Mr. C. E. Avery of Texas kindly shared some of his
vintage western photos with us, and we've used them around this site.
Mr. Avery has published over 100 articles about
cowboys, the Old West, and other subjects. His expert knowledge of cowboy and
western attire and arms is reflected in the descriptions below.
The original images were manipulated and framed for
use on this site by Red Braznell. Many of the images have outstanding additional tone and
detail in their original form.
Visit C. E. Avery's web
From a real photo postcard of three "want-to-be" cowboys,
in perfect costume. The man in the middle has on woolly chaps; the other two have on
angora chaps. The men at the right and in the middle have shotguns; all have working
shirts and bandannas and hats and the man in middle also has on jumper or brush jacket.
A tintype of man in a fancy western shirt, similar to some shirts worn by
cowboys in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show.
An albumen print made by Walker of Cheyenne, Wyoming, titled Cowboy Race.
Interesting image of southwest cowboy probably from southern California or
Arizona. Identified as Earle R. Forrest, taken August 10,1901 at Washington, Pa. (maybe he
was a Wild West Show performer or originally from this town and returned to it when this
photo was taken). He wears a sugarloaf sombrero, cowboy cuffs, shotgun chaps with conchos
on the side, a concho studded holster from which he is drawing a Colt Army or Peace Maker,
and California style spurs with large rowels and drag chain. He rests his boot on a nice
stock saddle with high cantil.
In August, 2008 Ron Lawson wrote to say:
"This photo is of the late Earle R. Forrest (not a Wild West Performer).
Forrest was an author noted for several popular Western articles and books
including California Joe which he co-authored with Joe E. Milner
(the grandson of California Joe). The book was eventually made into a
popular film in the 1940s." Read more about "California Joe"
Unusual size tin type with that Western flavor. Man sits with buggy whip in
hand, nice looking hat, and some great square-toed boots. Painted background, probably
taken c.1870s. This tin type is bigger than a sixth plate but not as big as a quarter
plate, and has been well preserved.
This is a real photo postcard made up of two 1886 photos that were combined
on one card. The cowboy in woolly chaps is identified "Jim Kid, 1886" and
the cowboy in batwing chaps is identified as "Jo Hawks-1886." Below the
two photos text reads "Two of the Old Guard, copy by Burk." The card was never
used postally and was probably made about 1910.
This photo was made around the 1940-1950's and the image is printed on a
type of linen paper. Text below the image says "One of the few old time cowboys John
Kirkpatrick in action" and "J.S . Hiscock, Cody, Wyo."
A cabinet card photo of two cowboys, taken at Ellensburg, Washington. They
are identified on back as "Stanley Gruwell and Oliver Kobinsore" and
"cowboys- Ranch Hands, Ellensburg, WA." These guys were probably in the Spanish
American War of 1898 as they are both wearing canvas leggings of Army issue. Both
men wear spurs and spur straps. The man on the right has on gauntlet gloves, while
the other man wears calf skin gloves. Both have on sweaters and blue jeans (rivets
on pocket visible on man on right). Photo c. 1898 to 1908.
Here is a cabinet card photo, c.1890s, from
Honey Grove, Texas (near Dallas), of some Texans playing cards and drinking beer.
1/6 plate tintype of man, probably a mule skinner, wearing hat,
long john shirt with suspenders, pants with hole at knee, and knee high boots with long
mule ears attached (pull straps), c.1870s.
Detail from two cowgirls in dress with holstered revolvers, and ropes,
Large albumen photo of farm/ranch hands with draft horses, wood
barn, out buildings and windmill in background. Taken on prairie probably in the Dakotas.
One man has on a pith helmet.
I believe this is Texas Ranger Capt. Bill McDonald of the Frontier
Batalion Tex. Rangers. Photo taken c.1908 at time of McDonald's retirement from Ranger
service. He looks to holding a Colt Thunder or Lighting revolver in right hand, holding a
lever action Winchester rifle by barrel in left hand and at his feet is a pump