Wyoming Minute

One-minute audio snapshots of Wyoming.

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Image from the Cody Firearms Museum, Museum Purchase

  


In firearms history, there are many parallels between firearm production and automobile production. So Ashley Hlebinsky, the curator of the Cody Firearms Museum, was excited to find one lever action shotgun that held significance to two tycoons in the automobile industry.

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show was so famous by the end of the 19th century it traveled to Europe. These shows were celebrated back in America by billboard-sized posters. These posters are rare to find. This was the time when posters were plastered on walls, then the next show would come in and a new poster would be plastered over it. So eventually the poster would be scraped off the wall.

Kamila Kudelska

Between 1995 and 1997, 41 wolves from Canada and Northwest Montana were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Twenty years has passed and the population has grown close to 400 in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Recently Rebecca West, the curator of the Plains Indian Museum, discovered an unique feather bonnet in the Paul Dyck Buffalo Culture Collection. The bonnet didn’t look like any of the typical bonnets seen previously.

Proctor Self-Portrait, 1882. Oil on paperboard, 26 x 22 inches. Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, Wyoming. Gift of A. Phimister Proctor Museum with special thanks to Sandy and Sally Church. 2.16.9

Alexander Phimister Proctor was a known as the sculptor in buckskin. Born in Canada, he fell in love with the American West and most of his work featured the West. However, he didn’t only sculpt, he occasionally painted.

Image Courtesy the Cody Firearms Museum, Gift of Olin Corporation, Winchester Arms Collection

The wheellock rifle was invented in the 1500s. These were incredibly popular guns in England during the 1600s so there are many that have survived until modern times.

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edward B. Stabler. 1.69.2641 Buffalo Bill Museum, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, WY

Theodore Roosevelt worked hard during his presidency to conserve the natural resources of the United States. As such, he was often traveling around the West. During these trips, he often went out on hunting expeditions.

Kamila Kudelska


The black-footed ferret is one of the fiercest, tiny predators. In the 1950’s scientists suspected the predators had gone extinct in the wild. But Corey Anco, the assistant curator of the Draper Natural History Museum, says in 1981 there was a new discovery.

The Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection, acquired through the generosity of the Dyck family and additional gifts of the Nielson Family and the Estate of Margaret S. Coe

At the turn of the century, ethnologists and anthropologists were trying to collect objects from different Plains Indian cultures, since they believed the cultures would not survive. The “laundry list,” as it was referred to, attempted to collect everything special and unique from the disappearing cultures. This usually included fancier items like beaded clothing, since they were considered to be more aesthetically pleasing.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, Wyoming. Gift of The Coe Foundation. 11.70

 

The painter, Alfred Jacob Miller, was an early artist explorer depicting the American West. But it turns out, he only went out to the West once. His patron, William Drummond Stewart, commissioned Miller to come along to a rendezvous out near present day Pinedale, Wyoming. A rendezvous was a gathering of fur traders and trappers of Native American suppliers. They convened to get ready before the fur trade season came.

The M1 Carbine is a short, lightweight rifle that was introduced during World War II and then used throughout most of the rest of the 20th century. The army developed the rifle as an alternative to their big and heavy M1 Garand rifle, which was close to nine or ten pounds.

Kamila Kudelska

Buffalo Bill Cody’s two-story childhood home stands in the courtyard of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. It’s the largest object in the Center’s collection.

Kamila Kudelska


It's Christmas Eve 2000. The curator of the Draper Museum of Natural History, Dr. Charles Preston and his wife were driving along the North Fork corridor when they spotted a truck.

 

 

Native American women used whatever materials they had to create objects. Hunter Old Elk, the curatorial assistant of the Plains Indian Museum, came across a very square, beaded box. The squareness surprised her and as she observed the object more, she realized the structure was made out of a commodity cheese box.

Thomas Moran was one of the artist documenting the expansion to the West. He was on the first formal expedition in 1871 to Yellowstone country to document the geological wonders of the area.

Kamila Kudelska

The American cheetah is a prehistoric mammal that roamed Northern Wyoming in the Miocene and the Pleistocene Epoch. The American cheetah is thought to be the driving evolutionary force responsible of the speed of today’s pronghorn antelope.

Rifle was a gift to the Buffalo Bill Museum from Mrs. George T. Beck in 1970.

There are stories, which pass through hearsay but one can never be sure if the story is completely true. The Buffalo Bill Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West was aware of a story behind a certain Winchester Carbine but not until recently were they able to prove it.

Courtesy of the Cody Firearms Museum

The earliest known reference to the Winchester Arms Collection is a letter from Oliver Winchester to R.S. Lawrence in 1871. Oliver Winchester asked to have the Jennings rifle for his collection because it was a link to the development of the Winchester lever action.

Kamila Kudelska

It’s a weird story not often told at museums since it’s against the rules. But at the Whitney Western Museum of Art, there’s one painting visitors can’t resist touching.

Kamila Kudelska

During the 19th century, Winchester Repeating Arms Company and Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company frequently played with each other’s markets. One would manufacture double barrel shotguns another would then import double barrel shotguns. But Colt always had the lever while Winchester had the revolver.

When a museum receives a mass donation of artifacts, it’s up to the museum staff to document every single object. And this is what happened when the Plains Indian Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West received the Paul Dyke Buffalo Cultural Collection

Chuck Preston

Bear 104 was a female grizzly bear who made her home on the edge of Yellowstone National Park and Shoshone National Forest, near a very heavily used road. As tourists drove to the east entrance of Yellowstone, they would be lucky enough to see Bear 104 and her cubs throughout the years.

The famous aviator first visited Wyoming in 1934. She traveled to Meeteetse for summer break where she stayed on local guide Carl Dunrud’s dude ranch. Earhart fell in love with the region right away. 

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