Wyoming Minute

One-minute audio snapshots of Wyoming.

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Cody Firearms Museum

In the early 1900s, a new concealable pistol was created. The Palm Protector Pistol was a double action revolver, but Danny Michael, the assistant curator of the Cody Firearms Museum, said it didn’t really look like a conventional revolver.

McCracken Research Center

Samantha Harper is an archivist at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s McCracken Research Library. This job means that Harper digs through documents, photography and books every day.

Plains Indian Museum

The Plains Indian Museum doesn't only collect art from the past. Rebecca West, the curator of the museum, said their job is also to collect contemporary art like those of John Isaiah Pepion, of the Blackfeet nation in northern Montana.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West

In the past, natural history museums sent staff and researchers on expeditions to collect specimens in the field. But when the Draper Natural History Museum officially opened its doors in the early 2000s, it wanted to try to avoid that practice.

Whitney Western Art Museum

Museum curators often receive public inquiries, and sometimes an outside person can be very helpful to gaining better insight on a painting or object in the museum. For Karen McWhorter, the curator of the Whitney Western Art Museum, a call from a professor made her look at George Catlin’s “Mandan-View of the Missouri Above the Village Whilst the Women and Children are Bathing.”

Cody Firearms Museum

During World War I, while John Browning was working on a heavy machine gun that would use a .50 caliber cartridge, Cody Firearms Museum Assistant Curator Danny Michael said Winchester got the Army contract to create that cartridge.

McCracken Research Library

In the early 1900s, Charles Clarke was a southern California teen runaway who worked setting up bowling pins. But his life changed in one moment, said Eric Rossborough, an associate librarian at the McCracken Research Library at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

Plains Indian Museum

Museums don’t only collect unique objects. Sometimes everyday objects are just as valuable. This is true for the Plains Indian Museum. For Hunter Old Elk, the museum’s curatorial assistant, those are some of her favorite objects in the collection.

Whitney Western Art Museum

The Charles Russell painting titled “When Law Dulls The Edge of Chance” depicts two North-West Mounted Police or Monty's disarming two horse thieves. Karen McWhorter, the curator of the Whitney Western Art Museum, said the painting has had many different names and one of those included the phrase “horse thieves”


The Gatling gun is usually associated with the American West, but Danny Micheal, the assistant curator of the Cody Firearms Museums at the Buffalo Bill Museum of the West, said there is a unique history to the Model 1883 Gatling gun.

McCracken Research Library

In 1900, Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid and other members of the Wild Bunch were in Fort Worth, Texas where they posed for a photo. Eric Rossborough, the associate librarian at the McCracken Research Library at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, said the photographer hung the photo in the window of his studio.

Plains Indian Museum

Beads were one of the main products traded between Native Americans and Europeans. For museum curators and historians, the presence of beads on objects helps place an approximate time frame of when it was created.

Photo Doug Smith via nps.gov/yell

Almost 25 years ago, wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Wolves originally roamed the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, but, in the 1900s, they were wiped out. Settlers in the West poisoned and killed wolves in such high numbers that the animal was not seen in the area for decades.

Whitney Western Art Museum

Cars were first allowed in Yellowstone National Park in 1915, starting a popular new way to explore the park through auto tourism. In an effort to promote tourism in the park, artists were commissioned by auto tourism companies to help advertise Yellowstone National Park.

Cody Firearms Museum

Tom Tobin was a mountain man and bounty hunter in the late 1800s in Southern Colorado. He is most known for killing the Espinosa outlaws. The Espinosas were tormenting the San Luis Valley in Colorado by allegedly killing more than 30 people. The brothers were killing these men as retaliation for relatives killed during the Mexican-American War. Ashley Hlebinsky, the curator of the Cody Firearms Museum, said the U.S. Army asked Tobin to capture the Espinosa brothers.

McCracken Research Library

Did you ever think that Cody had a connection with the Boston Red Sox? Well, it turns out there is a connection.

Whitney Western Art Museum

Rosa Bonheur was a famous French animal artist during the late 19th century. She's one of the few female artists in the Whitney Western Art Museum collection. Karen McWhorter, the curator, said the collection has many more contemporary women represented.

McCracken Research Library

When Leonard Cody Bell (not related) was nine years old, Buffalo Bill Cody offered him $10,000 if he would keep his hair long until he was 18. By the time Cody Bell was a teenager his hair was 58 inches long. 

Plains Indian Museum Collection NA.202.94

Museums carry objects that unfortunately are not meant to last forever. Rebecca West, the curator of the Plains Indian Museum, said a Lakota sun bonnet in the Plains Indian Museum Collection represents how curators handle these pieces. 

James Doolittle was a general during World War II. He became famous for his raid on Tokyo in 1942 just after Pearl Harbor was bombed. Danny Michael, the assistant curator of the Cody Firearms Museum, said the U.S. wanted to retaliate so Doolittle led an air raid. A lot of his crew was captured or killed, but Doolittle made it back alive. 

Draper Natural History Museum

Late in the spring a couple years back, Leslie Patten went hiking and came upon something pretty spectacular. When she looked more closely, she saw that it was a dead mountain lion. 

Plains Indian Museum

The Salish tribes in western Montana, Idaho and Washington made cradle boards to celebrate newborns. It’s a utilitarian object because it is used as a baby carrier, but they were made for the celebration of the baby. As such, many cradle boards were decorated. 

Gift of Olive and Glenn E. Nielson

In 1876, at the height of the Black Hills Gold Rush, a stagecoach route began between Cheyenne, Wyoming and Deadwood, South Dakota.  


When a visitor enters the Whitney Western Art Museum one sculpture might confuse the visitor. Choosing of the Arrow by Henry Kirke Brown might remind people not of the West, but of a classic European sculpture. But Karen McWhorter, the curator of the museum, said it’s actually the first bronze case made in America in 1849. 

Cody Firearms Museum

The Cody Firearms Museum has a machine rifle gun from the early part of the last century that was ahead of its time in looks and functionality. 

McCracken Research Library

The McCracken Research Library has been working to compile historical video footage of natural history events in the Greater Yellowstone Area. 

Parfleche Woman's Beading Kit Chippewa Cree, Rocky Boy Indian Reservation, ca. 1890 Chandler-Pohrt Collection NA.106.203 Most containers in the museum's collections are empty. This one hid its contents for many years until Plains Indian Museum staff gently opened the envelope spring 2019. Wrapped in cloth were small beaded pieces, glass beads, sinew, beading needles, a bone awl, and a thimble.Credit Plains Indian MuseumEdit | Remove

The curator and curatorial assistant of the Plains Indian Museum once noticed an odd odor in one of the museum’s storage areas. This isn’t something that is welcome in museum collections since it usually means something is getting ruined. 

As they were trying to find where the stench was coming from, they noticed a bulky rawhide parfleche envelope. The smell wasn't originating from it. Turns out the smell was from a parfleche that wasn't tanned correctly but they wanted to make sure there wasn't perishable content inside.

Buffalo Bill Museum

Custer’s Last Stand was reenacted thousands of times in the Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. A poster shows the classic image of Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors on horseback surrounding Custer’s men. But Jeremy Johnston, the curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum, said it probably didn’t happen like that.   

Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Museum Purchase. 5.79

When you think of epic Western landscapes, what comes to mind is probably those of Albert Bierstadt. Karen McWhorter, the curator of the Whitney Western Art Museum, said he stood out as a Western painter because he really brought 1800’s East Coast and European audiences to a scene they otherwise couldn’t imagine. 

Cody Firearms Museum

The Cody Firearms Museum has a pretty unique Colt Texas Paterson. The revolver is a repeating firearm with a revolving cylinder with multiple chambers.