Sunday, September 12, 2021

Erwin E. Smith was both cowboy and skilled photographer, who used the medium to document the waning years of open-range cowboy life in the American West. During his lifetime, he was recognized as having "brought together with the camera the most complete account of the passing west that has ever been made."

With an infinite patience, and an Eastman screen focus Kodak camera fitted with a Goerz lens with a volute shutter, Smith captured the real image of that most universally recognized of American symbols, the cowboy. 

 That was not his intention, at least not in the beginning. He wanted to be a sculptor and reproduce the West in bronze, but he never quite got there, and somewhere along the way, the legacy he left was almost forgotten.

Smith eating a mid-morning snack of canned tomatoes, an important item in the early days of a cowboy’s diet. O R Ranch, 1909

1 comment:

  1. Now this is a treasure of our history. Thanks.