Gunsmiths were essential to the nineteenth century American West. While writing The Gunsmith’s Bride, I came across interesting information about the most well-known American gunsmiths (and perhaps, armorers).
Key elements that made their way into my novella are the multi-generational family knowledge of the craft and training of their sons, the prevalence and “household word” of the Colt Peacemaker, and the Hawken rifle. Take a quick look at history’s memory of these three popular gun-makers.
While bath tubs of various styles were available in cities by the mid-nineteenth century, the American Old West didn’t have easy access to delivery of such finery until after the Transcontinental Railway in 1869 (followed by additional railroads bringing delivery nearer to home) eliminated freight by horse-drawn wagon. Historic images of Montgomery Ward & Co. catalogs and Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalogs illustrate available options–some of which are simply too ingenious to miss! Who knew a kitchen sink so easily doubled as a bath tub? Or that a five-and-a-half-foot bathtub could fold up? Price comparisons (then to now) show why it took a good long while for most folks to afford more than a public bath (next post) or a bowl and pitcher to make do.