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  • Matthew Kerns

Wild West Toys

When the J & E Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut turned their blacksmithing talents from hardware and hammers to toys in the late 1800s, it made perfect sense for two of their earliest toy guns to be this pair, produced sometime just before 1890.

Buffalo Bill and Texas Jack were best friends and partners on stage and trail. The scout and the cowboy had hunted buffalo, fought Sioux, and braved Eastern theater stages side by side, and because of dime novels by men like Ned Buntline and Prentiss Ingraham, they were indelibly etched into the imaginations of Americans as the quintessential western duo: the scout with his Springfield trapdoor rifle and the cowboy with his Smith & Wesson revolver and lasso.

For a young child wishing to emulate the heroes of the day's dime novels in imaginary Indian fights, shootouts, and hair-breadth escapes, there could be no more essential piece of kit than a Buffalo Bill or Texas Jack cast iron cap gun.

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© 2019 by Dime Library.

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