PEOPLE AND PLACES

PEOPLE AND PLACES

Tuesday, June 27, 2017



When the West was wild: Fascinating 19th century photographs reveal the brawl-heavy, liquor-filled world of cowboy saloons


  • The bars were often the first establishments to open up in the frontier boomtowns of the American West 
  • Their clientele would feature a mix of cowboys, miners, fur trappers and gun-toting gamblers 
  • Two drinks of hard liquor could be bought for a quarter - but often cut with ammonia or even gunpowder 
  • The vice and violence of saloons became so notorious an 'Anti-Saloon League' was formed in 1893 
The saloons of the Wild West conjure up images of gunfights, heavy drinking and dangerous outlaws.
And these astonishing photographs prove that the Old West watering holes really did live up to their notorious historical reputation.
The pictures, taken in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in states from Montana to Texas, show what life was like inside the bars and taverns.
The saloon, which were were particular to the Wild West, were often the first establishments to open in frontier towns. Cowboys, miners, fur trappers and gamblers would all flock to them.
They quickly gained a reputation as dens of vice, often housing brothels and opium dens, and brawls would frequently spill out into the street. Women who weren't parlor girls were barred from entry.
However those same respectable women got their revenge when they helped found the Anti-Saloon League, which lobbied for the prohibition of alcohol in the United States in the early 20th century, leading to the closure of many of the Wild West bars. 
Gamblers play Faro, a French card game, at a saloon in Bisbee, Arizona, in this late 19th century photograph. Gambling became a quintessential part of saloons, but the combination of liquor, money and hot-tempers meant that any gambler had to brush up on his shooting skills as well as his card-playing
Gamblers play Faro, a French card game, at a saloon in Bisbee, Arizona, in this late 19th century photograph. Gambling became a quintessential part of saloons, but the combination of liquor, money and hot-tempers meant that any gambler had to brush up on his shooting skills as well as his card-playing
The Cowboy Bar in Jackson, Wyoming, 1908. During the late 19th and early 20th century saloons were an ever-present feature in American frontier towns. Over time they developed into sleekly designed affairs, as seen here in Wyoming
The Cowboy Bar in Jackson, Wyoming, 1908. During the late 19th and early 20th century saloons were an ever-present feature in American frontier towns. Over time they developed into sleekly designed affairs, as seen here in Wyoming
A trio of cowboys enjoy a drink while conversing with the barman at the Equity Bar in Old Tascosa, northern Texas, 1907. For years Tascosa was considered the cowboy capital of Texas. Its remote location, combined with a population hardened by years in the West, made its saloons perfect places for fugitives to escape to
A trio of cowboys enjoy a drink while conversing with the barman at the Equity Bar in Old Tascosa, northern Texas, 1907. For years Tascosa was considered the cowboy capital of Texas. Its remote location, combined with a population hardened by years in the West, made its saloons perfect places for fugitives to escape to
Texas Rangers Nate Fuller and AJ Beard enjoy a drink at Livinston's Ranch Supply, in Marfa, Texas west, 1916
A patron cradles a rifle outside Jacksons Bar in Idaho. Weapons were a common sight in Western saloons, leading to plenty of shootouts
Armed and ready: Texas Rangers Nate Fuller and AJ Beard enjoy a drink at Livinston's Ranch Supply, in Marfa, west Texas, 1916 (left). Right, a patron cradles a rifle outside Jacksons Bar in Idaho, late 19th century. Weapons were a common sight in Western saloons, leading to plenty of shootouts
The Bob Saloon in Miles City, Montana, circa 1880. Life was hard on the frontier, so men had little to do after a hard day's work but drink and 'let loose' in their local saloon - even if that just meant having a few beers on the porch, as seen here
The Bob Saloon in Miles City, Montana, circa 1880. Life was hard on the frontier, so men had little to do after a hard day's work but drink and 'let loose' in their local saloon - even if that just meant having a few beers on the porch, as seen here
The Weaver Brothers Saloon in Summit County, Colorado, 1890. The majority of saloon drinkers drank either warm beer or straight liquor like rye or bourbon. In an effort to improve profits, bar staff often cut their liquor with ammonia, gunpowder or even cayenne pepper 
The Weaver Brothers Saloon in Summit County, Colorado, 1890. The majority of saloon drinkers drank either warm beer or straight liquor like rye or bourbon. In an effort to improve profits, bar staff often cut their liquor with ammonia, gunpowder or even cayenne pepper 
Judge Roy Bean's eccentric saloon in Langtry, on the Texas/Mexico border, late 19th century. Bean was a local lawman who called himself 'The Law West of Pecos'. He had a very unique style of approaching law enforcement. It's claimed his first act as a lawman was to shoot up the saloon of a competitor. He would reportedly choose jurors for their bar customs
Judge Roy Bean's eccentric saloon in Langtry, on the Texas/Mexico border, late 19th century. Bean was a local lawman who called himself 'The Law West of Pecos'. He had a very unique style of approaching law enforcement. It's claimed his first act as a lawman was to shoot up the saloon of a competitor. He would reportedly choose jurors for their bar customs
J W Swart's saloon in Charleston, South Carolina
The Billy Reese Saloon in Gunnison, south Colorado
J W Swart's saloon in Charleston, South Carolina (left) the Billy Reese Saloon in Gunnison, south Colorado (right). Plenty of saloons featured 'unofficial' parts of the bar, including opium dens and brothels. Rural girls were lured to them by promises of high wages and easy work. Some saloons though, wanting to be 'respectable', banned them from their establishments
The fur-clad interior of the Table Bluff Hotel and Saloon in Table Bluff, northern California, 1889. Fur trappers and mountain men, such as those pictured, were instrumental in helping to scout out and organize wagon trails, which allowed people to immigrate out West. In the 19th century many were also attracted by the booming American fur trade 
The fur-clad interior of the Table Bluff Hotel and Saloon in Table Bluff, northern California, 1889. Fur trappers and mountain men, such as those pictured, were instrumental in helping to scout out and organize wagon trails, which allowed people to immigrate out West. In the 19th century many were also attracted by the booming American fur trade 
Men gather for a drink at the Road House saloon in Bluff City, Alaska. As saloons spread throughout the west they began to specialize. By the end of the 19th century you could find gambling saloons, restaurant saloons, dance hall saloons, bowling saloons and brothel saloons. 
Men gather for a drink at the Road House saloon in Bluff City, Alaska. As saloons spread throughout the west they began to specialize. By the end of the 19th century you could find gambling saloons, restaurant saloons, dance hall saloons, bowling saloons and brothel saloons. 
Dance! Seven men in an unknown saloon, possibly in Wyoming, shoot down at the floor, forcing another man to jump and 'dance' to avoid the bullets. While the cowboys have all their revolvers pointed at the man's feet, the bartender is aiming his semi-automatic German Mauser straight at the unlucky bar-goers head. 
Dance! Seven men in an unknown saloon, possibly in Wyoming, shoot down at the floor, forcing another man to jump and 'dance' to avoid the bullets. While the cowboys have all their revolvers pointed at the man's feet, the bartender is aiming his semi-automatic German Mauser straight at the unlucky bar-goers head. 
Members of the notorious Hash Knife Cowboys pose for a picture at the Fashion Saloon in Winslow, north eastern Arizona.  The cowboys were initially hired to help the Aztec Land & Cattle Company look after the more than 33,000 cattle they had acquired. However, the outfit soon gained an unsavory reputation
Members of the notorious Hash Knife Cowboys pose for a picture at the Fashion Saloon in Winslow, north eastern Arizona.  The cowboys were initially hired to help the Aztec Land & Cattle Company look after the more than 33,000 cattle they had acquired. However, the outfit soon gained an unsavory reputation
Perley McBride's Saloon in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1906. The skill of the saloon's bartender became a point of pride for many of its local patrons - however many also were widely mocked if they chose to order something other than beer or bourbon 
Perley McBride's Saloon in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1906. The skill of the saloon's bartender became a point of pride for many of its local patrons - however many also were widely mocked if they chose to order something other than beer or bourbon 
A man pulls a gun at the White Dog Saloon in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1898. The commonly-seen violence and vice of saloons helped lead to the formation of the Anti-Saloon league, which advocated for prohibition within the United States. The league was the first modern pressure group to organize around one issue  
A man pulls a gun at the White Dog Saloon in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1898. The commonly-seen violence and vice of saloons helped lead to the formation of the Anti-Saloon league, which advocated for prohibition within the United States. The league was the first modern pressure group to organize around one issue  

A nickel for beer: Life in the Old West's saloons  

In most western towns, there were more saloons than churches - and they were open 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
The first saloon was established at Brown's Hole, Wyoming, in 1822, to serve fur trappers. By the late 1850s the term saloon had begun to appear in directories and common usage as a term for an establishment that specialized in beer and liquor sales. 
Alcohol was cheap, with beer often costing a nickel and two drinks of hard liquor only costing a quarter. To stretch their profits, saloon owners would cut good whiskey with ammonia, gunpowder or cayenne.
By 1880 the growth of saloons was in full swing and some offered dancing girls (who doubled as prostitutes) as well as card games like faro and poker. 
Mixing alcohol and gambling could result in some deadly shootouts and professional gamblers quickly learned to protect their assets by honing their shooting skills as well as their gambling abilities.
Generally all were welcome with the exception of Chinese workers and soldiers, who were blamed for infecting parlor house girls with diseases. 
Ladies did not enter the bars, unless they were saloon girls or women gamblers.   
Beginning in 1893, the Anti-Saloon League began protesting against the alcoholism, violence and political corruption in American Saloons. The league quickly rose to become the powerful prohibition lobby in America and saloons began to decline several years before Prohibition was enforced in the USA in 1920.The Toll Gate saloon in Black Hawk, Colorado, 1897. Regulars at saloons often acquired calluses on their elbows by spending so much time leaning on the bar. Saloons did not welcome minorities into their premises - Indians were excluded by law, and a Chinese man would risk his life by entering
The Toll Gate saloon in Black Hawk, Colorado, 1897. Regulars at saloons often acquired calluses on their elbows by spending so much time leaning on the bar. Saloons did not welcome minorities into their premises - Indians were excluded by law, and a Chinese man would risk his life by entering
A saloon in Helena, Montana, circa 1890 - complete with a horse and rider. Soldiers tended not to be welcome in Western saloons. This is partly because they were seen as representing the state, and partly because they were blamed for infecting saloon girls with venereal diseases
A saloon in Helena, Montana, circa 1890 - complete with a horse and rider. Soldiers tended not to be welcome in Western saloons. This is partly because they were seen as representing the state, and partly because they were blamed for infecting saloon girls with venereal diseases
Gamblers play Faro in an Arizona saloon, 1895. Most of those men and women who left the safety and comfort of the eastern US to seek fame and fortune in the west were natural-born gamblers. Gambling was considered a profession as legitimate as law or medicine  
Gamblers play Faro in an Arizona saloon, 1895. Most of those men and women who left the safety and comfort of the eastern US to seek fame and fortune in the west were natural-born gamblers. Gambling was considered a profession as legitimate as law or medicine  
Cowboy George Hennessey (pictured centre) posing outside the Bucket of Blood Saloon in Holbrook, Arizona, 1908. It is alleged that, in 1886, a gunfight broke out in the saloon which 'drenched the floors with buckets of blood'. It was allegedly started over disagreement over a poker game. Since then the bar was known as the Bucket of Blood Saloon
Cowboy George Hennessey (pictured centre) posing outside the Bucket of Blood Saloon in Holbrook, Arizona, 1908. It is alleged that, in 1886, a gunfight broke out in the saloon which 'drenched the floors with buckets of blood'. It was allegedly started over disagreement over a poker game. Since then the bar was known as the Bucket of Blood Saloon
The Combination Saloon in Utah, late 19th century. When a new town was first established a saloon would almost inevitably pop up, but they tended to start out as small, hole-in-the-wall establishments with little furnishing
The Combination Saloon in Utah, late 19th century. When a new town was first established a saloon would almost inevitably pop up, but they tended to start out as small, hole-in-the-wall establishments with little furnishing
A saloon bar in Wyoming, late 19th century. The varied and often shady backgrounds of saloons' regular patrons meant that curiosity was often considered impolite. Backgrounds were asked about, but not demanded. It was also expected to treat the man standing next to you to a drink
A saloon bar in Wyoming, late 19th century. The varied and often shady backgrounds of saloons' regular patrons meant that curiosity was often considered impolite. Backgrounds were asked about, but not demanded. It was also expected to treat the man standing next to you to a drink
Toll Gate Saloon, near Black Hawk, Colorado. The invention of barbed wire in the 1880s, coupled with the advances made by railways, signaled the end of the era for the cowboy. Small cattle drives, however, continued well into the 1940s, and the legacy of the cowboy is still imprinted on American culture 
Toll Gate Saloon, near Black Hawk, Colorado. The invention of barbed wire in the 1880s, coupled with the advances made by railways, signaled the end of the era for the cowboy. Small cattle drives, however, continued well into the 1940s, and the legacy of the cowboy is still imprinted on American culture 
A group of stands on the balcony at the Garbbarino House Restaurant in Colorado. As their money flows improved more and more saloons shied away from their rough-and-ready reputation to become more accepted establishments
A group of stands on the balcony at the Garbbarino House Restaurant in Colorado. As their money flows improved more and more saloons shied away from their rough-and-ready reputation to become more accepted establishments
The Holy Moses Saloon in Mineral County, Colorado, 1890. Although the rough-and-ready saloons of the Old West may be gone, their spirit lives on in taverns and bars all around the United States 
The Holy Moses Saloon in Mineral County, Colorado, 1890. Although the rough-and-ready saloons of the Old West may be gone, their spirit lives on in taverns and bars all around the United States 




High-energy LASER from an Apache attack helicopter - destroys a target almost a mile away


  • Weapon is almost silent and invisible which makes it hard for enemies to detect
  • First time a laser has successfully fired on a target from a rotary-wing aircraft
  • Laser systems have been on the Apache since 1984 when it first entered service
  • However, they were low-powered and could only guide air-to-ground missiles 

The US army has successfully hit an unmanned target using a high-powered laser mounted on a Apache AH-64 helicopter.
The demonstration was the first time a fully integrated laser system has successfully fired on a target from a rotary-wing aircraft, according to defence company Raytheon who manufactured the device.
The weapon is almost silent and invisible which makes it particularly hard for enemies to detect and could be used on the battlefield in the near future. 

The demonstration (pictured) was the first time a laser was 'fired on a target from a rotary-wing aircraft over a wide variety of flight regimes, altitudes and air speeds,' the company said
The demonstration (pictured) was the first time a laser was 'fired on a target from a rotary-wing aircraft over a wide variety of flight regimes, altitudes and air speeds,' the company said

LASER WEAPONS

Laser systems have been on the Apache since 1984 when it first entered service. 
However, they were low-powered and could only guide air-to-ground missiles. 
The test was the 'first time that a fully integrated laser system successfully engaged and fired on a target from a rotary-wing aircraft over a wide variety of flight regimes, altitudes and air speeds,' defence company Raytheon said. 
The weapon is almost silent and invisible which makes it particularly hard for enemies to detect and will be on the battlefield 'sooner rather than later'. 
The US military is increasingly looking into laser weapons and there has been a 30-kilowatt laser on the USS Ponce - an amphibious transport dock ship - since 2014. The laser, which was tested at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico successfully hit a target 0.9 miles (1.4 km) away.
The demonstration was the first time a laser was 'fired on a target from a rotary-wing aircraft over a wide variety of flight regimes, altitudes and air speeds,' the company said.
The laser was manufactured by Raytheon who said their device 'provides long-range surveillance, target acquisition, tracking, range finding and laser designation'.
Laser systems have been on the Apache since 1984 when it first entered service. 
However, they were low-powered and could only guide air-to-ground missiles.
These lasers are particularly accurate because unlike bullets and artillery which fire in an arch, they fire in straight lines and are powerful enough to destroy targets.
The company used an electro-optical intrared sensor - which is a version of the Multi-Spectral Targeting System.Demonstration is the first time a fully integrated laser system has successfully fired on a target from a rotary-wing aircraft (artist's impression), according to defence company Raytheon
Demonstration is the first time a fully integrated laser system has successfully fired on a target from a rotary-wing aircraft (artist's impression), according to defence company Raytheon

High energy laser on helicopter fires at target at missile range

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These lasers (pictured)  are particularly accurate because unlike bullets and artillery which fire in an arch, they fire in straight lines and are powerful enough to destroy targets
These lasers (pictured)  are particularly accurate because unlike bullets and artillery which fire in an arch, they fire in straight lines and are powerful enough to destroy targets
'By combining combat proven sensors, like the MTS [Multi-Spectral Targeting System], with multiple laser technologies, we can bring this capability to the battlefield sooner rather than later', said Art Morrish, vice president of Advanced Concept and Technologies for Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems.
According to Matthew Ketner, branch chief of the High Energy Laser Controls and Integration Directorate, the power of the laser beam can be adjusted for any material - there is even a non-lethal adjustment for human targets.
Mr Katner said lasers have taken out cruise missiles, mortars and other projectiles during testing. 
The weapon (pictured) is almost silent and invisible which makes it particularly hard for enemies to detect and could be used on the battlefield in the near future
The weapon (pictured) is almost silent and invisible which makes it particularly hard for enemies to detect and could be used on the battlefield in the near future
 Laser systems have been on the Apache (pictured) since 1984 when it first entered service. However, they were low-powered and could only guide air-to-ground missiles
 Laser systems have been on the Apache (pictured) since 1984 when it first entered service. However, they were low-powered and could only guide air-to-ground missiles
'Unlike a traditional gun lasers don't run out of bullets', he said.
However, they do use a lot of energy and are unable to penetrate haze, smoke and materials with anti-laser coatings.
The US military is increasingly looking into laser weapons and there has been a 30-kilowatt laser on the USS Ponce - an amphibious transport dock ship - since 2014.
Pictured are the effects of the laser on various materials, displayed during Lab Day at the Pentagon. Lasers have taken out cruise missiles, mortars and other projectiles during testing
Pictured are the effects of the laser on various materials, displayed during Lab Day at the Pentagon. Lasers have taken out cruise missiles, mortars and other projectiles during testing
The US military is increasingly looking into laser weapons and there has been a 30-kilowatt laser on the USS Ponce (pictured) - an amphibious transport dock ship - since 2014
The US military is increasingly looking into laser weapons and there has been a 30-kilowatt laser on the USS Ponce (pictured) - an amphibious transport dock ship - since 2014
It has been tested extensively and is authorised for defensive use, Mr Katner said.
At the end of May, Department of Defence bosses revealed a new $3.2m (£2.5m) project with Clemson University engineers to investigate the science behind laser weapons.
The military has already deployed some lasers as defensive weapons to shoot down incoming missiles and drones, but the two projects will address underlying issues with making them more widespread.
Laser blasters were also used throughout the films, seen here in 'Star Wars: Episode IV, A New Hope' (1977) with actors, from left, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia and Harrison Ford as Han Solo. THe US military is increasingly looking into laser weapons
Laser blasters were also used throughout the films, seen here in 'Star Wars: Episode IV, A New Hope' (1977) with actors, from left, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia and Harrison Ford as Han Solo. THe US military is increasingly looking into laser weapons
The laser, which was tested at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico successfully hit a target 0.9 miles (1.4 km) away
The laser, which was tested at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico successfully hit a target 0.9 miles (1.4 km) away
Earlier this year a silent killer that could spell the end for enemy drones was tested by US Army infantry troops for the first time.
During a ten day firing exercise, 50 drones were brought down by the laser weapon, an improved version of a system that was tested last year.
And it is hoped that Stryker infantry-transport vehicles mounted with the laser could soon be deployed to the front lines.
The Mobile High Energy Laser (MEHEL) is just one system the US Army is exploring to deal with the growth of inexpensive off-the-shelf unmanned aerial systems that are being used in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Marines will soon get their new King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter, which costs more than an F-35 and can carry two armored Humvees at once

  • Marines new CH-53K King Stallion chopper has been approved for production
  • Heavy-lift helicopter can carry three times the cargo of the old Super Stallion 
  • Program comes at a cost of $131million per aircraft, higher than some fighter jets



The Marines will soon get a major upgrade to their cargo helicopter fleet.
The Department of Defense earlier this month approved a Navy request to begin production on the CH-53K King Stallion, the powerful new helicopter set to replace the workhorse Super Stallion, which has been in service since 1981.
At a program cost of roughly $131million for each of the 200-aircraft order, the Marines expect their new choppers to be a massive improvement over the old Super Stallions.
'They’re not even in the same galaxy,' Colonel Henry Vanderborght, the Marines H-53 program manager, said at a recent defense conference, according to AIN. 'The capability we’re going to field now is eye-watering.'
The Department of Defense earlier this month approved a Navy request to begin production on the CH-53K King Stallion (pictured)
The Department of Defense earlier this month approved a Navy request to begin production on the CH-53K King Stallion (pictured)
CH-53E Super Stallion
CH-53K King Stallion
The Marines Super Stallion (left) will eventually be replaced by the new King Stallion (right)

CH-53E Super Stallion

Entered service: 1981
Max Payload: 30,000 lbs
'High/Hot' Payload: 9,000 lbs 
Speed: 172 mph
Ceiling: 10,000 feet 
Power Plant: Three General Electric T64-GE-416 turboshaft engines (4,380 SHP each) 
Unit Cost: $38.5M (inflation adjusted)H-53K King Stallion 
Enters service: 2019 (estimate)
Max Payload: 35,000 lbs
'High/Hot' Payload: 27,000 lbs 
Speed: 172 mph 
Ceiling: 9,520 feet 
Power Plant: Three General Electric T408-GE-400 turboshaft engines (7,332 SHP each)
Unit Cost: $87.1M 

King Stallion: First flight for the Sikorsky helicopter

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The new helicopter triples the payload capacity of the old Super Stallion in those conditions, for a 27,000-pound payload capacity that allows the King Stallion to transport two fully armored Humvees or one LAV-25 amphibious armored reconnaissance vehicle.

WHAT ARE 'HIGH/HOT' CONDITIONS?

  • Sea-level lift-off, temperature 103F
  • Travel at least 110 nautical miles
  • Landing zone 3,000 feet above sea level, where temperature is 91.5F
Naval testers set these specifications to replicate combat conditions. The heavier carrying capacity is needed to operate in desert environments as Humvee armor has steadily gotten heavier, upping the vehicles' weight from 5,500 to 8,500 pounds in the 1990s to 12,000 pounds today.
The King Stallion will also introduce a fly-by-wire flight control to improve safety. The electronic flight controls replace the manual controls on the Super Stallions.
'In the CH-53E there’s, no kidding, an iron rod that goes all the way from the pilot’s hand to the flight control surface,' Vanderborght, who flew the craft for years, told Naval Aviation News. he said. 
'You’re coming in at night and you’re trying to land that huge aircraft and a dust bubble engulfs you and you lose sight of the ground.'
The King Stallion (pictured) will have triple the payload capacity of the old Super Stallion in 'high/hot' conditions
The King Stallion (pictured) will have triple the payload capacity of the old Super Stallion in 'high/hot' conditions
The Marines also aim to dramatically reduce maintenance requirements, which currently clock in at 44 hours of work for every hour of flight on the aging Super Stallion. 
Lockheed-Martin Sikorsky is undertaking the 200 unit production run for a program cost of $25.3 billion. Including R&D costs, the price breaks down to more than $131million per aircract.
That's even more than the notoriously expensive vertical takeoff and landing version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35B, which clocks in at $122.8million. 
But Vanderborght argues that the media has overhyped the King Stallion's cost in stories claiming it costs more than the F-35. The 'flyaway' unit cost of the CH-53K is really $87million, he said.
Per-aircraft costs will come down if the new chopper succeeds in attracting foreign buyers. 
Germany has expressed interest in buying 41 of the King Stallions, as has Israel, a Lockheed executive has said. 
The CH-53 heavy cargo line has been in service for decades. Shown is the first flight of the YCH-53E on MArch 1, 1974
The CH-53 heavy cargo line has been in service for decades. Shown is the first flight of the YCH-53E on MArch 1, 1974