American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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Buffalo Bill's
Wild West Show

I am Coming
"I am Coming"
Courier Lithograph Co., Buffalo, N.Y., 1900
Color lithograph
Prints & Photographs Division (207.6)

Wild West on Voyage from New York to London
Merritt & Wagner
Wild West on Voyage from
New York to London
, 1887
Albumen print mounted on cardstock
Prints & Photographs Division (209.4)

William Frederick Cody (1846-1917), known as Buffalo Bill, served as U.S. army scout, a buffalo hunter for the railroad, and as a renowned prairie scouts. He is probably best know as the man who gave the "Wild West" its name. In 1883, Cody created the Wild West show, a vehicle that propelled him to fortune and worldwide fame and helped create a lasting image of the American West.

The four hour show, which ran from 1883 until 1913, included legendary figures such as Sitting Bull, Calamity Jane and Annie Oakley. It comprised such acts as Indian war dances, an "attack" on a stagecoach, trick riders, ropers, and shooters as well as many different wild American animals. The show was so popular that Cody took it on the road to England in 1887 where it was such a success that Queen Victoria saw it three times. This poster announces the return of Cody to the United States from a highly successful French theatrical tour in 1889.

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