Friday, July 12, 2019

The Wild, Wild West

The Autry Museum has tried to show the American West was a home to the native peoples of the land, who led self-sustaining lives utilizing the resources of the land:

Native American Pottery and Baskets
They also showed how people from other lands arrived to make the West their home.  Some would have arrived by covered wagon, although there weren't any covered wagons on display.  Others arrived by stage coach:

Stage Coach

Bringing their Belongings

Sample Luggage Items

A description of what they would take
The information board states that passengers could take no more than twenty-five to thirty pounds of luggage, each.  I had to smile because, back in 1973, when my parents and I emigrated from Sri Lanka, we, too, were given a weight limit for our checked baggage, by the airlines!  We were allowed two pieces of baggage, each and, together, they couldn't weigh more than something like 40  kilos.  I remember we kept weighing those suitcases and removing items until each person's cases weighed less than the limit, as we didn't want to pay excess baggage fees! 

Later, others arrived by train.  I was rather intrigued by this "side car" that was on display:

Railroad Side Car
I am not sure quite who would ride on that side car!

The museum tried to show that the West was made up of communities, made up of people who were both native and migrants:

Mural of Community Representatives

There was a section where there was a representation of a community where people lived, worked, and, worshiped:
Representation of a Community


The Native American Community

The Chinese Community

The European Community


The African American Community
African Amercian Communities

The Spanish Influence

The Mexicano Community

I loved the fact that they included a quinceanera dress from the 2015, to show how our history continues to influence us, today.


What would the wild, wild West be without guns?  There was a whole room devoted to guns, but, I just contended myself with looking at a few of them:

Three of Annie Oakley's Guns
And lawmen, outlaws, and jails?

You can stand behind this jail cell door and have your picture taken
And Saloons?

The "Los Angeles" Bar

"Los Angeles" Bar

Bar Items

With music to entertain the customers:


Edison Multiphone (c. 1915)
The Edison Multiphone was a coin operated phonograph; for a nickel (the one on display had been modified to accept dimes), a patron had a choice of 24 cylinder recordings.  A precursor to a jukebox, I suppose.  It enabled the saloon keepers to save money by not needing to hire and pay for musicians.

And gambling?

Gambling Tables and Games
There are so many facets to this place!   Thank you for continuing to visit the museum with me!


  1. That looks like a fabulous museum to spend a lot of time in.

    1. I intend to go there, again, on another of its free days. There's lots to see and read up on. :)

  2. My husband would have liked the gun room. He likes reading about the engineering and physics of how guns are made and work. I would have been more interested in the community room.

    1. The community room is the one that I enjoyed the best, Live and Learn, other than the garden. But, it is good when a museum has different displays that appeal to different people, isn't it?

  3. Replies
    1. I found it all very interesting. Maybe, one day, you might like to visit it, too?

  4. What an amazing museum for learning the history of the West. Thank you so much for taking the trouble to share so many photos. I was impressed with the jail cell as a couple of months ago we were in the court house in the nearest city and in the basement we saw the original old cells which were furnished with stone platforms for sleeping! Hopefully they were just temporary holding cells.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Bushlady. I was wondering if anyone was getting tired of so many posts about the museum, but, I really enjoyed my visit there and, of course, I wanted to share it with everyone! :D There is a lot of history contained in that one museum!


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