The Cookhouse Tent and Steam Wagon from Buffalo Bill's Wild West, 1913


Every aspect of circuses and shows such as Buffalo Bill’s Wild West was of interest to spectators in the towns and cities visited by these traveling spectacles. In this image dating from 1913, local townspeople gather to watch the cookhouse staff of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show prepare a meal outside the cookhouse tent. The steam wagon and cookhouse tent can be seen, along with the backs of the spectators, who include both men and women. The picture was taken by G. Herbert Whitney, an amateur photographer from Lewiston, Maine, which suggests that the photograph may have been taken in that state. William F. Cody (known as Buffalo Bill, 1846–1917) was a scout, frontiersman, entrepreneur, and showman who ran Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in the period 1883−1913. The show popularized the American West in performances on both sides of the Atlantic.

Last updated: March 21, 2014