A Visit to the Autry

On February 12, 2011, I was privileged to visit The Autry National Center with the Teaching American History Grant I am participating in. It was a great visit. Below are some of the images I took of the displays.

We started our day with two excellent lectures about the Mexican War from Dr. Roger McGrath and Dr. Craig Hendricks. The room we were in has a wonderful mural of the history of California.


The Autry focus on the history of the west. Below are the images I took on our tour of the exhibit.

This is my favorite image in the collection. It shows the real cowboys of the west, who were often Indians, Mexicans, and African Americans.

Of course, cowboys had guns. The most popular was the Colt Revolver.

Rifles were used as well.

Some pretty fancy guns were also developed.

As technology developed, so did guns. The guns below are the first type of machine guns called gattling guns.


With all those guns, there was sure to be some criminal activity. Things did not work out well for the men below.

As pioneers crossed the Plains, they encountered buffalo in the millions. Unfortunately, the buffalo almost became extinct through because of over hunting.

When gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill in 1848, it set off the gold rush to California. Miners needed tools to get to the gold.

Below is what they were looking for: gold nuggets.

Pick ax and gold pan – the tools of the trade.


The gold had to be weighed before the miner could get paid. It was weighed on a scale like you see below.

Men had to eat, so the chuck wagon was developed. As you can see, they ate a lot of beans.

Men were not the only gender going west. Women went as well. The clothes don't look very comfortable.

Many Indians also worked in the west. Below would be a typical garment. It was used as a coat and blanket.

Technology would develop quickly during this time. Better means of transportation included the stage coach.

After the Civil War, many African American soldiers were sent west to fight against Indians. They became known as the Buffalo Soldiers. The name was given to them by the Indians because their hair remained them of the buffalo.

Technology took a huge leap forward when it was discovered that electricity could be used to send sound waves. The first of these inventions was the telegraph.

After the telegraph, came the telephone. It is a far cry from what we have today, but imagine how cool it was when the first came out. You could actually speak to someone who was a far away from you.