Wild West show, c 1905.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A snapshot photograph of a group of mounted Native Americans, taken by an unknown photographer in about 1905. The factories and terraces visible behind the tents in the background suggest that this photograph was taken at a Wild West Show. These popular shows toured America and Europe at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. They featured cowboys and Native Americans in mock battles, displays of horsemanship and famous celebrities such as Annie Oakley. The most famous Wild West Shows were those of William 'Buffalo Bill' Cody [1846-1917 ]. Such shows helped to mythologise the American West. Originally a shooting term, the word 'snapshot' was first linked with photography in the late 1850s, when it was used to describe a photograph taken with a brief exposure. Over time, snapshot came to mean any amateur photograph taken with a simple camera. The origins of popular photography can be traced back to George Eastman's [1854-1932] introduction of the first