December 27, 2021
I bought this "Wanted" poster at a museum-curio shop in Seligman, Arizona, when my family was returning from a vacation to the family farm north of Thompson, Iowa.
Must have been about 1959 and I remember I paid a quarter for it and I bought another one of a Jesse James Wanted Poster, as well. This one, above, kind of looks authentic, but to my jaded-stared-at-a-ton-of-old-imagery-eye—not quite. The fonts are authentic, but the layout isn't quite right (looks like what a layout-graphics person in the 1950s would do trying to emulate an earlier time). My hunch is it was printed for a movie, or perhaps just printed by someone to sell to gullible tourists, like me. Here is the Jesse James one, and as you should be able to tell, this one is really thin, and even less authentic, to my old eyes.
Anyway, both have survived multiple moves, and I still have them, and the Younger Brothers one is starting to look like an old, authentic document with the yellowing and the jagged edges. The moral is, keep something long enough and it becomes authentic even when it's probably not authentic at all!
By the way, here is an actual Wanted poster for the James boys:
Notice how this poster is all type and no photos. One exception I have seen is a bunch of combo posters with the photographs separate from the wording, carried together by a California lawman in the 1870s. It wasn't until the turn of the century and in many cases, up into the twenties, that the photo on the poster became prevalent. We should revist this in True West magazine. Anybody know an expert on these?
Here was a suprise waiting for me at the end of the driveway a couple days ago.
"The art of relaxing is part of the art of working."