Friday, January 12, 2018

Savage 99

Over the past six years, I have on occasion acquired a piece of paper and lost track of when or where I came to find it. In this case, I had access to more than one example of this rifle, and in the end I had to rely on friends that I've made who provided me with reference photos. The coin is a bit bigger than a Buffalo nickel. This one is headed to the Western Heritage Artists Footprints on the Trail show in Great Falls, Montana, during Western Art Week.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

L. C. Smith Hammerless Shotgun

Dated February 1st, 1893, J. F. Gibson apparently did a bang-up business as a gun and locksmith, and he chose a stock engraving for his billhead that included a fine grade carved and engraved L. C. Smith shotgun. Just another example of a piece of paper I've enhanced and I'm taking to the Western Heritage Artists' Footprints on the Trail show and sale in March.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Rocky Too

I purchased this piece of paper two years ago, and didn't bother examining it closely. The offset logo in the center of the letterhead bothered me, and there was a chip in the top edge. Like the title says, I've done Rocky more than once. In July of 2012 I did a tin sign. Last year I did Boxcar Rocky. Both of those sold. I like this one so much I just may do another, if I can find some more Glacier Park or Great Northern Railway paper.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Tietjen's Pet - A Smokin' Bulldog

Tietjen's Pet

This is a commissioned piece from a long-time patron, who first purchased a piece of my art during the Western Heritage Artist's show and Sale six years ago. The name will be familiar to a number of artists that belong to the organization, as Beverly Tietjen was a founding member of the WHA.

By 1895, there were over 42,000 cigar companies in the U.S. Many, like Mr. Tietjen, sold various brands of cigars and tobacco products, but they also manufactured their own. Because of strict regulation of sales by the government, retail outlets could only purchase cigars by the box, and once the box was empty, they had to order a new box. The artwork is phenomenal, and the means by which it is produced is phenomenal as well. There is quite a collectible market for cigar labels - Charlie Russell had his own, and even promoted them in some of his art.

Original document

The above image is what the document looked like before I began to abuse it, somewhat. The erasures and line removes on most of this old paper that I encounter is excellent paper, and stands up to my abuse fairly well. There was a spindle hole on this one, but I'm really uncertain as to why. The pencil can be read, and he signed it in pencil as well, but I am having a hard time determining just exactly what he was seeking from Bateman & Switzer, to whom the note is addressed.

I could do cigar labels until the cows come home, but this one was a pleasure, as it came from my head, and the bulldog is from a brand called Bulldog. So - I copied it. When an original gets copied, it's a sign that the original was well done.

Monday, November 27, 2017

J. D. Eastman, Oregon Grape Root Bitters

A Montana Union Railway Bill of Lading

J. D. Eastman of Deer Lodge, Montana Territory, was granted a patent for Oregon Grape Root Bitters in 1886. He sold out to a fellow by the name of J. H. Owings in 1887, as I have  a piece of Owings letterhead dated April 18th of that year. A fascinating letterhead depicting an Oregon Grape leaf:

J. H. Owings letterhead

This is a commissioned piece by a patron who first purchased a National Biscuit Company piece of paper on which I pictured the Uneeda Biscuit Boy back in 2012.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Mule Train Bill of Lading

B. F. White Bill of Lading
July 28th, 1879

A Mule train of freight wagons from Terminus, (now Dillon), to Virginia City, Montana Territory, the freight being carried to Terminus by narrow gauge Utah & Northern Railroad from Corrine, Utah.

From the Beaverhead County Museum we copied the following: Richard Deacon resisted the railroad when an attempt was made to cross his ranch. To overcome this obstacle, a group of enterprising businessmen purchased the lands of Richard Deacon and gave the railroad company the right-of-way. It was a prompt and satisfactory manner of handling a difficult situation. It also led to the formation of a townsite company and the town of Dillon began its interesting history. This land was purchased Sept. 14, 1880, from Deacon, by a group of merchants headed by Howard Sebree, for the sum of $10,500. There were 480 acres in the piece of land purchased. A company was formed by L. J. Ruth, Sim Estes, L. C. Fyhrie, B. F. White, Charles Lefevre, Wilden Pinkham, E. M. Ratcliffe, Sebree, Ferris & Holt, George Smith & Co. 

The Utah and Northern Railroad was the very first railroad into Montana, albeit it was Montana Territory and Montana would not be a state for another 10 years. The obstacle of right-of-way for the railroad was not the only obstruction - it was a narrow gauge railroad, the cars were small, as were the locomotives. Think, Monida pass. Terminus would have to have been at the Southern edge of the Deacon property, whose property became the business district of what is now Dillon.

The post office at Terminus was established in March of 1880. The name was changed to Dillon, in honor of Sydney Dillon, the president of the Union Pacific Railroad later
 in 1880. The Union Pacific bought out the Utah & Northern and converted the entire line to Standard gauge, thus insuring that goods shipped by rail from back East would continue on to the lucrative markets in Montana Territory without delay. To this day, the Union Pacific owns the railbed, and leases it to Burlington Northern & Santa Fe.

The gentlemen who purchased the Deacon property may have jumped the gun, having business paper (like this piece) printed with 'city' name of Terminus, but in this case I'm happy they did. It makes for a very interesting story.