By 1912 the large-scale cowboy ranches of the Old West had been disappearing for years and the Calgary Stampede — along with other exhibitions, like Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show — was set-up to commemorate a fading way of life for younger generations and for those who still remembered the mythic era. The Canadian Northwest shared in that grand tradition, and the time was right for a great Canadian cowboy showcase.
After a century of international acclaim, the western dream continues and to commemorate the early days of the great Calgary Stampede, a collection of post cards from its enthusiastic youthful years illustrates the look and feel of those exciting times.
Taken from the vast post card collection held by the University of Alberta Libraries, these classic views capture all the excitement, from the championship cowboys, cowgirls, and horses, to the tragedies of defeat and injuries. The parades, the aboriginal camps, and all the lively hoopla are recalled in these images, with historical text to add context to those days of dust, sweat and glory.