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Discussion Starter #1
Sinister-of the left side.

Read 'bout anything about left handed people and they have to name famous ones, Billy the Kid/William Bonney/Henry McCarty always seems to pop up, based on this picture where he is wearin' his gun butt back on the left side like a left handed person does.



But a little looking close shows the buttons on his vest the wrong way for a man.



Also a bit hard to see but it is there, the loading gate on his Winchester is on the wrong side, the arrow points to the dim, barely visable gate.



One also often sees this picture touched up in books, this is how it does appear today, it is owned by the Lincoln County Heritage Foundation in New Mexico.

The picture is thought to have been taken about 1878-79 and is an earlier form than the glass plate negative type more common in this era. This is a "Tintype" where the picture is taken and developed on a polished copper plate treated with chemicals that change with the light exposure. A tintype is always reversed.

EDIT, I meant copper plate, somebody always has to go potty when I do long posts.
 

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Re: Was Billy the Kid Sinister? Todays historical picture.

He's fugly. :-X
 
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Re: Was Billy the Kid Sinister? Todays historical picture.

Aww shucks!! There goes another famous "lefty" down the drain. I'm one of the few remaining!!! But I hope people don't think I am worse looking than him!!! :eek:
 

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Re: Was Billy the Kid Sinister? Todays historical picture.

Excellent pictures and description! Thanx Glen!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Note he is wearin' a bib shirt, the type with the piece that has the piece that buttons on the front as a separate piece. (Think John Wayne in many movies with his partly unbuttoned.)



Note it appears to have a dragon embroidered on it like Jackie Chan had in "Shanghai Noon." ;)
 

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But a little looking close shows the buttons on his vest the wrong way for a man.
Was he wearing a woman's blouse?

Glen, what is the signifigance of the dragon on his shirt? I never saw the movie you referred to.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
rorybaby said:
But a little looking close shows the buttons on his vest the wrong way for a man.
Was he wearing a woman's blouse?

Glen, what is the significance of the dragon on his shirt? I never saw the movie you referred to.
The loading gate on the left side of the Model 1873 Winchester proves the picture is reversed and being a tintype they are always reversed.

Bib shirts often had embroidery on them, I have one I embroidered Purple Cone Flowers on, a common wild flower of The Great Plains, the Ecinacha of the herbal crowd.

The bib shirt seems to have came about during the Napoleonic era with elite Austrian Cavalry as a uniform shirt. It came to America shortly after that and was popular with fire companies as a dress uniform shirt and is often called a fireman's shirt. It was popular in the west with both civilians and army officers in cavalry units, Custer loved them and had several which show up in pictures of him, often also called a cavalry shirt, although never an issue shirt. As for Billy's dragon, who knows, maybe he liked dragons. Another unsolved mystry.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Going to add a bit here, shirt and coat buttons are often used to determine if a print has been reversed when we don't have the original. The Butcher Collection being negatives is easy to decide. They were all scanned proper. So then I find this one.



1886, picture 12937

Yes the fellas shirt has the buttons on the proper side. So why does he have a left handed single barrel muzzel-loading shotgun. ::)



Common thought is that since all folks were taught to shoot right handed back then, all guns were right handed. And it is not a double barrel or the other hammer would show.

Well a good friend did some research and after breech loading cartridge guns were developed, many companies still made the muzzle-loaders as a cheaper alterative. We knew that. However some copanies had left over left hand locks so they just made some cheaper left hand guns, since folks wanted either something cheap or they bought cartridge guns. And since it cost over twice as much to make a double gun, few wanted these as muzzle-loaders, so to not throw away parts they used them up and sold them a bit cheaper. ;D This seems to be one.

Of course the round headed nails in the bunk caused another research project. ::)



Turns out round wire nails were as common as the square cut nails, but cheaper. Many stayed with the square ones because they hold better, esp in some kinds of wood. ;D
 

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Ha! I knew about the nails ! Everything else I just learned today. Thanks Glen, I love this stuff!!!!!!!
 

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Glen, have you ever watch John Wayne's Chisolm? How much of the depiction of Billy the kid in that movie holds any water?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
gabbys mom said:
Glen, have you ever watch John Wayne's Chisolm? How much of the depiction of Billy the kid in that movie holds any water?
Very little if I remember right, it's been a while since I've seen that one.
 
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