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Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Programme

Historical Sketches & Programme, copyrighted Cody & Salsbury, New York, 1896. Chromolithographed paper wraps, 64 numbered pages.



Wild west shows were traveling vaudeville performances in the United States and Europe. These shows introduced a romanticized version of the American Old West to a wide audience.

BuffaloB1Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show was formed in 1883 and lasted until about 1913. Pawnee Bill’s Wild West show was assembled by G.W. Lillie (Pawnee Bill) in 1888. In 1889 it was reorganized as Pawnee Bill’s Historical Wild West, Indian Museum and Encampment. The show travelled throughout the United States and Europe and in 1906 reorganized as Pawnee Bill’s Great Far East show. In 1908 Lillie bought interest in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and in 1909 combined to become Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Pawnee Bill’s Great Far East.

It went bankrupt in 1913. The Miller Brothers and Arlington 101 Ranch Wild West show had a variety of names, ran from 1908 to about 1930.


Includes programs, playbills, a few newspapers, and clippings for American wild west shows. Includes one program in German. Companies include: Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, Miller Bros. & Arlington 101 Ranch Real Wild West (Organization), Pawnee Bill’s Historic Wild West Show, and others.

Programme (verso)


William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody (February 26, 1846 – January 10, 1917) was an American soldier, bison hunter and showman. He was born in the Iowa Territory (now the U.S. state of Iowa), in Le Claire but lived several years in Canada before his family moved to the Kansas Territory. Buffalo Bill received the Medal of Honor in 1872 for service to the US Army as a scout. One of the most colorful figures of the American Old West, Buffalo Bill became famous for the shows he organized with cowboy themes, which he toured in Great Britain and Europe as well as the United States.

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