[Eleven Beery Western Show Exhibition Real Photo Post Cards].
Trick riding and a Wild West show
The Wild West has come to Dayton, Ohio! Trick riding, bull dogging, death dragging, buffalos, and trained horses.
Professor Jesse Beery and his Beery Exhibitions have come to town. This collection of 11 real photo postcards from 1913 captures all the action and thrills.
Lafe H. Lewman of Bryant Colorado bull dogs or bull dodges (wrestles) a steer to the ground. Trick rider Jason Stanley of Los Angeles, California performs the death-defying Cossack or death drag, hanging by one leg from his saddle with his head inches from the ground. A buffalo pulls an ordinary buckboard wagon or is saddled for a ride. How different is life in the Wild West compared to Ohio.
Jesse Beery (1861–1945) was a celebrated American horse trainer from Pleasant Hill, Ohio, northwest of Dayton. His horse training methods were popularized through his book Prof. Beery’s Mail Course in Horsemanship (1908). He was also the inventor of an improved horse bit, the “Beery Bit” or “Four-in-One Bit.”
One real photo postcard in the collection shows Prof. Jesse Beery, megaphone in hand, standing in an arena instructing students. It was in Dayton that Beery first witnessed horse taming as a young man:
At an early age, when most farm boys are given a horse and buggy of their own, young Beery selected for himself a colt of ordinary breed, and without any book knowledge on the subject or expert assistance, he was soon able to drive his horse anywhere in the county without the use of bridal or lines. ... Through a friend younger Beery heard of a public exhibition to be given in Dayton, Ohio, at which one of the leading horsemen (then entirely unknown to him) had advertised to subdue and to drive the most vicious horses. He attended this exhibition, which to him was more wonderful and interesting than a “four-ring circus.” Having learned that what he had always considered “amusement” was really an art capable of development to a degree that would justify a life’s work, he set out to become a professional horse tamer.¹
Prof. Beery was a good businessman too. Part of his Beery Exhibitions included the Beery Display Hall in which one could see a “Special Harness & Vehicle Display, Beery Short Turn Buggies & Runabouts [and] Beery Appliances, Harness & Saddles.” Another photograph shows a sign for the Beery Welfare League and signs directing attendees of the Wild West or rodeo show to the sale of “Programs, Pennants, Post Cards [as seen here], Beery Buttons and Canes.”
A representative collection of real photo postcards documenting Prof. Jesse Beery’s 1913 Wild West and rodeo trick riding Beery Exhibitions in Dayton, Ohio.
Description: [Eleven Beery Western Show Exhibition Real Photo Post Cards].
Dayton, Ohio, 1913. Eleven Real Photo Post Cards (RPPC). Approx. 3½ x 5½ inches. Photographic paper stock; printed, divided backs. Black & white or sepia toned. Captions within most images. Not postally used. Very good.
1. “Inventor of the Beery Bit” in National Horse Review. Vol. 37, No. 5; August 1907 (Chicago), p39.