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Chronology of modern archetypes appearing in Westerns


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Originally published August 11, 2008, 09:59:49 PM » (SLWB)

I was watching episodes of the old "Wild Wild West" the other day, most of the episodes if not all are supposed to take place during the Grant administration, the series being basically James Bond in the West makes use of all sorts of gadgets and is very free with anachronisims. That said some episodes are very entertaining reguardless of their ridiculousness.

Anyway for you aspiring Western novel or screenplay authors here is a chronology of some modern archetypes. Add more if you can think of any.

1812 tinplate canned goods began to be manufactured, in the West in the 1800's were referred to as "airtights".

1829 Tremont Hotel in Boston was the first hotel to have indoor plumbing and became the prototype of a modern, first - class American hotel.

1830's Gaslights, towns with central manufactured gas plants begin to appear and spread to the West. Open flame type (mantles didn't appear until the turn of the century) I've seen pictures of the Leavenworth Kansas in 1867 with a large Gas tank along the Missouri waterfront.

1830s, at least one private house, a James River mansion, had a wood-fired hot air heating system. Heat wafted up to the first floor via handsome brass registers. Ladies of New York City's High Society wasted no time in flocking to the parlor after dinner to stand over its registers for warmth.

1836 in the United States, Alonzo D. Phillips of Springfield, Massachusetts, obtained a patent for "manufacturing of friction matches" and called them locofocos. The danger problem was not resolved until the invention of amorphous (red) phosphorus in 1845. Carl Lundstrom of Sweden introduced the first red phosphorus "safety" matches in 1855. Joshua Pusey invented book matches in 1889.  He was a well-known lawyer in Pennsylvania before the turn of the century. He smoked cigars.

1847 Cigarettes - The first patented cigarette-making machine was invented by Juan Nepomuceno Adorno of Mexico However, production climbed markedly when another cigarette-making machine was developed in the 1880s by James Albert Bonsack.

1856 Kerosene Lamps early ones were dead flame type in 1868 the development of hot blast & cold blast improved the brightness of the flame.

1851 Telegraph long distance lines began appearing after 1851.

1854 The farm wind pump was invented by Daniel Halladay in 1854.[26][27] In early California and some other states the windmill was part of a self-contained domestic water system including a hand-dug well and a redwood water tower supporting a redwood tank and enclosed by redwood siding (tankhouse). Eventually steel blades and steel towers replaced wooden construction, and at their peak in 1930, an estimated 600,000 units were in use.[28] The multi-bladed wind turbineatop a lattice tower made of wood or steel hence became, for many years, a fixture of the landscape throughout rural America. Firms such as Star, Eclipse,Fairbanks-Morse and Aermotor became famed suppliers in North and South America.

1860's The first ceiling fans appeared in the 1860s and 1870s, in the United States. At that time, they were not powered by any form of electric motor. Instead, a stream of running water was used, in conjunction with a turbine, to drive a system of belts which would turn the blades of two-blade fan units. These systems could accommodate several fan units, and so became popular in stores, restaurants, and offices. Some of these systems still survive today, and can be seen in parts of the southern United States where they originally proved useful.

1861-Grain Elevators almost every fly spec in Eastern Montana has one so I thought I'd check them out here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armour%27s_Warehouse) is one from 1861 that looks like some of the relics I saw on my trip through Montana which probably post date to the building of the Great Nothern RR 1889-1893

1865 Kerosene & Alcohol Powered fans (Lake Breeze Motor Company 1865-1915)

1871 Steamcars

1880 Electric power lighting systems began to replace gaslights.

1880 The practice of illustrating news stories with photographs was made possible by printing and photography innovations that occurred between 1880 and 1897. While newsworthy events were photographed as early as the 1850s, printing presses could only publish from engravings  until the 1880s. Early news photographs required that photos be re-interpreted by an engraver before they could be published.

1882 The electrically-powered ceiling fan was invented in 1882 by Philip Diehl (pronounced the same as "deal"). Diehl had engineered the electric motor used in the first Singer sewing machines, and in 1882 adapted that motor for use in a ceiling-mounted fan. "The Diehl Electric Fan", as it was known, operated like a common modern-day ceiling fan; each fan had its own self-contained motor unit, eliminating the need for costly and bulky belt systems.

1885 Telephone long distance networks began to spread out from the East and major cities in the US.

1892 Phonographs tin foil cylinder type,  Graphophones wax cylinder type sold for $150, by 1899 for $20 with a small version called the "gem" for $7.50.

1895 The Gramophone record type player, by 1901 mass produced.

1900 internal combustion Gas autos

1915, the familiar U.S. curbside mailbox with its curved, tunnel-shape top (to prevent water and snow collection), latching door, and movable signal flag was designed by U.S. Post Office employee Roy J. Joroleman. With the introduction of rural free delivery (RFD) by the U.S. Post Office in 1896, and in Canada in 1908, ranchers, farmers and rural homeowners at first resisted the purchase of dedicated mailboxes, often using old boots, empty bushel baskets, tins, and wooden boxes in which to collect their mail.

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You can rationalize individual tinkerers pushing the envelope a smidge,  and while James Bond does have a heavy sci fi content, something like The Wild Wild West also owes a lot to Victorian era scientific romances.    Dr. Loveless is as much a child of Robur and Captain Nemo as he is of Ernst Blofeld.

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