|An oversized cabinet photograph from the studio of photographer Ben Wittick. Wittick was born in Pennsylvania in 1845 and set up a studio in Gallup, New Mexico in 1878. He later
operated out of Fort Wingate. He became noted for his landscape photos of the South West as well as those of native peoples. The back stamp of this image reads: “Ben Wittick,
Photographer and Ethnologist. Character pictures of the Indians of the South West, etc.”
This image which measure about 8 ½ inches by 5 ¼ inches depicts two frontier types. Both wear broad brimmed plains hats and are dressed in rather resplendent fringed outfits of the
sort popular with scouts and buffalo hunters. The standing ma at right is armed with a model 1873 Winchester rifle and a holstered Colt Model 1878 double action revolver. His
cartridge belt holds only one caliber of ammunition which was probably .44-40 WCF since this caliber was used in both of his chosen weapons. He wears a pullover shirt that looks to be
of deer or elk skin and both his shirt and pants display a good amount if Indian beadwork/embroidery.
The seated man is armed with a U.S. Government issued .45-70 Springfield “trapdoor” carbine and a Model 1873 Colt Single Action Army revolver. His jacket is a button up sort and
may be of buckskin. George Armstrong Custer favored jackets such as this and wore one to his fateful rendezvous at Little Big Horn in 1876.
Although both me are unidentified, the photograph bears a hand written inscription printed in the original negative. Unfortunately this is only partially legible due to fading with the
visible portion reading: “…the Apache Country…”
Oversized Cabinet Photograph
Ben Wittick - Photographer
Fort Wingate, Arizona Territory, United States