Last Cowboy - by this time the wild frontier of the Old West had all but faded away. In Texas, one of the last cowboys sits next to his horse and reflects on the coming age of modernity
The most fascinating part about this picture is how it conveys the rapid social evolution from the era of the old west to incredible technological advancement of the 20th century. You have to remember, this picture was taken only four years prior to World War I. By this time, automobiles were becoming more commonplace, the Wright brothers had made their historic flight at Kitty Hawk, and millions of homes were being outfitted with electricity due to the working populace having shifted to urban housing during the industrial revolution. And then you have this guy, the lone cowboy and his horse on the prairie, a living relic of a dying era.
The cowboy of myth and reality had his beginnings in Texas. There cattle grew wild with few natural enemies; by the end of the Civil War there were an estimated 5 million of them. It was then that the cowboy entered his twenty-year golden age, 1866-1886, the era of the open range and the great cattle drives.
The men who worked the cattle in the treeless expanses of the West, at least one-fourth of them blacks, became known as cowboys. The image of the courageous, spirited horseman living a dangerous life carried with it an appeal that refuses to disappear. Driving a thousand to two thousand cattle hundreds of miles to market; facing lightning and cloudbursts and drought, stampedes, rattlesnakes, and outlaws; sleeping under the stars and catching chow at the chuckwagon—the cowboys dominated the American galaxy of folk heroes.
Gathering of Nine Kings - the funeral of Edward VII was notable for the enormous number of important European and world royalty who participated in it
Among the mourners were nine reigning kings, who were photographed together in what very well may be the only photograph of nine reigning kings ever taken. Of the nine sovereigns pictured, four would be deposed and one assassinated. Within five years, Britain and Belgium would be at war with Germany and Bulgaria. Only five of the nine monarchies represented in the photo still exist today.
This picture presents the slightly belated end of the nineteenth centruy before the brutal realities of the twentieth century kicked in. Only the so-called constitutional monarchies would survive, robbed of real power apart from the soft power that comes of presence and influence.
Standing, from left to right: King Haakon VII of Norway, Tsar Ferdinand of the Bulgarians, King Manuel II of Portugal and the Algarve, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Prussia, King George I of the Hellenes and King Albert I of the Belgians.
Seated, from left to right: King Alfonso XIII of Spain, King George V of the United Kingdom and King Frederick VIII of Denmark.