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All photos included here are in the Public Domain in the United States of America unless noted otherwise. Western photographers are noted in the Players (if I have a workable date for them) [LOC = Library of Congress]. Nothing in the way of enhancement has been done to the old photographs, they are as originally produced.
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please credit R.W.” Doc” Boyle/The Old West Daily Reader.
Among those found on the frontier…
This picture should help with the confusion over the difference between a Bowie Knife and an Arkansas Toothpick.
Both of these are modern made knives, the Bowie style (top) is a handmade knife of the type I used to sell in my American handcraft business (1970’s to late 1990’s). Original Bowie’s would probably get thicker towards the front of the blade, facilitating throwing the knife. The toothpick (bottom) is from Pakistan, sold in various magazines c. 1970’s – 80’s. Clearly a dangerous fighting knife but not a terribly good thrower. Doc Holliday’s uncle Thomas McKey carried a toothpick style knife he called “The Hell Bitch” in the “War of Yankee Aggression”. Doc took it west with him and it has disappeared from history but the family still has the original sheath. Photo R.W. “Doc” Boyle, both performance items. see also:
References – Dictionary – Arkansas Toothpick
Just to keep everybody honest, here is a photo of a “real” Arkansas Toothpick. It’s the penis bone (baculum) of a raccoon for those of you who are not quite up to speed on such things. I didn’t point it up yet so’s you could see the unvarnished truth.
Photo: R.W. “Doc” Boyle
References – Dictionary – Baculum