December 8, 2009

What's that Soapy's wearing?

(Click image to enlarge)
What's Soapy Smith wearing?
Courtesy Denver Public Library

In the photograph above Soapy is wearing some sort of pin on the lapel of of coat (circled in yellow). I often wondered what it was exactly. It appeared to be some sort of soldier which made sense as the photograph was taken in the the spring/summer of 1898 during the Spanish-American War. Soapy was extremely patriotic as can be seen by the hanging displays behind the bar. In fact every known photograph of Soapy's saloons in Colorado and Alaska had flags and red, white and blue bunting hung inside and out.


So What is it?


Why it's Uncle Sam!

The above Uncle Sam pin is actually a smaller version but obviously the same figure. That's one more mystery solved.













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