On the frontier, did people break as much glass as we see in Western films?

atm-logoOn the frontier, did people break as much glass as we see in Western films?
Sam Browder
Kingsport, Tennessee

Our fearless leader Bob Boze Bell says, “The breaking of glass is a Hollywood staple. It looks good on film. It’s dramatic and creates excitement. Windows were shot out in the real West and no doubt some miscreants were thrown through a window or two, but two things: they were seriously hurt by the glass (unlike in the movies) and yes, saloon owners were quite upset about it because glass was very expensive.”

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His latest book is Wyatt Earp: Showdown at Tombstone. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at marshall.trimble@sccmail.maricopa.edu

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