Why Did Pioneers Wear Dusters?

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Why did pioneers wear dusters?

Bill Dunn
High River, Alberta, Canada

Full-length canvas or linen dusters were pretty common, starting in the mid-1800s, as protection from trail dust. This was especially true for men or women who might be wearing a suit or nice clothes for a trip into town. For protection from rain, dusters could also be oil cloth or waxed cotton.

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and vice president of the Wild West History Association. . His latest book is Arizona’s Outlaws and Lawmen; History Press, 2015. If you have a question, write:  Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at  marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu

This rare image of a stage robbery in action, on August 15, 1900, shows a robber clad in a duster, with gun in hand, as the male passengers line up in front of him. Milwaukee newspaper editor Anton Veith convinced the robber to let him photograph the scene. – All photos true west Archives unless otherwise noted –
This rare image of a stage robbery in action, on August 15, 1900, shows a robber clad in a duster, with gun in hand, as the male passengers line up in front of him. Milwaukee newspaper editor Anton Veith convinced the robber to let him photograph the scene.
– All photos true west Archives unless otherwise noted –

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