By Mark McConville
STRIKING colour images have captured how the end of the Old West in America took much longer than we think.
Stunning pictures show cattle drives taking place in preparation for a rodeo, a homestead shooting hawks out of the sky that had been stealing his chickens and a shepherd surveying the field on his horse with his trusty sheepdog beside him.
Other incredible shots show the march of progress, as the Shasta Dam in California is pictured under construction, families enjoy the festivities at a county fair and a group of school children enjoy a break from class outside.
The candid photographs were taken by American photographer Russell Lee in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
While the Wild West era in America is largely agreed to have come to an end in 1895, Lee’s images show that way of life at the Frontier took a lot longer to change.
One amusing snap shows a horse and cart having to pull a car out of the mud as the roads near Pie Town, New Mexico have not been improved yet.
Many people still relied on wells for clean drinking water and a man is pictured drawing water from his well in the town.
The Wild West was named after the lawlessness of the untamed territories west of the Mississippi River. It was famous for cowboys, Native Americans, lawmen, gunslingers, pioneers, prospectors, gamblers, outlaws and gangs.
Famous people of the Wild West included Wyatt Earp, “Wild Bill” Hickok, “Billy the Kid”, Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, Frank and Jesse James and the Clanton gang.