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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Vista-Vision: 1939

Vista-Vision: 1939

July 1939. "Cattle guard on railroad. Madison County, Montana." Photo by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

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"Cattle guard" ? ?

up in Alberta they are referred to as "Texas gates"

One Shorpy-Star

awarded to zvbxrpl for the proper plural of beef.

Cow Smarts

So, talking to someone from out west years ago, they explained that once a cow has experienced a real cattle guard (as shown in the Shorpy pic)--ya can just PAINT them on the road, and they work just as well. See below. The beeves come gamboling down the highway, and when they see the painted lines, they're like 'whoa, whoa, whoa! Stop! Can't cross THAT!' Explaining, I guess, the lack of bovine Nobel Prize winners.

Add 6 inches of snow, then --

Cattle guards probably worked well from April to November at discouraging herds from trying to hoof it across the opening in the fence line, but one good heavy snow would fill in the gaps between the bars, thereby making it more tempting to trot out. Restoring its effectiveness in winter as an obstacle was probably a cowboy's unpopular chore.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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