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Heinrich Balduin Möllhausen: German writer, Arizona’s unlikely explorer (access required)

Long before movie cowboys like John Wayne, Gary Cooper and Randolph Scott arrived on the scene, Arizona hosted a different brand of frontiersman. One unlikely adventurer, Heinrich Balduin Möllhausen, was among the first to sketch the Grand Canyon, paint watercolors of the Cocopah, Mojave and Navajo Indian tribes, and recount his observations for a world audience. Möllhausen’s biographer, Preston Barba, referred to him as the James Fenimore Cooper of Germany.

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Gossip about the Pimas (access required)

Inscribed “Pima Buck,” this meticulously posed photograph of a young Pima man was taken in 1894, probably in a Tucson studio. While inherently demeaning, the photo was indicative of the “noble savage” motif then popular among Easterners and others.

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Will C. Barnes (access required)

Will Croft Barnes is best remembered for his concluding opus, “Arizona Place Names,” a book published in 1935, preceding his death a few months later. The book is still in print, which is a testament to its enduring value to both readers and scholars.

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Rations Day at San Carlos (access required)

With little else to look forward to, rations day on the San Carlos Apache Reservation was an event. As evidenced by this photo, taken about 1895, men, women and children, on horseback, muleback, and accompanied by their dogs, converged on agency headquarters to receive their weekly allotment.

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McKinley’s visit to Congress (access required)

At first glance, the portly gentleman with hands clasped behind his back might be taken for an aging schoolmaster scolding errant children at recess. But he was not an educator and the youngsters pictured here were on their best behavior. They were, after all, hobnobbing with a man named William McKinley who was president of the United States.

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Telephones in Tucson (access required)

In 1881, five years after Scottish-born inventor Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated the first electrical transmission of speech, the newfangled apparatus called a telephone was introduced to Tucson. That same year, amid considerable public curiosity, a small exchange opened its doors on April 1.

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