Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Prospector and Pack Dog

This picture was taken in the early 1900's near Seward, Alaska. It shows a gold prospector and his pack dog. He is preparing to leave for the summer prospecting season. He, and his dog, appear to be well equipped. I find it interesting that he appears to be wearing a necktie. I would not think prospectors would be so concerned about such a fashion item.


  1. Men wore neckties back then. If you will look at the guys digging the post holes for the Brooklyn Bridge you'll notice neckties.


  2. Someone needed to show him how to actually tie the tie correctly.

  3. What a great picture! Makes my dogs look incredibly LAZY!!! :)

  4. Ties are worn so much less today that we think of them more as concious fashion choices. Back then ties were part of everyday wear. Some men had a real fashion sense about it if they had money to spend on accessories, others just kept it simple.
    In old books, young men often expressed their fashion sense in flamboyant ties. Older men remembered fondly their college days and wild neckwear. (Nowadays they pierce their eyebrows get tattoos.)

    Also, the man in the picture may have donned the tie when he knew he would be photographed. Again, people were more concious of their appearance in photos in the days when snap shots weren't so common. I'm not talking about everyday vanity, but if your picture is only taken on rare occasions you make it worth something, show some self respect.

  5. While I agree with your comment on the tie (I hate them with a passion, yet have to wear them), I can think of some good reasons to have worn them even in activities such as gold prospecting.

    When camping I am often in need of a piece of rope, or whatever, to quickly tie something down. With a necktie, there is always a "whatever" at hand.

    One of the irritants of working and playing outdoors is the chafing of the neck by debris, wind, sun, etc. The necktie keeps the collar around the neck without the need to button that infernal front button.

    On hot days, sweat is an irritant to the eyes. A tie wrapped around the head will solve that problem.

    When one is injured and bleeding, seconds count. If a tourniquet is required, there is probably not enough time left to unpack one from the back pack. Better to just whip off the necktie and save your life.

    Belts and suspenders don't last forever. If the belt breaks while panning over a cold river, the necktie can serve as a temporary belt to keep the pants up while the search for riches continues.

    I would imagine that there may be times a prospector would have need of shooting something into the air other than a bullet. This may include a flair or burning branch to signal the need for help. It would also be helpful to be able to toss something a great distance to distract an approaching bear or mountain lion. The solution: the necktie and suspenders! Simply tie together the two suspenders at one end with the necktie. Tie the other ends of the suspenders to a suitable stationary object such as a properly shaped tree branch. Then nestle the soon-to-be airborn object into the cradle created by the tie, stretch the weapon back as far as possible, and let fly.

    And finally, you never know who may be out there in the gold fields. There may be a preacher who convinces you to attend his church in a make-shift tent. Perhaps you may come upon a raving beauty with dark brown eyes and chesnut hair. Would you want to be caught without appropriate social attire? I think not.

    Ties: the Leatherman of the 1800's

  6. LOL @ George! I don't know if the pictured prospector was as ingenious as you, but for his sake I hope so! My grandfather was about this same age at that time and he wore a necktie all the time, even on the weekend doing yard work. It was just the thing to do.

  7. I like his gloves...and his affable countenance.

  8. heather,,i fish with my necktie,,lol

  9. I'd like to see that Old Bear, fishing with your you leave the tie on while you fish with it? I would think you'd get a terrible "haddock" doing that.

  10. This site has always been interesting for a few reasons: fascinating pictures, succinct personal commentaries, and no animations in the margins. Until recently. I don't care about what ads fill your page, but I have little endurance for text when the likes of Las Vegas is dancing only an inch away. If I wanted meaningless moving pictures, I'd watch TV, but I come to these pages expecting the absence of puerile animations. The dancing bird may draw a few dollars in revenue, but rather than enticing my click of the mouse, it will be effective in driving me to alternative sites.

  11. You are entitled to your opinion Vacacao, but I thought it was very clever of PJM to add the little bird / music to go along with the pictures of Alaska. It's not an advertisement.

  12. Heather:

    You hit the nail right on the head. I'm with you.

  13. QUOTE
    Heather said...
    Someone needed to show him how to actually tie the tie correctly.

    Maybe that is the proper way to manage a tie in the great outdoors. There are tie historians who could verify the 'correctness' of the gentleman's neckwear for his day. 8-)


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