The exhibition provides an insight into life in the Wild West through a selection of historical items and memorabilia from Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Silent movies presented the stories of the Wild West and the punters couldn't get enough of it. Former cowboys became film extras and consultants. Wyatt Earp, survivor of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, became a studio gofer and bit-part actor, passing on his stories to anyone willing to listen. Earp was subsequently immortalised by director John Ford and actor John Wayne.
The scene is set - Tombstone, Arizona Territory, Wednesday, October 26th,1881. In the short space of just a few years, Tombstone's population had increased from 100 to about 14,000 souls, all attracted by the prospect of instant wealth to be found in the town's richly-veined silver mines. With such a rapidly expanding population came gangs, gang warfare and gunfights such as the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in 1881. The battle took place between cowboys Billy Clanton and Tom and Frank McLaury and lawmen Virgil Earp with his brothers Wyatt and Morgan, ably assisted by gambler, gunfighter and dentist Doc Holliday.
After the gunfight, Tombstone doctor, Doc Goodfellow carried out autopsies on Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers. The exhibition features Doc Goodfellow's medical instruments and Wyatt Earp's Gambling Dice and Secret Card Feeder.