An authentic cowboy from the age of 15, Timothy McCoy moved to a large Wyoming ranch next to a Sioux Indian reservation and became an authority on Indian languages, customs, and folk history, and mastered Indian sign language. In 1922, he was employed as a technical advisor for the film The Covered Wagon. MGM signed him to a film contract in 1925; he was to star in westerns and action movies based on historical anecdotes of the American frontier.
By the early '30s he was among the most popular western stars; he always appeared dressed in black, with an oversized white Stetson hat and a pearl-handled gun. McCoy interrupted his screen career in 1935 to travel with the Ringling Brothers circus. In 1938 he started his own Wild West show. Like his boyhood hero before him, Tim McCoy attempted to show American audiences what the real West had been like within the perimeters of a circus arena. But 1938 was a bad year for any kind of traveling show. The Tim McCoy Wild West Show opened April 14 in Chicago's International Ampitheater and closed 21 days later in Washington, D.C., to the loss of $300,000. This impressive poster is from that show, and may be one of only a very few survivors. Patterned after the earlier posters from the Buffalo Bill Show, it shows the various performers from around the world that made up the "Rough Riders".
Measuring 45 x 58 framed, it is one of the largest and most stunning of the few survivors from the era of the Wild West Shows.