Help us identify the scene – B. C. Buffum

Did you play with a Viewmaster as a child?  Maybe you’ve seen an old stereoscope at your local museum or historical society.  Here at the AHC, we recently digitized some stereocards taken by University of Wyoming professor of Agriculture and prolific photographer B. C. Buffum.

Buffum joined the UW faculty in 1893, and in 1902 he became director of the agricultural Experiment Stations.  He took photographs of UW, the Experiment Stations, his travels, and life in Laramie, and it’s this last category that we need your help with.


“Children Having the Time of Their Lives in City Park Laramie, Wyo.” From the B. C. Buffum Collection (click for larger image)

At the AHC, we are digitizing slides and negatives from the Buffum collection, but these most recent two have stumped us. The stereocards depict a scene of children and adults in early 20th century clothing riding on a large see-saw contraption balanced on a strip of railroad tracks.  In the second image, a sign reads “Danger,” an understatement, given the precarious nature of this amusement.


“Scene in the City Park Laramie, Wyo.” From the B.C. Buffum collection (click for larger image)

Now, we need your help to discover the story behind these stereocards.  What was this see-saw device?  Was it in use anywhere else in the U.S. at the time?  We can imagine why it didn’t take off nationally, given the potential for loss of limb.  Who invented it?  How long was it in use for?

Moreover, where was City Park located?  Anyone with the answers to these questions should email us at ahcref (at)

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