This vintage photograph is a variant of one published in the inaugural issue of LIFE Magazine on page 13, November 23, 1936. It shows a view of what was then called Wheeler, Montana and was taken five to ten minutes minutes prior the photo published in LIFE. This is known due to the shadow angles being slightly less deep. Additionally, the same two door sedan appears in both photographs. More, the inscription on the reverse is nearly identical to the story headlines in LIFE that read “Wild West". Bourke-White’s photo essay on the Fort Peck Dam was used as the cover story of that historic issue of LIFE magazine.
Concerning for the origin of this print. It was deaccessioned from the archive of the now defunct Field Enterprises photo library of Chicago. As the date stamp one the verso predates the publication of the first issue of LIFE magazine by three days, the only possible source for this print can be LIFE's photo department. LIFE held the exclusive rights to Bourke-White's photographs and no other publisher had access to her negatives or images at that date.
As for why this print was made, there is a strong probability it was circulated by Time Inc. to promote the new weekly magazine LIFE prior to the inaugural issue being released.
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