We are all familiar with the images of prisoners working hard labor, breaking rocks or digging and building roads. However, back in the 19th and early 20th century, some were also making what would come to be known as prison spurs.
Those prisons that had machine shops or workshops allowed the prisoners to make metal items. Prisons such as those in Colorado, Washington and Texas, turned their inmates into fine craftsmen letting them make and decorate cowboy spurs.
I guess that they had lots of time on their hands when making these items. Many an hour would be whiled away, engraving and carving designs in the spurs, making the leather straps and decorating them.
Prison spurs are highly collectible items in todays market. They are not quite as popular as some of the other historic makers, but they do hold their place in the history of these iconic American items.
Walla Walla Prison Single Spur Western