October 3, 2010

Was Soapy Smith more well known than Wyatt Earp?

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1.) Another comparison was made on January 23, 2012.
2.) Cathy Spude doubts the accuracy of this study, please see August 23, 2012.

When speaking on Soapy Smith I often mention that I believe that he was more well-known than Wyatt Earp while the two men were alive. I figured this from the massive amount of newspaper accounts of all his "adventures." Recently on another forum a friend posted a Google newspaper archive bar graph for Wyatt Earp between the years 1880-1970. It gave me the idea of making a bar graph for Soapy in the same time period. I was not surprised  to see that my theory was right (see above bar graph).

The top two graphs cover larger and smaller city newspapers across the United States and my friend suggested that I should also include the Google newspaper archives to produce a bar graph for major newspapers across the U.S. I chose the New York Times for the far east, and the Los Angeles Times for the far west. When comparing bar graphs please take note of the dates.

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