The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968 Page: 6
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Gustavus F. Swift studied and improved such cars; and in 1877 he had
ten of them carrying meat from Chicago eastward. The use of such
cars, plus developments in the canning of meat, encouraged the
building of packing plants in such cities as Fort Worth, Wichita, and
Omaha, which were near the sources of beef.
Even Europe felt the impact of America's cattle trailing. In the
1870's, Texas beef began to reach Europe in large quantities, thus
helping a bit toward balancing this country's foreign trade. Ships
carried the beef on the hoof, in tubs, in tin cans, and in the form of
frozen sides. While consumers welcomed it, European cattle raisers
became aroused against this competition from across the Atlantic.
In several countries they induced their governments to bar imported
beef by means of high tariffs or quarantines based on imagined
For the well mounted cowhand who helped guide a herd of
Longhorns up one of the trails from Texas, the economic role of the
trail driving meant little or nothing. For him the trail was a road to
high adventure. Usually the dollars he received when the herd was
sold at Abilene or some other town were spent in a few days of
hilarious living at the bars, gambling tables, dance halls, and bordellos.
Yet, even though he viewed the cattle drive less as a business venture
than as a lark, he had acquired lasting rewards. He would carry to
his last moments the memories of far horizons, winding rivers, faithful
mounts, and thundering stampedes. He had survived dangers that
made the hazards of a more settled life seem tame. He would sing of
Old Paint and Sam Bass and Little Joe the Wrangler and would
treasure in his mind the image of a Longhorn herd strung out on the
green prairie or bedded down for the night under the canopy of stars.
For him, no long train of railway stock cars could ever replace the
glamour of the cattle trail.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968, periodical, 1968; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/m1/24/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.