Some of the features that are to become key narrative elements of the genre

Minute-long films such as Cripple Creek Bar-Room Scene2 and Poker at Dawson City

(both 1899) from Thomas Edison’s Manufacturing Company show card-

playing, heavy-drinking saloon scenes. Actualities such as Cattle Fording Stream

and Lassoing a Steer (both 1898, Edison) display a fascination with the life

of the cowboy. Further short films such as Sioux Ghost Dance and Buffalo Dance

(both 1894, Edison) and Serving Rations to the Indians (1898, Edison) display an

interest in but also mixed attitudes toward Native Americans as an ethnic