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Fraser's would-be Indian model

I picked up this image of John Big Tree in an eBay auction years ago. John Big Tree claimed he was a model for James Earle Fraser's Buffalo nickel (1913-1938). The many holes in his story are told in my book, Fascinating Facts, Mysteries & Myths About U.S. Coins, which is available by following the link below.

This picture is a scene or a publicity shot for the 1929 silent film "The Overland Telegraph." A portion of the film, and this image, was shot at Glacier National Park, which at the time was home to Two Guns White Calf. Two Guns also believed he was a model for the nickel and that's probably where John Big Tree got the idea. Anyway, despite what countless numismatic sources say, neither were used by Fraser for the design of the coin.

John is shown here with Dorothy Janis. She only made five films with only one of those being a talkie. She died last year at the age of 100.

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