After Arthur F. Tait. Life on the Prairie. The Trappers’ Defence [sic]. “Fire Fight Fire.” New York: Currier & Ives, 1862.
Large folio lithographs by Currier & Ives represent the pinnacle of the firm’s production and were the most costly images that they issued. This image of western trappers setting fire to the prairie to act as a back stop for a larger blaze was published in 1862, at the same time that the nation was battling through the Civil War. The subject matter of tough, independent frontiersman working together to solve a problem must have been exotic and appealing to Currier & Ives’s clientele in eastern cities. This print was sold as one of a pair (the other depicts a buffalo hunt) and was priced at $3.00 uncolored and $5.00 hand-colored with watercolor.