Who Was Steamboat?

Wyoming is predominately known by the symbol of the Bucking Horse and Rider.  There are a few stories surrounding the origination of this insignia.  One of the most popular is that it represents a bucking horse from the early 1900’s that could not be ridden. The horse was named Steamboat.  The symbol first appeared on license plates in 1936.  Wyoming was the first state to use a symbolic image of  the state on the license plate.  Other states soon followed.  The Bucking Horse and Rider symbol was copyrighted in 1936.  That’s a good thing because in 1994, a company in Beverly Hills, California, tried to register the trademark.  They did not succeed, thus, Wyoming’s rights to the symbol were legally protected.  In World War I, First Sergeant George N. Ostrom drew an insignia of the Bucking Horse and Rider for the National Guard in France and Germany.  The insignia was officially adopted by the United States Army and has represented Wyoming troops in all actions ever since.  Also, it is the symbol for the University of Wyoming, the only four year university in the state.  In 2007, The image appeared on our state quarter along with the state nickname.

 




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