Vintage Saturday: Colt 1895 on Water Tower Hill

In 1914, a long-standing strike of mine workers against the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company was ended by the Colorado National Guard in what is known today as the Ludlow Massacre. As part of their preparations, the Guard emplaced a Colt 1895 “Potato Digger” machine gun on Water Tower Hill above the striking workers’ camp. These three photos from the Denver Public Library’s collection show that machine gun and its emplacement (the third appears to be taken from a different location).

Machine gun on Water Tower Hill at Ludlow
Members of the Colorado National Guard, called in to suppress the UMW strike against CF&I, sit near an automatic rifle on a tripod near Ludlow, Las Animas County, Colorado. A Colorado & Southern Railway (C&S) train makes its way past the town.

 

Sergeant Davis
Sergeant John Davis of the Colorado National Guard, called in to suppress the UMW strike against CF&I, poses near a newly assembled tripod-mounted automatic rifle, on Water Tank Hill near Ludlow, Las Animas County, Colorado. Cloth coverings, a wooden crate and a tobacco box are near the gun.

 

Colorado National Guard
Members of the Colorado National Guard, called in to suppress the UMWA strike against CF&I, stand and crouch near a tripod-mounted automatic rifle, on Water Tank Hill near Ludlow, Las Animas County, Colorado.