How Did Saloon Doors Keep Western Saloons Safe At Night?

24 April 2018, 15:38 | Updated: 24 April 2018, 15:39

Saloon doors
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Mystery Hour Question

Do the swing doors in Westerns actually exist? How does the saloon owner lock up for the night if they do?

Nick, Fairham

Name: Christian, Wandsworth

Qualification: Wild West Enthusiast

Answer: It is overwhelmingly likely saloons did not have swing doors.

To take the history of South Dakota as an example: infamous outlaw Wild Bill Hickock was killed in a pub in Deadwood, South Dakota in late 19th history.

Pictures of the pub had regular doors.

It is presumed directors added them to films as a way to make a dramatic entrance.

There is a caveat: very very small bars might have had swing doors.

But they would not need to lock up as they kept no wares inside overnight.