N.d. [1880s]. Mounted photo. Mounted original photo in carte-de-visite format. Ca. 4 x 6 inches, printed in sepia. The handwritten notes on the back incorrectly identify the track as Washington Park and two of the horses as Bonita and Felix. Good (slight rubbing and wear). Item #30897
This photo is very similar to one reproduced in the Dec. 17, 1917, issue of The Horse Review, which was called "the first really good motion photo of a great trotting race ever made." That photo shows the finish of the second heat of the 1886 Charter Oak Stake (Belle F. over Oliver K.). The spectators in our photo are similar to those in the Horse Review photo. Perhaps it shows another heat of the same race? Or another race on the same day? The driver of the winning horse seems to be Black--possibly the well-known Wiliam Johnson? The finish wire runs vertically through the center of the photo. (Gail Buckland in her book First Photographs erroneously dates the first known race finish photo as 1890; one Connecticut history site shows the photo of an 1889 Charter Oak finish. The first documented race finish photo was made in 1881.) Scarce; can be sent outside the US for less than the default shipping rate.