Thursday, November 21, 2013

1890s Richard Harding Davis Photo / Mrs. Walter Camp

This photo of Richard Harding Davis (1864 -1916), from the first half of the 1890s, is inscribed to Mrs. Walter Camp.  Davis corresponded with both Walter Camp and his wife, sometimes writing to either one on the same day. Much of this correspondence still exists in various archives and collections and we were lucky enough to have obtained photocopies of letters of interest to us, specifically from the Special Collections Library of The University of Virginia.
Davis and his brother were visiting the Camp’s home in Connecticut when they came up for the Yale bowl dedication in 1914. After this visit Davis in the attached letter states “I scouted around and was greatly flattered to find myself among your friends (referring to the photo he sent to Mrs. Camp that was hanging with other photos in their home). I hate to think when that picture was taken.” (He likely sent this in the early 1890s in return for the Camps having sent him a photo of Walter and his son (another letter in the collection references this). It was very exciting  for Jacob and I to have tied this photo and this letter together during our research.  

The Camp home on Gill Street where the photo hung. The Camps resided here from 1888 - 1905.

Recounting Davis, Bill Edwards said of him “He was one of the leaders at Lehigh (Davis actually scored their first touchdown) who first organized that University’s football team. He was a truly remarkable player. What he did in football is well known to the men of his day. He loved the game; he wrote about the game; he did much to help the game.” 

Davis is considered to this day to be the "Father of Lehigh Football."

From his biography, The Reporter Who Would Be King: A Biography of Richard Harding Davis: 

“At the turn of the century, Richard Harding Davis was the most dashing man in America. 'His stalwart good looks were as familiar to us as those of our own football captain; we knew his face as we knew the face of the President of the United States, but we infinitely preferred Davis’s”, wrote Booth Tarkington. Of all the great people of every continent, this was the one we most desired to see.
The real – life model for the debonair escort of the Gibson Girl, Davis was so celebrated a war correspondent that a war hardly seemed a war if he didn’t cover it.
Describing the desperate charge of his friend Theodore Roosevelt in the Spanish – American War, he produced both a classic of battle reportage and a legend in American history…
Writers like Jack London, Stephen Crane, Theodore Dreiser, Sinclair Lewis and Ernest Hemingway tried to emulate him in their lives and writing.”

Randolph Hearst, taking advantage of Davis' fame, paid him $500.00 to write a single newspaper article on the Yale – Princeton football contest of 1895 (today that would equate to roughly fourteen thousand dollars). 



This letter reads:
Nov 22nd 

My Dear Walter, 

I must congratulate you on your “Bowl”, and on the way you gave everyone a chance to see, and be seen. For that spectacle of seventy thousand human beings rising in the air was one thing I always will remember. We had a splendid lunch, and were only sorry that we came so late that we missed a chance to talk to you all.

I scouted around and was greatly flattered to find myself (referring to the photograph he had sent and inscribed to Mrs. Camp) among your friends. I hate to think when that picture was taken.

I paid my respects to you this morning in the Tribune. Again let me say thank you for taking so much trouble over us we are deeply grateful. I don’t know how much I really owe you for the tickets, but count upon you to tell me their real cost. Their value to me in the fun and excitement could not be put into dollars.

With all good wishes always, 

Faithfully yours 

Richard Harding Davis

A special thank you to the people at the Special Collections Library of The University of Virginia, Charlottesville, for their assistance.

Friday, November 15, 2013

c 1870 Foot Ball Game Stereoview

              C.1870 American "Foot Ball Game" stereoview  (Kicking Game / Association Foot Ball). Keene, New Hampshire, Keene High School, Academy Building. Originally an academy, this building was leased as the High School in 1853 and was demolished and replaced in 1875/76.
Several links are attached with further photos and information (the identity of the building and related links were sent to us from Eric Desmond, Milford, MA).

         The airborne ball is circled; this is better viewed with a stereo viewer as the ball is quite clear

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Everett J. Lake / Worcester Polytechnic


Cabinet card of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute football team of 1889.  Everett J. Lake (back row, 4th from the left) graduated from WPI in 1890 and then attended Harvard where he continued to play football in 1890, '91 and '92. He was a Walter Camp All-American in 1891. Lake co-coached the Crimson in 1893. He was to become the Governor of Connecticut in 1920.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Congratulations To The Boston Red Sox

                       Jacob and Big Papi (2013 World Series MVP) around 2005