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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

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Polo Noir: 1908

Polo Noir: 1908

"Polo Team, Durland's Riding Academy, 1908: Cpt. Dr. Fielding Robeson, N.W. Rose, Archer Kinney, Lawrence & Simon Ottinger, Mgr. Trusttum, Gerald & Victor Meyer." 8x10 glass negative, G.G. Bain Collection. View full size.


Polo ball

That is an arena ball, for indoor polo. It is quite a bit larger than the one used on a field, and is soft. The hard ball was made of wood (the word "polo" comes from the name of the hard root which originally was the source for the balls' wood) back then, today of high-impact plastic.

Well endowed

I know nothing about polo, but is that a regulation 'ball'?

Reflections on a photograph

Looks like the photographer and big tripod-mounted camera can be seen in the mirror right over the horse whose head is turned. As a photojournalist 100 years later I still have to watch myself and occasionally do get caught!


Look at the size of that picture behind the seating gallery! I wonder if any of these gents went on into the cavalry for WWI. I believe a major (NBC?) broadcast company is in the building now.

[Since 1949, the Durland's building at Central Park West has been home to ABC, at 7 West 66th Street. The sets for "20/20" and "Good Morning America" used to be in what was the main riding ring. - Dave]

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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