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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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SYPHILIS ... SIX OUT OF TEN CURED, 1941

Come Fly With Me: 1912

Come Fly With Me: 1912

December 1912. "Auto polo," somewhere in New York. It looks a little risky to me. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

 

Hilltop Park

It's Hilltop Park. You can line up the wall, buildings, and even the advertisements with this photo:

Posed?

I have a feeling this may not be quite so much of an action shot.

Something - perhaps a prop - has been painted out behind the left-hand car's rear wheel. And there's definitely a support of some kind holding up the other car. Looks like a lump of timber about six inches across.

Looks like the two blurred figures took a dive for the camera.

Still quite mad, though.

[One of the cars in the other "action" shot from 1912 is propped up at an angle, too. - Dave]

Mack Sennet, where are you?

This looks like something out of Keystone Kops! Yes, before somebody yells at me, the word "Kops" was really, REALLY spelled with a "k".

Maybe Hilltop Park

Ebbets Field opened in 1913 and was under construction until very close to Opening Day. This photo might have been taken at Hilltop Park, where the Yankees (then the Highlanders) played until moving into the Polo Grounds in 1913.

Auto Polo's Young Daredevils

From the the Kansas City Star Magazine - November 14, 1971

Few sports were ever devised, I think, with the thrills and spills, the collisions and rollovers, the spectator excitement of a game played in Kansas in Model T Fords nearly 60 years ago.

The name of the game was auto polo. Continue reading

That's Entertainment

It's like bumper cars, only without the bumpers.

Risky?

I'll see your "risky" and raise you "stoopid!" But it does look exciting, and boys will be boys. Was I born too late or too bright?

Best reason to chant "Get a horse" yet

Forerunner of the demolition derby?

Perfect candidates

for the Darwin Awards? Yeesh~!

Ten, Nine, Eight...

Countdown to Farkitization.

And a movie!

The game in action!

A new sport

N.Y. Times article from 1912 on an auto polo exhibition at Madison Square Garden. It notes the high injury rate of the sport!

Look at 'em go!

This may well be the best action photo on the site.

Safety Last

I can't imagine why this never caught on.

Ebbetts Field???

From the angle of the bleachers, I'm wondering if this is Ebbetts Field, which was built in 1912. I guess more likely the Polo Grounds. Is there anyone out there who can make an educated guess? Stadium pictures like this make me nuts. (In a good way.)

Looney Tunes Physics

If the forward motion of the headfirst tumbler coincides perfecty with the downward arc of the upraised mallet, then the next thing we'll hear is "boi-oi-oi-oi-ing" followed immediately by birds chirping.

Zap. Pow!

Now these people know what an EXTREME sport really is.

 
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