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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Sportin Life: 1890s

Sportin Life: 1890s

Circa 1890s. "Base ball team, U.S. Naval Academy." Go Annapolis! 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Don't mock the gear

They're just getting ready for the Hot Stove League!

Early base-ball mittens

Early gloves were hardly the engineering marvels worn by today's players. Seen here are some "gloves" that likely offered less padding/protection than many current bicycle riding gloves -- or current oven mitts.


All hail the mustachioed sphere-flingers!

"Base ball"

Two words was not uncommon for this time if you check older dictionaries. I have also seen where it was "base-ball." In one 1890s dictionary it also states that it is very popular in Japan!

Bake 1 hr at 350 F

Looks like an especially athletic cooking class!


rarely seen in photographs of baseball players and equipment from this era: an unscuffed, totally clean and white baseball.

The other team

Nice to see the easy affection men could demonstrate in 1890 (before Freud came along) like the two handsome men seated to the left. Today's sports figures would not want people to surmise in any way that they might be playing on "the other team."

Not for nothing

was this decade called the Gay Nineties.

Oven Mitts, Turtlenecks, and Serge Wool (oh my).

Some things have changed, but the dimensions of the diamond haven't.

Knuckle down

Man on the left has a huge knuckle on his index finger, maybe hurt trying to stab a line drive. So interesting to see the equipment used in the 1890s.


Are freckles a requirement at the Academy?

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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