This vintage real photo postcard features a portrait of a girls gymnastics team posing behind the parallel bars. The girls are wearing sailor type uniforms. Writing on the reverse of the postcard indicates that the photograph was taken in 1925.    (SOLD)

Published in: on October 28, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Meet Barney Lebrowitz (1891-1949. He was known in the boxing world as “Battling Levinsky” and he was the world light heavyweight champion from 1916 until 1920. “Box Rec”, a boxing statistical website rates Levinsky as the 12th best light heavyweight of all-time. “Ring Magazine” placed him at 9th. He clearly was no slouch in the ring. He was named to the hall of fame for Ring Magazine, the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, and the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Jewish immigrant parents from Russia. He worked as a shoe shine boy and sold newspapers to help support his family. When he began boxing, he sold jewelry during the day, and boxed in the evenings in Philadelphia clubs and gyms. It is conjectured that he had his jewelry sales job in order to hide his boxing career from his parents. In 1906, Levinsky began his boxing career using the pseudonym of Barney Williams. He took on a manager named “Dumb” Dan Morgan in 1913. Morgan changed the boxer’s name and helped his career. Levinsky was known as a defensive fighter. Although he delivered few knockouts, he was adept at avoiding truly damaging blows. In 1913, to hide the fact that Levinsky was not a very aggressive fighter, Morgan added the “Battling” part of “Battling Levinsky’s” name. Levinsky was a prolific fighter. In his first hundred fights (1910-1914), he lost only three fights. Between 1914 and 1918, he fought 127 times. In 1914, he fought 37 times, 9 times in January alone. On New Years day in 1915, he had two bouts. One fight was in Brooklyn, New York, while the other was in Waterbury, Connecticut. Levinsky beat Jack Dillon in 1916 to gain the Light Heavyweight crown. He kept it until 60 fights later when he lost the championship to French fighter, Georges Carpentier. Levinsky fought all major challengers. His record includes losses to boxing greats, Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey. Levinsky’s official professional record indicates that he won 196 fights (including 30 knockouts), lost 54, and had 37 draws. After losing to Gene Tunney in 1922, he retired from boxing to enter the Real Estate business. He was drawn back to the ring in 1926 after experiencing some major financial losses. He returned as a heavyweight and fought 42 fights, losing just 12 bouts. His comeback ended in 1930. This vintage press photograph comes from the archives of the “Acme News Pictures Company”. This photograph measures about 7″ x 9″ and is in good condition (see scans).                                                                                                                   

Buy this original Press Photo (includes shipping within the US) #2559

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Buy this original Real Photo Postcard (includes International shipping outside the US) #2559

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Induction: 2000

Published in: on October 18, 2018 at 12:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This vintage real photo postcard is a memento from the early history of football. This warrior of the gridiron stands at attention for his sports portrait. He appears to be college age and may be a member of a college football team. He is wearing his practice uniform and this image certainly reminds us of the major changes that have taken place over the years in the realm of sports equipment technology. This postcard has a divided back as well as a white border. It was likely produced during the White Border Era (1915-1930). The white borders were a method employed to help postcard publishers save on the expense of ink. This postcard is in good condition and the reverse of the card indicates that it once resided in a postcard album.

Buy this original Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #2456

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Buy this original Real Photo Postcard (includes International shipping outside the US) #2456

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This vintage photograph features two young men wearing overcoats. The men are wearing gloves and are dressed for winter weather. One of the young men has a pair of ice skates draped over his shoulders. Perhaps his next stop, after having his portrait taken, is to a local frozen lake where he can enjoy some ice skating. This photo was taken at the Beck  studio in Monroe, Michigan. The photograph measures about 5″ x 7″ and is in very good condition (see scans).

Buy this original Vintage Photograph (includes shipping to the US) #2432

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Buy this original Vintage Photograph (includes International shipping outside the US) #2432

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Published in: on June 8, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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Meet boxer Tommy Rhett. He fought out of New York, and the website BoxRec lists him as a flyweight.  He began his boxing career in 1947 and battled his way to 1955. At first, his career got off to a promising start. He won his first five fights (1 by KO). In his next 21 fights, he lost 19 bouts. He had the unfortunate distinction of losing his last 16 fights. He finished his career with 7 wins and 19 losses. Tommy Rhett appears to have been a journeyman fighter. Apparently, after a few fights he became fodder for other boxers to improve their record. Rhett must have been frustrated and disappointed with his performance in the ring. Tommy was no champion, but he sure wore terrific boxing shorts. The logo on his shorts is the same logo that is currently worn by the New York Yankees. A little investigating revealed that the logo has a connection to Tiffany’s. The interlocking “NY” logo was designed by the jewelry store in 1877,  as part of a Medal of Valor for a NYPD officer who was shot in the line of duty. The 1909 season marked the first time the New York Highlanders used the logo in its present form. The Highlanders became the New York Yankees in 1913.


This vintage real photo postcard features a portrait of a football team. These eleven heroes of the gridiron are wearing their uniforms for this group photograph. Six of the young men are wearing their helmets. Unfortunately, these thin leather helmets didn’t offer much protection against concussions or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). At first glance, I thought this team may actually be a rugby team. I based my impression on the odd shape and size of the football. The ball looked more like a rugby ball than a football. A little investigating revealed that today’s football has evolved over time. Basically, footballs have gone from round, to watermelon shaped, to today’s shaped football. The modern football became commonly used in 1935. In 1869 (first collegiate football game), the ball used was round, resembling a soccer ball. In 1874, a rugby-type ball was introduced. Shaped like a watermelon, it was as difficult to throw as the round ball. In 1912, an oversized version of today’s football was introduced. This football gave the quarterback more control of the ball when passing. The football in this photo postcard appears to be the rugby style ball, and that is compatible with the AZO stamp box which indicates that this portrait was taken between 1904 and 1918. The players and their team are unidentified. 

Published in: on March 20, 2018 at 12:20 pm  Comments (7)  
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This snapshot captures three pin boys as they work at a bowling alley. Pin boys, also known as pin setters were stationed in a sunken area of a bowling alley which was located behind the pins. The pin boy removed pins after they were knocked down, replaced pins each frame, and returned the bowlers ball. The day of pin boys is long over as automation and computers became employed in bowling alleys. At least two of the young men in this photo are smoking while they are working. The pin boys are wearing tee shirts, presumably because they were exerting themselves in a hot environment. Being a pin boy doesn’t look like a fun job.

Published in: on June 12, 2017 at 9:59 pm  Comments (2)  
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This wonderful photographic portrait features a basketball player in his game day uniform. Note his high top sneakers and long athletic socks. His uniform reveals that he played for St. Mary’s. There were many schools called St. Mary’s so it is unclear where the school was located or whether it was a high school or a college. Writing on the basketball discloses that this photograph was taken in 1925. There is a name inscribed on the reverse of the photograph but it is hard to decipher. The photo measures about 5 5/8 x 3 3/4 and is on paper that has the consistency of postcard paper.

Published in: on June 9, 2017 at 1:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Welcome to Mudville. This vintage real photo postcard features three uniformed baseball players. The young men are wearing the uniform of St. Joseph school. Two of the players are wearing fielding gloves and the player in the middle is equipped with a catcher’s glove. The ball players appear to be standing on a ball field in front of empty bleachers. The AZO stamp box on the reverse of this photo postcard indicates that the postcard was published sometime between 1926 and the 1940’s.

Published in: on March 7, 2017 at 9:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This cabinet card portrait features a little girl with an engaging smile. She is holding a wooden pail and is standing next to a shovel. She posed in front of the studio’s proverbial wall which the photographer embellished with leafy vines. The photographer of this image is Carl Joseph Horner (1864-1926). He operated a studio in Boston, Massachusetts. I have seen him advertise himself on other images as a “European Photographer”. On the reverse of this cabinet card he describes himself more precisely geographically as being “from Stockholm, Sweden”. It appears that, at least in Boston, European photographers held more status than American photographers. Interestingly, Horner developed a great reputation as a sports photographer. Some of his baseball photographs are very well known. To view more of his images, and to learn more about this photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Horner”.



Published in: on January 17, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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