When you look at an old photo of a boxing match

Corbett & fitz

It’s like what the hell is going on?

Came upon the Fitzsimmons Corbett fight while reading about local history.   The film of the fight is sometimes said to be the world’s first feature film.  Thomas Edison himself said Corbett was the first film star (which is extra interesting because spoiler alert guess who is the winner and who the loser?)

You can watch it yourself on YouTube, I can’t say it gripped me completely:

This movie was directed by Enoch Rector.  Should not all documentarians honor their forbearer?  Yet there is little to read of this man online.  Let me share some choice things then from his NY Times obituary when he left this Earth-existence on January 27, 1957 at age 94:

Born near Parkersburg, W. Va., Mr. Rector attended the University of West Virginia, but an urge to travel caused him to leave before graduation.  He qualified as a transit theodolite operator and worked with a surveying crew on the transcontinental right of way for the Northern Pacific Railroad.

Mr. Rector arrived in Seattle with $200 and invested $150 in passage on a sailing ship that took him around Cape Horn.  Landing at Buenos Aires he became engineer in charge of surveys for a railroad that runs through Bolivia.
His inventions included a kerosene carburetor that was used successfully on Fifth Avenue buses but was abandoned for economic reasons.
Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. Anne Rector Duffy, wife of Edmund Duffy, a political cartoonist.

You’re gosh-darn right I’m gonna show you the work of Edmund Duffy!  Let’s see the three times he won the Pulitzer Prize:

An Old Struggle Still Going On (1931):

Old Struggle

California Points With Pride (1934):

Cali points with pride

The Outstretched Hand (1940):

The outstretched hand

Huge props to Brian Cronin over there at Comic Book Resources for writing up about those Duffy cartoons.  I hope he doesn’t mind that I reuse here as long as I credit him and thank him.

Incredible story on the middle one in particular, which depicts the lynching of two (white) kidnap-murderers in St. James Park in San Jose:

St. James PArk

Oh and what’s that?  Jackie Coogan was one of the lynchers?  You mean this guy?:


Jackie Coogan kid

(that day did he look more like this guy?)

Jackie Coogan

California man.  Always interesting.

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 3.59.51 PM

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