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Individual Sports


J. Lewin (Firm).

Illustrated Trade Price List… for Bass & Tarpon: Fishing Tackle. New York: The Company, [ca. 1900].

John Harrington Keene.

Fishing Tackle, its Materials and Manufacture.  London; New York: Ward, Lock, 1886.

Charles Hallock, 1834-1917.

The Fishing Tourist: Angler's Guide and Reference Book.  New York: Harper & Brothers, 1873.

Charles Hallock was a journalist and sportsman who founded the magazine Forest and Stream, now Field & Stream.

Izaak Walton, 1593-1683.

Izaak Walton: His Wallet Booke.  London: Field & Tuer:Sampson, Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1885.

The Compleat Angler was a combination of manual and meditation.  According to Walton, "Angling may be said to be so like the mathematics that it can never be fully learnt."  The work became one of the most reprinted books in British literature.  The story is of three sportsmen who travel along the river Lea on the first day in May and discuss the relative merits of their favorite pastimes.


Although local skating clubs had been formed and competitions held since the middle of the 19th century, the sport functioned informally.   The formation of the United States Figure Skating Association in 1921 established rules for skating competitions as well as standards of proficiency for individual skaters.

Mary Mapes Dodge, 1830-1905.

Hans Brinker, or, The Silver Skates, illustrated in color by N. C. Wyeth and Peter Hurd.  Garden City, N.Y.: Garden City Pub., 1932.

This popular children’s story has been published in many editions with illustrations by popular artists of the time. 

Williams, Morse & Co.

Patent Cast Steel Frame Skates. Boston: The Company, [ca. 1855].

Spaeth & Guelicher.

Catalogue and Price List of Hardware Tools and Skates. Newark, N.J.: Starburck, Jennings & Bro., Steam Printers, 1867.

George A. Meagher.

Figure and Fancy Skating.  London: Bliss, Sands, and Foster, 1895.

H. R. Yglesias.

Figure Skating.  London: G. Routledge & Sons; New York: E.P. Dutton, 1905.


Two-wheeled vehicles were invented early in the nineteenth century, but it wasn’t until the 1890s that improvements in steerability, safety, comfort and speed made the bicycle popular among the middle classes in the United States and Western Europe.  Manufacturers competed for business using brightly colored and sometimes humorous advertisements.

Bicycles have been called the "freedom machine" for women.  Susan B. Anthony, women’s rights advocate, said in a New York World interview: "Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel… the picture of free, untrammelled womanhood."

Marie E. Ward.

The Common Sense of Bicycling. Bicycling for Ladies…  New York, Paris: Brentano's, [ca. 1896].

Harley-Davidson Motor Company.

Harley-Davidson motorcycles, 1915.  Milwaukee: S.E. Tate Printing Co., 1915.

Harry Castlemon, 1842-1915.

The Steel Horse, or, the Rambles of a Bicycle.  Philadelphia: Henry T. Coates & Co., 1888.

Humber & Co.

Humber Cycles, 1896: Not Cheap but Good. Boston, Mass.: Press of Carl H. Heintzemann, 1896.

Monarch Cycle Mfg. Co.

Monarch and Defiance Bicycles, 1897. Chicago, Ill.: The Company, 1897.

E.C. Stearns & Co.

The Yellow Fellow Year Book: a Treatise upon Stearns Bicycles made by E.C. Stearns & Co. Syracuse, N.Y.: The Company, 1896.


Clarence Warner Perry, Jr. (1921–1997) was a design engineer for the DuPont Company in Delaware.  He was also an amateur magician and magic enthusiast, designing magic tricks, assembling and selling magic catalogs, and performing as a magician.  His collection of books and other material on magic is now a part of Special Collections.

Karrell Fox.

Clever, like a Fox. Devon, Eng.: Supreme Magic Co., 1976.


Thirteen Steps to Mentalism.  London: Corinda's Magic Studio, 1968.

Charles J. Pecor, 1938-

The Craft of Magic: Easy-to-learn Illusions for Spectacular Performances.  Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1979.

Karl Fulves.

Self-working Coin Magic: 92 Foolproof Tricks.  New York: Dover Publications, 1989.

Tom Tit.

Magical Experiments: or, Science in Play by Arthur Good.  Philadelphia: D. McKay, 1894.

Women & Fitness

Until the nineteenth century, there was rarely any consideration of appropriate sports for women and girls.  While rural women and poor women did physical labor in order to survive, wealthier women were expected to be sedentary.  Games for girls did not usually involve physical activity.   In the nineteenth century, health reformers began to address the results of this inactivity on women’s health.

Mademoiselle St. Sernin.

Healthful Sports for Young Ladies.  London: Printed for R. Ackermann… by W. Clowes, 1822.

The author remains elusive beyond the fact that she was a French governess. The beautiful illustrations are by Jean Demosthene Dugourc (1749–1825). The "sports" illustrated included tossing a ball and riding on a see saw.

Juvenile Pastimes, or, Sports for the Four Seasons.  Part  2.  Philadelphia: Morgan and Yeager, 1823.

A Course of Calisthenics for Young Ladies.  Hartford: H. and F.J. Huntington, 1831.

This is considered to be the earliest textbook on calisthenics for girls published in the United States.

Russell Thacher Trall, 1812-1877.

The Illustrated Family Gymnasium.  New York: Fowler and Wells, 1857.

Mary Taylor Bissell.

Physical Development and Exercise for Women. New York: Dodd Mead, 1893.

Dr. Bissell was the Physical Director of the Berkeley Gymnasium for Women and Girls and an authority on physical culture for women.

Exposition universelle internationale de 1900 (Paris, France).

Musée rétrospectif de la classe 100 : jeux à l'exposition universelle internationale de 1900, à Paris: rapport présenté par M. Henry d'Allemagne. [Saint Cloud: Imprimerie Belin Frères, 1900].


Garden G. Smith, 1860-1913.

Golf.  New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1898.

Golf includes a discussion of women as golfers, as well as appropriate dress and the management of a golf association.

Sir William Nicholson, 1872-1949.

An Almanac of Twelve Sports; words by Rudyard Kipling. London: Heinemann, 1898.

The lithographic illustrations are based on Nicholson’s woodblock prints.  His inspiration came from the simplified woodcuts used in early nineteenth-century English pamphlets of popular tales or ballads sold by traveling salesmen.

John Garrity.

Golf.  A Three-dimensional Exploration of the Game.  NY: Viking, 1996.

Tournament Guides and passes for the McDonald’s Championship golf tournament held at the Du Pont Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware until recently.  The McDonald’s Championship is a part of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour.   The LPGA is one of the longest-running women's professional sports associations in the world and maintains a strong focus on charitable giving.


Michael Phelan, 1816-1871.

The Illustrated Hand-book of Billiards.  New York: H.W. Collender, 1872.

Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company of Canada.

The Billiard Book. Toronto: The Company, [ca. 1930].

The J.M. Brunswick Manufacturing Company began making billiard tables in 1845.  It merged with several competitors, including H.W. Collender, to become the major maker of billiard equipment.  The Brunswick Corporation still manufactures sports and fitness equipment.

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