September 8, 1894 in Orange, New Jersey
heavyweight champion James J. Corbett fought an
exhibition bout against heavyweight Peter
Courtney. The fight took place exactly 2 years
to the day after Corbett became Heavyweight
Champion of the World by defeating the great
John L. Sullivan.
Courtney battled fairly evenly with Corbett for
5 rounds, but was knocked down twice in the 6th
round before being stopped by the Champion. What
was significant about this fight is that it was
filmed by Edison's kinetoscope.
James J. Corbett and Peter Courtney both take
part in a specially arranged boxing match under
special conditions that allow for it to be
filmed and displayed on a Kinetograph.
match consists of six one-minute rounds. James
J. Corbett was a boxing hero of the time while
Courtney was the underdog.
film was produced by the Edison Manufacturing
Company, which had begun making films in 1890
under the direction of one of the earliest
pioneers to film William K. L. Dickson. It was
filmed entirely within the Black Maria studio at
West Orange, New Jersey, in the USA, which is
widely referred to as "America's First Movie
was filmed on September 7, 1894. According to
the Internet Movie Database the film was made in
a 35 mm format with an aspect ratio of 1.33 : 1.
The movie was intended to be displayed through
means of a Kinetoscope
Below a short clip of the original fight
Prescott catalog: This fight consists of six
rounds, each round on a film 150 feet long. It
is not a fac-simile [sic] or a ""fake"" of any
description, but an actual contest between James
J. Corbett, former champion of the world, and
Peter Courtney. The films are listed as ""1st
Round,"" ""2nd Round,"" ""3rd Round,"" ""4th
Round,"" ""5th Round,"" and ""6th Round""...
Price, 45.00 each.
From Edison films catalog: This is not a fac-simile
[sic] or a fake of any description, but an
actual contest between James J. Corbett, former
champion of the world, and Peter Courteney
[sic]. The fight consists of six rounds, each
round contains 150 feet. Price, each round,
Title in F.M. Prescott and Edison catalogs:
United States : Kinetoscope Exhibiting Co.,
Copyright: Wm. K. L. Dickson; 17Nov1894; 53707.
Performers: James J. Corbett, Peter Courtney.
Camera, William Heise.
LC copy of film is apparently only one partial
round of the original six rounds.
Filmed September 7, 1894, in Edison's Black
Boxing matches--United States.
Boxers (Sports)--United States.
Dickson, W. K.-L. (William Kennedy-Laurie),
Corbett, James J., 1866-1933, performer.
Courtney, Peter, performer.
Heise, William, camera.
Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
Hendricks (Gordon) Collection (Library of
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