On 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.



James J. Corbett



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.


The match consists of six one-minute rounds. James J. Corbett was a boxing hero of the time while Courtney was the underdog.


The 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 Studio".


 It 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



From F.M. 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, 22.50.

Title in F.M. Prescott and Edison catalogs: Corbett-Courtney fight

United States : Kinetoscope Exhibiting Co., 1894.

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 Maria studio.

Received: 5-13-1994; viewing print; preservation; Hendricks (Gordon) Collection.

Boxing matches--United States.
Boxers (Sports)--United States.
Boxing--United States.
Sports (Nonfiction)

Dickson, W. K.-L. (William Kennedy-Laurie), 1860-1935, production.
Corbett, James J., 1866-1933, performer.
Courtney, Peter, performer.
Heise, William, camera.
Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
Hendricks (Gordon) Collection (Library of Congress)


All stories are the property of Sideshow World & their respective authors.  Any republication in part or in whole is strictly prohibited. 

For more information please contact us here


The Athletic Show        Back to Main


 All photos are the property of their respective owners whether titled or marked anonymous.

"Sideshow WorldTM" is the sole property of John Robinson All rights reserved.

 sideshowworld.com   sideshowworld.org   sideshowworld.net  sideshowworld.biz   sideshowworld.info

is the sole property of John Robinson All rights reserved.

E-Mail Sideshow World     E-Mail The Webmaster