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Extraordinary 1912 Indianapolis 500 Panoramic Photograph

  • Sold For: $1,185
  • Year: 1912
  • Auction: 2012 spring
  • Lot #: 1405
  • Auction Category: Football/Basketball/Hockey/Boxing/Other Sports

Spectacular panoramic photograph capturing the racing action at the Indianapolis 500 in 1912. This historic photo, which measures an incredible 54 x 9.75 inches, dates from only the second year of the now-famous race and is remarkable both in its scope and extraordinary clarity. Taken from the perspective behind one of the far turns, the photo encompasses nearly the entire grounds, with the main grandstand pictured to the left. A number of cars, which are only blurs on the track, can be seen on each side of the course. The big board listing each car and respective lap number is clearly visible on the infield, as are the numbered garages, tents, and scores of people milling about. The black lettering along the base reads "Indianapolis Motor Speedway/May 30th 1912." To the right is the photographer's credit "Copyright 1912 by N. H. Losey Indianapolis." In 1912 the Indianapolis 500 became the highest-paying sporting event in the world, boasting a total purse of $50,000, with $20,000 of that amount allocated for the winner. American Joe Dawson took home first-place honors in 1912, finishing the course in 6:21:06.144. This is both the earliest and finest Indianapolis 500 panoramic photo we have ever seen. It is not known how many of these photos were actually produced, but given its rarity (this is the first we have seen) the number was probably quite low. The name written in the upper left corner, "J. H. Lafferty LeRoy, ILL," may indicate a former owner. With the exception of a few minor tears and small areas of surface paper loss near the left border, the photo remains in Excellent to Mint condition. This is a true paragon in the realm of panoramic photography and one of the finest auto-racing examples extant. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000+. SOLD FOR $1,185

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