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1832.3 Mary's Book of Sports [New Haven CT] Has Drawing of "Playing at Ball"
A miniature 8-page book shows four boys playing at ball. "What more boys at play! I should not think you could see at play. Oh, it is too late to play at ball, my lads. The sun has set. The birds have gone to roost. It is time for you to seek your homes."
Mary's Book of Sports. With Beautiful Pictures [S. Babcock, New Haven CT, 1832].
1832.5 Boston Spelling/Reading Book Describes Cricket and "Playing at Ball"
Chapbooks for Juveniles, Images
In part four of this book, cricket play is treated in some detail, and a small woodcut of ball play has the caption, "This picture is intended to represent the Franklin school house in Boston. It is now recess time, and some lads are playing at ball on the green lawn before the portico of the brick building."
The Child's Own Book (Boston, Munroe and Francis, 1832), cited by Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 195.
1844.4 The Popular McGuffey's Reader Adds a New Woodcut of Ball Play
McGuffey, Wm H., McGuffey's Newly Revised Eclectic First Reader [Cincinnati, W. B. Smith], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 207. Block finds that the [original?] 1836 version of the revered reader lacked any ball-play content. The new edition adds a simple woodcut and this caption: "The boys play with balls. John has a bat in his hand. I can hit the ball."
1844.5 New Noah Webster Speller Has Woodcut of Ball Play on a Village Green
Webster, Noah, The Pictorial Elementary Spelling Book [New York, Coolidge], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 207. Block notes that "[a] woodcut in this work pictures a scene of children on a village green playing various games including baseball."
1845.9 Cover of Children's Book Depicts Ball Play
Teller, Thomas, The History of a Day [New Haven, S. Babcock], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 207. The cover of this children's book has a small illustration of boys playing ball.
1845.19 Painter Depicts Some Type of Old-Fashioned Ball?
A painting by Asher Durand [1796 - 1886] painting An Old Man's Reminiscences may include a visual recollection of a game played long before. Thomas Altherr ["A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It] describes the scene: "a silver-haired man is seated in the left side of he painting and he watches a group of pupils at play in front of a school, just having been let out for the day or for recess. Although this painting is massive, the details, without computer resolution, are a bit fuzzy. But it appears that there is a ballgame of some sort occurring. One lad seems to be hurling something and other boys are arranged around him in a pattern suspiciously like those of baseball-type games." Tom surmises that the old man is likely reflecting on his past.
Asher Durand, An Old Man's Reminiscences (1845), Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany NY. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), page 40. For a credit-card-sized image - even the schoolhouse is iffy - go to
http://www.albanyinstitute.org/collections/Hudson/durand.htm, as accessed 11/17/2008. Dick McBane [email iof 2/6/09] added some helpful details of Durand's life, but much remains unclear. Query: Can we learn more about Durand's - a member of the Hudson River School of landscape artists, originally hailing from New Jersey - own background and youth?
1845.20 Painting Shows Crossed Bats and Some Balls in School
The painting shows a five-year-old boy meeting his new schoolmaster, is by Francis William Edmonds, and Thomas Altherr describes it: "A pair of crossed bats and at least four balls resting in a corner of the schoolroom foyer at the lower right. The painting's message is some what ambiguous: Is the boy surrendering his play time to the demands of studiousness, or are baseball and kite-flying the common recreations for the [school] master's charges?"
Francis William Edmonds, The New Scholar (1845) Manoogian Collection, Natinal Gallery of Art, Washington DC. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), page 40. A small dark image appears on page 186 of Young America: Childhood in 19th-century Art and Culture, as accessed 11/17/2008 via Google Books search for "edmonds 'new scholar.'"
1846.4 New Primer by Sanders Repeats Illustration from 1840 Reader
Sanders, Charles W., Sanders' Pictorial Primer, or, An Introduction to "Sanders' First Reader [New York, Newman and Ivison and other pub'rs in NY, Philadelphia, and Newburgh NY], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 209. As in Sanders' 1840 Reader, the cover has the same illustration of two boys playing with a bat and ball in a schoolyard.
1847.4 Book of Children's Tales Includes Recycled Illustrations of Ballplaying
Barbauld, Anna Leticia, Charles' Journey to France and Other Tales [Worcester MA, E. Livermore, 1847], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 209. This book of children's tales has a chapter called "The Ball Players, with "a strange poem celebrating generic ball play," - evidently meant to include the tennis-like game of fives- and Block adds that "[i]llustrating the poem are several woodcuts borrowed from earlier children's books."
1850c.9 Juvenile Story Book has Two Woodcuts with Ballplaying
One illustration in this chapbook shows boys playing ball; a second shows [icon! icon!] a house with a window broken by a ball.
Frank's Adventures at Home and Abroad (Troy NY, Merriam and Moore), per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 213.
1850c.12 Chapbook Reprises Illustration from Contemporary Book.
Chapbooks for Juveniles, Images
Louis Bond, the Merchant's Son (Troy NY, Merriam and Moore, c. 1850), per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 214.
Block notes that the graphic is lifted by the same publisher's 1850 book, Frank and the Cottage).
1856.11 New Reader Has Ballplaying Illustration
Town, Salem, and Nelson M Holbrook, The Progressive First Reader [Boston], This elementary school book has an illustration of boys playing ball in a schoolyard.
per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, pages 217-218.
What are the "other sources" for playing theque? Is it significant that this book features games for adolescents, not younger children?
1857.11 New Primer, Different Illustration**
Town, Salem, and Nelson M. Holbrook, The Progressive Pictorial Primer [Boston], Continuing the authors' series (see 1856 entry), this book uses a different illustration of boys playing ball than in the earlier book.
David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 218.
1857.13 The First Game Pic?
Images, Newspaper Coverage
"On Saturday, September 12, 1857, 'Porter's Spirit of the Times,' a weekly newspaper devoted to sports and theater, featured a woodcut that, as best can be determined, was the first published image of a baseball game.?
Vintage Base Ball Association site, http://vbba.org/ed-interp/ 1857elysian fieldsgame.html
1857.38 President's Peace Medal Depicts Baseball Game in Background
United States Government
"A base ball game is depicted on the 1857 Indian Peace Medal issued by the Buchanan Administration in 1857. The Indian Peace Medal was "presented by a government agent to the chief of a tribe that the government considered to be friendly, or that it desired to become so...the frontier game of baseball, in all its variety, was already perceived as the national game..."
Thorn, John, Baseball in the Garden of Eden (2011), p. 114.
See also https://ourgame.mlblogs.com/our-baseball-presidents-ec1617be6413 (accessed Feb 2018).
"For President Buchanan in 1857, a new reverse to the (latest "Indian Peace") Medal was commissioned from engraver Joseph Wilson . . . . [The medal showed] in the distance, a simple home with a woman standing in the doorway -- and a baseball game being playing in the foreground. . . .
"No matter what some gentlemen were saying in New York at the "national" conventions of area clubs, the frontier game of baseball, in all its variety, was already perceived as the national game."
-- John Thorn, "Our Baseball Presidents," Our Game posting, February 2018.