May 17 2014

The Largest Newspaper Photo Ever Published in 1906- The Checkered Flag Finish of Louis Wagner

On October 14, 1906, the New York Times published a photo of the finish of the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race. The newspaper spread of the photo measured 32" x 20" and was the largest photo every printed at the time.

The photo captured the first use of a checkered flag to signify the end of a race.



The Vanderbilt Cup episode of Americarna will be shown on Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 12;00 pm.

The caption read:


This remarkable photograph, made especially for The New York Times, shows the sensational finish by Wagner, the winner, in the Darracq car Saturday, Oct 6th. W.K. Vanderbilt, Jr. is seen just above the black and white checkered flag, dropping of which indicated the finish of each car. In the row back of Mr. Vanderbilt is Mrs. W.K. Vanderbilt, Jr., and at his left is Peter D. Martin. Jefferson Demont Thompson, who is in charge of the foreign entries, is seen climbing the railing back of the signal flag, no doubt to escape the winning car which left the centre and came much closer to the rail than usual. Coutrlandt Field Bishop, prominent in Aero Club circles, is leaning over the rail just above the word "Cross" in the warning legend. At the right is the timers' box, and in the foreground is the signaler with a red flag to indicate a clear course.

A picture of the cup and portrait of the winner is shown in the upper right hand corner.

A split second after The New York Times photo was taken, another photographer captured this image of Louis Wagner winning the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race.

Starter Fred Wagner was holding the checkered flag.


May 18 2014 frank femenias 2:13 AM

The 1906 race being the first use of the checkered flag? And Willie K is caught standing right beside it in the pic? That’s an incredible capture Howard! Thanks!!

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