"This is the greatest and longest moving picture film ever made, covering as it does the entire period of the 25 rounds and intermissions of this bruising contest for the championship of the world between the champion Jim Jeffries and Tom Sharkey. It was taken by artificial light, thousands of dollars having been spent upon the electrical equipment and arrangements. This film may be ordered by rounds of 200 feet in any lengths desired. The introductory ceremonials take up 600 feet and the scenes the fight 25 feet. It is magnificent photographically throughout, the fighters being clear and sharp in every movement, and the crowd is shown to a considerable distance on each side of the ring." Written by
AMB Picture Catalogue (1902)
Did You Know?
In 1899 Biograph set up a huge battery of hot lights on Coney Island to record the Jeffries-Sharkey fight. The film would be the first to use electricity instead of sunlight. While the Biograph camera was grinding away in the front row, the Vitagraph camera was grinding away 20 rows back. When the Biograph boys discovered the Vitagraph camera, they sent a crew of Pinkerton detectives to seize the machine and film. The fight fans surrounding the Vitagraph camera, unaware of the causes of the attack, manfully protected their neighbor, producing more action outside the ring than in it. Eventually Vitagraph's Albert E. Smith
recorded the whole fight, smuggled the film out of the arena, and developed it that night in the Vitagraph lab. The next morning Smith discovered that the pirated film had itself been pirated out of the lab by some late-night delegates from the Edison company. Although Biograph went to the trouble and expense of lighting the fight, Vitagraph and Edison (both eventually released prints of it) were the only ones to make any money on it. See more