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Burns-Johnson fight 1908 photographer Kerry & Co.

When black American boxer Jack Johnson fought Canadian Tommy Burns for the World Heavyweight championship, twenty thousand spectators packed the stadium at Rushcutters Bay. Kerry & Co., who purchased exclusive rights to document the fight, had four cameras at ringside and, to record the crowd, a massive panoramic Kodak Cirkut capable of making negatives 6 feet (1.83 metres) long and 16 inches (40 centimetres) wide. Unfortunately for Charles Kerry, the elevated platform he had erected to accommodate the camera proved irresistible to some pugilistic devotees, who commandeered it. The police refused to intervene and Kerry used some ofthe crowd to eject the interlopers.

XV1/PUB/STAD/1 silver gelatine photoprint 39 x 94.5cm Alan Davies, An Eye For Photography, State Library of New South Wales, 2004. See collection record

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