Friday, July 7, 2017

Born Today July 7: Peter Courtney

Peter Courtney is on the right.


Boxer, actor and early Edison short subject Peter Courtney was born on this day in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.  He is known for an appearance in one film only, Corbett and Courtney Before The Kinetograph, a famous Edison actuality that is mostly a lost.  What survives is the first round of the match (1 reel) and, as each round was set at 1 minute a piece, the film is just 40 seconds long (originally there were 6 reels), making it a fragment of the first reel.  The whole match was filmed at the famed Black Maria studio (the world's first).  Amazingly the print that survived at the Library of Congress was in good enough condition for restoration.  It has been released on DVD and is available for viewing online.  Courtney is not known to have participated in any other boxing matches aside for this one specially set up for filming.  Courtney died very, very young, at the age of 28 from tuberculosis, just two years after this was filmed, on the 11th of May.  He may have died in Trenton, New Jersey, where was listed as a resident.  The is no information on his burial.


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