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  • - great new Life archives (not just T&F)

    fantastic new source of images from

    here's a few searches I tried:

    Jesse Owens - ... rce%3Alife

    Fanny Blankers-Koen - ... rce%3Alife

    Herb Elliot - ... rce%3Alife

    Olympic Games - ... rce%3Alife

    Olympic Runner - ... rce%3Alife

    Track & Field - ... rce%3Alife

    and most of the archives yet to be made available

  • #2
    Life magazine had some awesome photographers


    • #3
      The Barky Roll in 1955. Bob Barksdale at the '55 AAU in Denver. ... 29ad67f6a8


      • #4
        It's a treasure trove of great images, with some fabulously mistaken captions. Lots of body surfers with captions refering to non-existent surfboards and pole vaulters labelled high jumpers. One great photo of the great Ralph Boston scratching on what must have been the world's longest "high jump".

        Searching high jump, I found some striking images: several of Dumas' first seven footer, many of Brumel with one looking like a huge clearance at 7'3", and lots of the oft-discussed "WR" by gymnast Dickie Browning. Browning's two footed tumbling take-off was followed by a very Fosbury-ish clearance. Cool stuff.


        • #5
          Originally posted by jhc68
          oft-discussed "WR" by gymnast Dickie Browning. Browning's two footed tumbling take-off was followed by a very Fosbury-ish clearance.
          I'm looking at it here ... %26hl%3Den and it sure doesn't look like more than 6'. It certainly is not 7'!


          • #6
            If someone has access to one of those old standards to measure the height of the base it would be possible to determine the length of the extension.


            • #7
              I found a picture of Chas Dumas jumping a "record height" using apparently identical standards. The peg on the extensions is 12" above the top of the base. In Dickies photo the pegs are right at the top of the base. I concur with Marlow's esimate of 6', not 7' for Dickie.


              • #8
                Long thread on the Browning myth from 2.5 years ago (w/ expert commentary from exercise physiologist Suso)

       ... hp?t=17103


                • #9
                  The other aspect of this that surprises me is the continuing notion that a 2-footed takeoff is better than one (hence the rule). In 15 years of training high jumpers, I've never had someone who didn't have a higher vert from a running 1-footed takeoff (after training) than a 2-footed one.


                  • #10
                    Lotsa shots of the 1960 Rome men's 100m well as Dave Sime.



                    • #11
                      I concur with Marlow's esimate of 6', not 7' for Dickie (Browning).
                      I concur, too... I printed some of the photos and played around with measuring ratios on the standards. Too boring to explain the process I used, but my basis for measurement was the premise that the standards used in the Dumas photos were of the same design and ratios as the ones Browning used (of course that presumption may be flawed!)

                      The quality of the LIFE photos is impressive. If you click on Dumas photos (for example: and then click the View Full Size option and then zoom in on the image, you can actually read the numbers on the side of the standard. That visual reconfirmed my fading memory that the default lowest ht. on the olden time standards was 4 ft. even. Per and Highjump Steve, does that match with your fading memories?

                      Anyway, my shakey conclusion is that the photos of Browning represent different jumps and the one Marlow cites is a jump at 6 ft. even.

                      Another photo shows a different jump from a different camera angle at about 6 ft. 8 inches:

                      All well short of the purported 7 ft. 6 inches (or sometimes reported at 7 ft. 2 inches) that made Browning famous. That alleged jump seems to have been at a different photo shoot entirely, see:


                      I haven't tried to estimate bar ht. on these last images since I already have an excedrin headache from my earlier efforts.


                      • #12
                        That was precisely the method I used jhc68. I think I remember the old standard bases were 48" and appear to be identical in all photos. You can actually read the measurements on the extensions. If Dickie jumped 7 feet it was not in any picture I found.