A Ringside Seat at the World's Famous Heavyweight Championship Bouts

By: Sun Oil Company

Price: $99.95

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Very Good-


2 p.l. & 185 pages; This rare softcover book appeals to collectors of at least three subjects: petroleum history, heavy-weight championship boxing matches, and early radio. It was a promotional give-away from the Sun Oil Company to promote their unique gasoline "BLUE SUNOCO." There is a page of text about Sun Oil Company -- its petroleum and the refining which made BLUE SUNOCO possible facing each chapter of this volume. The chapters themselves each are devoted to a heavyweight championship boxing match. These accounts purport to be the ringside reporting of the bouts made by "Bob Thompson -- announcing them over the air on Station W.C.A.O. in Baltimore." Indeed, Baltimore's WCAO was one of the pioneering radio stations in the United States, going back to the early 1920's. But the World Championship matches described in this volume begin with James "Gentleman Jim" Corbett's successful defense of the title he won from John L. Sullivan -- January 5, 1894 (against Charley Mitchell). The first paragraph states: "This is the ringside of the arena near Jacksonville, Fla., broadcasting by leased wires through Station W.C.A.O." Impossible, of course. At the beginning of 1894, 19 year old Guglielmo Marconi was nearly a year away from the first experiments he conducted with the aid of his butler, Mignani. And Marconi would have become a wealthy Nobel Prize winner (1909) before anyone succeded in transmitting a human voice via radio waves. The accounts in this entertaining volume cover every title bout in the heavyweight division between Corbett's defense and Gene Tunney' successful rematch with Jack Dempsey, September 22, 1927. (1927 was, coincidentally, the year in which BLUE SUNOCO gasoline was introduced to the public. First, it really was blue in color -- a commercial advantage in an era when virtually all gasoline was dispensed from tall gravity-flow pumps with visible glass globes at the top. At a time when most gasoline had its octane raised by blending with tetra-ethyl lead, Sun Oil Co.'s BLUE SUNOCO was a premium anti-knock product produced without the use of lead. Each page of this book has a running headline: "BLUE SUNOCO" and at the foot, the following advertising text: "WINTER or SUMMER -- You Need No Longer Be TOld You Need A Blended Fuel in Your Car." One of the fights described in this book was Jack Dempsey's legendary defense against the great French champion Georges Charpentier -- July 2, 1921. This is recorded as the first fight with a national "network" radio broadcast (via Pittsburg's pioneering station KDKA). While Baltimore's W.C.A.O. was established during that same year, it should be pointed out that listening to radio "broadcasts" in 1921 was the province of a comparatively small group of avid hobbyists, who nearly all built their own receiving sets and listened to a faint and intermittent signal through headphones on their crystal radios. (My late father was a 12 year old radio enthusiast in 1921, and he told tales of how he and others like him scanned the night airwaves for something more interesting that the Arlington Time Signal -- and sometimes were not rewarded with anything other than static. It was 1923 before most early adopters could go out and buy a commercial radio set, and another couple of years after that before the set one could buy would plug into the electrical recepticle in the wall for its power and fill the room with sound from its loudspeaker). Despite its appeal to collectors of three subjects, this is now a rare book. OCLC 38433384 records only two copies [Brooklyn College, and Notre Dame's Hesburg Library]. This copy has a few faint stains on its covers and a few scattered stains throughout, but is tight and complete. Three metal staples (exposed at the fore-edges of the front and rear blank leaves, only) bind this, rather than sewing. The printer's slug of the "Reese Publicity Press" appears on the inside of the rear wrapper.

Title: A Ringside Seat at the World's Famous Heavyweight Championship Bouts

Author Name: Sun Oil Company

Categories: Sports and Games, Americana and American History, Economics and Business, Sports and Games,

Edition: First Edition

Publisher: Baltimore Md., Sun Oil Company: 1929

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Very Good-

Size: 12mo

Seller ID: 39357

Keywords: Boxing Heavyweight prize fights Sun Oil Company BLUE SUNOCO Baltimore WCAO Baltimore petroleum advertising