Leonard-Cushing Fight



Leonard-Cushing Fight

This fight consists of six rounds between Mike Leonard the very popular and well-known pugilist, commonly called the “Beau Brummel” of pugilism, and Jack Cushing. It was an actual contest, and is full of hard fighting. It has proved a popular and interesting subject. It is sold by rounds, and the titles are 1st round, 2d round, 3d round, 4th round, 5th round and 6th round. 150 feet only.

MB 1898-03


1 W.K.L. Dickson, Kinetoscope Exhibiting Company Maguire & Baucus 
2 William Heise Michael "Mike" Wellington Leonard, Jack Cushing
3 14/06/1894 150 ft x 6

Michael Wellington Leonard Dallies with His Corpus That Posterity May Learn What Action's Like.
‘Twas a Rattling Bout, the Kinetoscope Will Have It, at Ten Cents a Round, and Ali Will Be Edified.
Thomas A. Edison weighs about 185 pounds and has invented a machine called the kinetograph, which takes forty-six photographs in a second. Michael Leonard and Jack Cushing weigh 130 pounds each and are prize-fighters. Yesterday morning while they fought a prize-fight in real, solemn, bloody earnest, Thomas A. Edison photographed them with his machine while he and six scientific friends looked on.
It was a very strange and unusual fight. The ring only 12 feet square, was arranged in Edison's laboratory. It had to be a small ring so that the photographing machine might be able to take it all in. Such a fight has rarely been seen. Mr. Mike Leonard, the same who paid $60 for his paddock coat, said that he would not fight for $35, which was offered to him originally, but that he would fight for $150 and all his expenses. He insisted that any unfortunate who should be put up against him should receive $50 for his pluck and endurance.
The rounds were to last one minute only. That was necessary, as the kinetograph could not be arranged to work more than one minute at a time. There were to be six rounds, and between each round the men were to rest seven minutes while the men in charge of the kinetograph prepared it to receive new impressions.
ln every second of every sixty-second round the marvellous kinetograph made forty-six photographs. lt made a series of 16,560 photographs, in all measuring 900 feet in length. These photographs will be put into the kinetoscope, which will be divided off into separate rounds. The man who wishes to look will pay ten cents for each round, beginning with the first. The theory is that when in the first round he sees Mr. Leonard, to use his own language, "pushing Mr. Cushing in the face," he will want to see the next round and the next four. Thus he will pay 60 cents for the complete kinetograph of the strange and unheard of fight.
lt began very early in the morning. Since Monday Mr. Leonard, whose fame is world wide, has been walking about in his paddock coat, and Mr. Cushing, who is brave but unknown, had been eyeing him from a distance. They were waiting for a good day with such light and atmosphere as would best suit the kinetograph. The fighting began in earnest from the star. Mr. Leonard, who had put his paddock coat with the velvet cuffs on a chair where he could see it, felt that he of all the world 's prize-fighters was to be the first to be made immortal and Mr. Cushing, proud and ambitious as all young men should be, hoped that fame and the kinetograph would hand him dawn as a knocker-out of Mr. Leonard. If such a thing could be.
Each noble fighter had a trusty friend to act as second. Mr. Edison, in the good old days when he had very little money and a great deal of health, used to sit in the "mule pen" in Harry Hill's place in Houston street to hear ladies sing and watch fighters fight. There he saw John L. Sullivan as a mere boy break the proud spirits of seasoned fighters and beheld Paddy Ryan of the weak knees and shining locks starring as well as he could. Mr. Edison was well fitted to supervise a prize-fight and see that all was fair and right.
The most interesting thing was the automatic lime keeper. The kinetograph was selected to fill that office. It could go on taking pictures for just one minute and no longer. When the minute was ended the kinetograph man was to announce the fact and the round was to stop. Mr. Leonard, whose full name, Michael Wellington Leonard, was embroidered on his shirts and socks and stamped on his underclothes, remarked that it was a weird and unheard of fight and had many strange points about it: he doubted whether his new Brooklyn backer would like to see him in it, be he worried especially on account of young Mr. Cushing, against whom he had nothing, but whom he must severely punish in the interest of science and future ages.
Mr. Cushing, a man of few words and a very plain face, remarked:
"Mike, if you could fight like you can talk, Corbett and Sullivan would be dead you'd be tried for murder."
The story as it proceeds will show why Mr. Cushing rued these words.
Mr. Edison and the six wise men whom he had invited had comfortable chairs, and at first discussed only the kinetograph, pretending that the fight was nothing to them. But as the battle went on they left those chairs, and their scientific manners vanished. Mr. Edison tossed his long locks out of his eyes and imitated every movement of the fighters. Sometimes he dashed his forehead forward as Mr. Leonard reached for Mr. Cushing's ear, and sometimes he twitched his mouth to one side as Mr. Leonard ducked to avoid Cushing's vengeance. All the six wise men did the same, and their excitement was proper and natural. The result of this kinetographic battle showed that a rest of seven minutes between one-minute rounds was a great and glorious idea. Instead of being only six rounds, it was six fights of one-minute each.
The seven minutes between rounds enabled the heroic gladiators to recover their breath and start to work each time fresh and nimble as though nothing had happened. The ignorant should not despise the six fights because they only lasted a minute. Whoever has fought knows that one minute is a long time to keep at it.
Until the kinetoscope is in working order the true story of this night will not be known, for Mr. Edison and the six wise men were too excited to remember just what happened, and the accounts of the two fighters vary. Mr. Leonard, whose ward in Brooklyn is considered as valuable as that of Mr. Schleren, said only this: "I hit him when I liked and where I liked. I'd hit him oftener, only Mr. Edison treated me right, and I didn't want to be too quick for his machine."
"I generally hit 'im in the face, because I felt sorry for his family and thought I would select the only place that couldn't be disfigured. It's lucky the rounds lasted only a minute, for while I tried to spare him, of course I couldn't keep all my strength in."
Mr. Cushing, who has no paddock coat, but whose language is as simple and direct as that of Robinson Cruesoe, said that in his opinion fighting in front of a photographing machine was no fight at all.”
"I've got so in the habit of being tin-typed at Coney Island," he said, "that I felt as if I ought to keep a pleasant expression all the time. Once or twice while I was trying to get that expression on I went into a trance and Mike hit me, but he is not very strong. His tailor in Williamsburg charges him $3 extra for padding his shoulders, and that's what enables him to get a backer. But he's not muscular enough to fold towels in a Turkish bath."
The six fights of one minute each were full of movement but free from gore. When they were done the six wise men decided that Mr. Leonard had won the fight, but there was no knock out. It is only fair to Mr. Cushing to remark that before the judgment was given to Mr. Leonard he had put on his paddock coat with the velvet cuffs. Mr. Cushing, whose mind runs largely to persiflage, accepted his humble remuneration and said only this:
"Mike had this job put up, and I've no doubt the photograph machine was fixed, but if it takes pictures like they say, everybody that looks at it will think it's a statue of me with my fist in the pit of Mike's stomach.
"Say, Mike had his stage name in red painted on the pit of his shirt. You can put it down that he'll need a nail brush to wash that name off his stomach. I bel I hit it often enough to print it there. I took it as my mark."
Mr. Leonard and Mr. Cushing went back to Brooklyn together.

New York World, Saturday 16 June 1894, 1.


Mr Andrew Holland, one of the official reporters of the Canadian Senate at Ottawa, arrived in Sydney yesterday by the Miowera.
About the fight that took place at the Orange Laboratory ? At the first fight that took place there Edison was present himself. The kinetograph, which is the machine invented by Edison for photographing moving objects, was arranged to run for one minute, and the pugilists, Leonard and Cushing, were to fight one-minute rounds. Leonard knocked Cushing out in the sixth round, and the whole fight was faithfully recorded by the kinetograph. A rumour got out about the affair, and an effort was made to indict Edison before the grand jury for carrying on a prize fight under pretence of scientific experiment. However, that came to nothing, and an arrangement was then made with Corbett for a series of six rounds with Courtney, which finally came off. There was nothing brutal about the fight, because they used soft gloves. Alle the same, a tremendous "rumpus" was made by the press, and another effort was made to indict Edison. It failed, but the fight was the last thing of the kind that was allowed to take place at the laboratory. As a scientific experiment it was successful, however. They  had arranged to take the fight for the championship between Corbett and Fitzsimmons, and had constructed special apparatus fot the purpose, but the action of the authorities at Arkansas prevented the fight from coming off. Arrangements have now been made to take the fight for the champion-ship at El Paso, Texas, between Fitzsimmons and Maher."

The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, mardi 21 janvier 1896, p. 6.

4 États-Unis, West Orange, Black Maria


>17/06/1894 États-UnisSan Francisco Peter Bacigalupi The Leonard-Cushing Fight