1901 International Match
Forest & Stream, Dec. 1, 1900
New York Times, Feb. 24, 1901
Plans for American and English Team Shoot Taking Shape.
The long-talked-of plan for the arrangement of an international wing shooting tournament between teams representing the United States and Great Britain has taken definite shape, and Paul North of Cleveland, Ohio, has been authorized by a number of New York men prominently identified with trap shooting to complete arrangements for a match that have been begun already.
The same men have approved Mr. North's suggestion that a fund be raised by subscription among the patrons of trap shooting, and Thomas Marshall, Mayor of Keithsburg, Illinois, and twice winner of the Grand American Handicap, has been designated as custodian ‘of the fund,’ which shall be used to send a thoroughly representative American team to England to compete against a picked English team.
It is estimated that about $4,000 will be ample to cover all the expenses of sending an American team abroad, and the promoters of the plan anticipate no difficulty in raising that amount. This sum, it is announced, must he raised by April 1 to enable the manager of the team to carry out his plans.
The team matches which it is proposed to hold will include competitions at both live birds and targets. Several meetings have been held by the men who are pushing the matter, and inquiry among the most expert trap shooters has been made to learn who of. the best of these are willing to make the trip.
Among those who have expressed willingness to go if their business affairs will permit are R.O. Heikes, J.A.R. Elliott, J.S. Fanning, “Fred” Gilbert, W.R. Crosby, C.W. Budd, Frank Parmelee, and Thomas A. Marshall. Among others prominently mentioned are Harvey McMurchy, Edward Banks, E.D. Fulford, and B. Le Roy Woodard.
March 1901 Sportsmen's Exposition
R.O. Heikes (Remington Hammerless), Ed Banks (Winchester Repeater), W.R. Crosby (Smith), Jack Fanning (Smith), possibly B. LeRoy Woodard (Remington)
Forest & Stream March 16, 1901
“Anglo-American Team Race”
Subscription books have been opened in Chicago for the fund to send an American team of trapshooters to England. One such book is placed at the booth of Montgomery Ward & Co. at the Sportsmen's Show. A few contributions have been received, and it is to be hoped that the outcome of this experiment will be satisfactory. Capt. Tom Marshall was in town this week and spent considerable time at the show. He did not care to express himself definitely as to the probability of success in the team arrangements, but was optimistic, as usual.
Paul North leaves Saturday May 15, 1901 on the Cunard Line, which will give him nearly two weeks in which to prepare for the coming of the team.
As at present decided upon, the team is made up as follows: T.A. Marshall, captain; R.O. Heikes, W.R. Crosby, C.W. Budd, J.S. Fanning, J.A.R. Elliott, Fred Gilbert, Frank Parmelee, C.M. Powers. This leaves a vacancy or two to be filled up, but the vacancies will not probably be filled until “The Indians” meet at the Iowa State shoot, at Newton, Ia.
Among those who will go along with the team are E. H. Tripp and wife, Indianapolis, Ind.; Emile Werk and F. D. Pride, of Cincinnati, O.; B. Le Roy Woodard, Campello, Mass.; Louis Erhardt, Atchison, Kan.; H.E. Getchell, Woonsocket, R.I.; and probably others.
American Team Departs May 26
The team will consist of the following shots: Capt. Thos. Marshall, R.O. Heikes, W.R. Crosby. C.W. Budd. J.S. Fanning, J.A.R. Elliott, F. Gilbert. F.S. Parmelee, C.M. Powers, Edward Banks, E.H. Tripp, Richard Merrill, and B. Le Roy Woodard.
Others with the team are: Capt. A.W. Money, Emil Werk, D.F. Pride, D. Erhardt, Fred. Elliott, and Frank Harrison. The ladies of the party are Mrs. Banks, Mrs. Crosby, Mrs. Tripp, Miss Werk and others.
The party will stay at the Hotel Cecil, London, England, for several weeks. Paul North has gone on ahead (on his honeymoon) to make all arrangements for the match.
New York Times May 27, 1901
Twelve prominent wing shots sailed for Liverpool yesterday on the steamship Canadian. They compose the American team which is to meet the best shots of England in a series of five international contests at inanimate objects. This coming tournament between the expert trap shooters of the two countries has attracted wide attention among sportsmen with the gun on both sides of the Atlantic, for it is the first time in the history of trap shooting that teams from America and Great Britain have been matched.
The first match is scheduled for June 11 at the Middlesex Gun Club, near London. The second will be in Glasgow, the third in Edinburgh, the fourth in Dublin, and the final shoot will wind up in Paris. In these contests ten men will shoot on opposing teams, each man shooting at 100 targets, or 1000 targets per team, at 18 yards’ rise. The Americans are to use only one barrel, while the Britishers may use both barrels. The best three in five contests will win, and the prize is a purse of $2500 a side.
“The American team will shoot only American-made guns and American-made ammunition. The cartridges will contain 1/8 oz. more shot (1 1/4 oz.) than is permitted to members of the British team who, however, as compensation, can use two barrels to the American one.”
The American team consists of the following men, all of whom have won many trap shooting honors, and have been picked from the most expert shots, both at live and clay targets, in the United States:
J.A.R. Elliott of Kansas City, Mo.; Fred Gilbert of Spirit Lake, Iowa; Thomas A. Marshall, Mayor of Keithsburg, Ill.; Frank S. Parmelee of Omaha, Neb.; Rolla O. Heikes of Dayton, Ohio; W.R. Crosby of O’Fallon, Ill.; J.S. Fanning of Jersey City, N.J.; Edward Banks of New York; C.M. Powers of Decatur, Ill.; C.W. Budd of Des Moines, Iowa; R. Merrill of Milwaukee, Wis.; and E.H. Tripp of Indianapolis, Ind.
Tom Marshall, who is somewhat of a politician, as he is Mayor of an Illinois town, has been chosen to act as Captain of the squad. His prominence as a wing shot entitles him to distinction, as he is the only American who has twice won the Grand American Handicap (1897 & 1899.) Marshall’s reliability at the targets is well known, and he is regarded as the mainspring of the team in its efforts for victory.
James A.R. Elliott, the crack shot from Kansas City, is fully as well known among nimrods as Marshall. He has been shooting for years and holds the “Cast Iron” medal at present, which is emblematic of the live bird championship of America, while he also holds the championship cup for inanimate target shooting in the United States.
(Elliott shot for Winchester using an 1893 using “Leader” shells loaded with “E.C.” powder, then Hazard “Blue Ribbon” when he defeated Fred Gilbert to take back the “Kansas City Star” Cup April, 1898. He then retained the cup first beating R.O. Heikes by the score of 94 to 93/100, then C.W. Budd, J.E. Riley, and Fred Gilbert in Kansas City. In March 1899, he had the High Average at the Sportsmen's Association Championship Tournament held on the roof of the Madison Square Garden breaking 1223 out of 1300 targets and held the following trophies in 1899: DuPont Trophy, St. Louis “Republic Cup” & “Cast Iron Medal” - all at Live Birds - and the “E.C.” Target Championship Cup & “Republic Inanimate Target Cup”.)
Rolla O. Heikes has held the live bird championship medal for several years, during his long career, starting from boyhood, at the traps. He holds the world’s record for breaking 500 targets in nearly 8 minutes less than one hour, 52:58 to be exact.
(Heikes was the first industry representatives in 1885, with the LeFever Gun Co. In 1895-96, Heikes participated in 67 tournaments despite having malaria in the summer of 1895, and was high gun in 60 using a Winchester 1893 slide-action. He defeated Fred Gilbert in 1896 at the 2nd “E.C.” Cup “Champion Inanimate Target Shot of the World” in New York. Prior to using the Winchester, he shot a L.C. Smith. He defeated Charles Grimm on Dec. 6 1897 for the “Cast Iron Medal” using a Winchester 1897. He defeated Fred Gilbert for the “E.C.” Cup at Chicago, August 13, 1898 with a score of 140 to 137 out of 150 targets, then successfully defended the “Cast Iron Medal” against Fred Gilbert at Eau Claire, Wis., in August and W.R. Elliston in Nashville in October.
In 1899 he used a Remington Hammerless Double to defeat E.D. Fulford for the “E.C.” Cup in January and won the Sportsmen's Association Championship Trophy in the trapshooting tournament held on the roof of the Madison Square Garden in March. He used a Parker at the 1900 GAH at Live Birds, then went back to his Remington to win the first Grand American at Clay Targets held at Interstate Park in New York City June 12-15, 1900.)
Jack Fanning of Jersey City is an old time Californian who has spent many years seal hunting in the Northern Pacific, and has been an accurate shot all his life. Richard R. Merrill of Milwaukee took part in some of the shoots held last year in connection with the Paris Exhibition, and afterward visited a number of the leading clubs in Europe.
Fred Gilbert was born and raised on a farm near Spirit Lake, Iowa, and acquired his shooting prowess in early days, when he used to hunt prairie chicken, ducks, and other winged fowl, when they made that locality a famous hunter’s paradise.
(Gilbert “The Phantom of Spirit Lake” used a L.C. Smith to win the “DuPont World's Pigeon Shooting Championship” in 1895 and the “E.C.” Inanimate Target Championship Cup in 1896 and at the 1896 to 1899 GAH at Live Birds. He was sponsored by DuPont and defeated Rolla O. Heikes for the American “E.C.” Powder Trophy as “Champion Target Shot of America” in 1897. He then beat J.A.R. Elliott 95 to 94/100 birds for the Kansas City “Star” American Wing Shot Cup “Champion at Pigeons” and again for the DuPont Cup “Champion of United States at Live Birds” 97-97/100 then 25-24 both in Oct. 1897. He beat Elliott for the Kansas City “Star” Cup again in Chicago Dec. 7 killing 97 out of 100 birds. In 1899 following the GAH, Gilbert left Hunter Arms for Parker.)
Frank Parmelee of Omaha, Neb., is a left handed shooter, the only one on the team. He is a famous shot, and spent considerable time in early years among the Iowa Indians, by whom he was dubbed “Buffalo Hump.”
Earnest Tripp has held the Indiana State championship for a number of years.
A few friends of the team accompanied them, including Capt. A. W. Money (who acted as referee) of Oakland, N.J. and trap shooters of both lands will await the outcome of this elaborate international contest with the deepest interest.
July 18 1895
“How the Inanimate Target Events Are Conducted in London”
The traps, which are ranged in ten pairs, each pair 5 yds. apart, are hard throwers,
remarkably so, and the target is tough and not easily broken. The traps are pulled by ropes, one puller pulling five sets of traps. The Taunton trap is the most perfect one I have yet seen, seldom breaks a bird, but throws them with wonderful strength and accuracy, generally at known angles. In appearance both traps and targets are similar to ours. The rapid-fire system is also in vogue. The traps are hidden by small screens, numbered from 1 to 10.
Country Gentleman (London) “Gun Room Talk”
I was informed by Mr. North that the American team will shoot only American-made guns and American-made ammunition, each man having his gun manufactured by his favorite maker, and shooting his favorite powder, so long as that explosive was made in America. The contest will be doubly interesting as a test, not only of American marksmanship, but also of American guns and ammunition. The guns, of course, which I understand are, with one exception, perhaps, double-barreled, have all been specially bored for clay-bird shooting, and the ammunition loaded with the same end in view.
Among the Americans arriving on this side are a few crack live pigeon shots, who may have an opportunity afforded them before they return of measuring their skill against that of some of our noted trap-shots of England.
Marshall and Merrill gave up their Cashmores and choose Parkers, as did Le Roy and Heikes who used Remington doubles at the 1901 GAH at Live Birds as Remington professionals.
Le Roy had been a Remington representative since 1897. Parmelee used a Parker at the 1900 GAH, but had previously also been a Remington professional.
Guns used: Capt. Thos. Marshall - Parker, R.O. Heikes - Parker, W.R. Crosby - Smith., C.W. Budd – Parker, J.S. Fanning - Smith, J.A.R. Elliott - Winchester Repeater, Fred. Gilbert – Parker, F.S. Parmelee - Parker, C.M. Powers - Parker, Edward Banks - Winchester Repeater, E.H. Tripp - Parker, Richard Merrill - Parker, and B. Le Roy Woodard - Parker.
London, England, June 11th —American team defeated English team 860 to 801, possible 1000 flying targets, 18 yards rise. Americans used one barrel, Englishmen two barrels.
FIRST MATCH, JUNE 11th. Individual scores, 100 targets.
American team—Crosby 93, Budd 89, Tripp 88, Heikes 88, Parmelee 87, Merrill 86, Elliott 86, Fanning 85, Gilbert 84, Marshall 80; total, 806.
English team— Izzard 87, Pike 84, O'Connor 84, Ellicott. 82, J. H. Butt (Captain) 81, Johnson 80, Palmer 79, C. Morris 75, Paul 73. W. Morris 73; total, 801.
SECOND MATCH, JUNE 12th.
Same conditions. American team—Crosby 95. Gilbert 93. Heikes 92, Tripp 90, Fanning 89, Elliott 86, Parmelee 84, Powers, Woodard 84. Marshall 83, Budd 81: total, 877.
English team—Jount 87, Izzard 86, Ellicott 85, Pike 83, O'Connor 80, H. J. Cave 79, Johnson 78. Butt 75, Palmer 71, Inglis 70; total, 794.
THIRD MATCH, JUNE 13TH.
Same conditions. American team—Crosby 90, Heikes 88, Gilbert 85, Parmelee 84, Budd 83, Powers 83, Elliott 83, Marshall 83, Fanning 82, Tripp 82: total, 843.
English team—Pike 83, C. Morris 82, Izzard 80, Ellicott 76, Jount 76, Johnson 75, H. J. Cave 71, Butt 71, Palmer 68, Paul 67; total 749.
FOURTH MATCH, JUNE 22 Glasgow, Scotland —American team defeated Scottish team 969 to 882, possible 1000 flying targets, 18 yards rise, use of both barrels.
American team—Gilbert 100, Merrill 100, Crosby 99, Heikes 97, Fanning 97, Parmelee 97, Tripp 97, Marshall 94, Elliott 94, Budd 94; total 969
Following the American team’s fourth victory the Edinburgh, Dublin, and Paris matches were cancelled.
June 22, 1901 Sporting Life
“Report of the American Team’s Victory in the Anglo-American Clay Bird Match”
THE BEST INDIVIDUAL RECORD was made by W. R. Crosby, who broke 93, 95 and 93 respectively in the three matches, an average of .926 per cent, for the 300 shots.
ON SATURDAY the British trap shooters, in recognition of the victory of the American gunners, arranged a special contest for the visiting team for the British Presentation Cup. It cost forty guineas (about $200) and was the largest shooting trophy in the world. After two days of shooting, two Iowans, Fred Gilbert and C. W. Budd were tied at 23 out of 25 targets. In the shoot-off Gilbert won as Budd broke 7 out of 12 and withdrew.
Crosby, Heikes, Merrill and Powers broke 21 out of 25.
Members of both teams then competed in a special match for a gold cup. Each man shot at 15 targets. Crosby and B. Le Roy tied on 14 out of 15. In the shoot-off Crosby broke 14 to Le Roy’s 13.
W.R. Crosby also won a Live Bird competition June 17 at the Hendon Gun Club.
W.R. Crosby defeated the Scottish champion shot, Faulds, at Glasgow, Scotland June 22. Each shot at 100 pigeons from ground traps and 50 pigeons from tower traps. Crosby scored 139 to Faulds’ 134. We suppose clay pigeons were used as they have one style of shooting where the targets are thrown from a high tower, all birds shot as they go overhead.
July 6 Additional report from C.W. Budd
The ammunition question has been thoroughly discussed and we feel justified in saying the day is not far distant when American manufacturers of empty cases and loaded cartridges will be furnishing English sportsmen with a good part of the ammunition they use at trap. Our guns have also been admired and targeted by our competitors, and as a rule shoot much closer than the guns used by the English team.
Forest & Stream July 6, 1901
English cartridge: 1 1/8 oz., 3 Dram, No. 7 shot, 382 pellets in 2 3/4” case
American cartridge: 1 1/4 oz., 44 grains (3 1/8 Dr. Eq. “E.C.” No. 1), No. 7 1/2, 436 pellets in 3 1/4” or 3 1/2” case.
“The American Match” from the Country Gentleman, London, Report from Glasgow by Ed Banks
July 13 The Shooting Times editorial claimed the American guns and cartridges provided a 14” pattern at 40 yards!
“The Impression of a Spectators” from Shooting Times
The Scottish-American Match
The team left from Liverpool on the Cestrain June 30. Chan Powers was hospitalized with Typhoid Fever and Merrill stayed with him. Capt. Money remained in London. The team arrived in Boston July 9.
July 6 Sporting Life editorial regarding the match by Will Park
This foreign trip has proven one thing quite conclusively, and that is this – the American gun and ammunition is unsurpassed by the same product of any other country. The skill of the American gunner has also been proven superior to that of the foreigners and it can also be said that we have the largest number of experts in this line of sport on the globe.
The English method of shooting at “clay birds,” as they call the inanimate flying targets, is to throw a rather high flight, follow it well to it’s height, and fire both barrels in rapid succession, trusting, as one might say, to luck. The American style, on the other hand, is careful, deliberate, but with a certain quickness which does not permit the target to get beyond a reasonably fair range. That the American style is superior, or their skill vastly greater, has been shown by the recent matches. It was also shown that the Americans were better prepared for this kind of shooting. The guns were heavier, and handled a larger load of powder and shot, all reaching a point of perfection acquired only through a series of exhaustive tests and continual experiments by the manufacturers of such goods and constant practice by the users of them.
July 13 Sporting Life published additional reports of the Scottish competition with comments from The Country Life (London) and The Field (London)
The Country Life (London)
When it goes forth to the world that the Americans have beaten the Englishmen, in a team match of ten shooters each, in three test matches, and the Americans did this with one barrel, whereas the Englishmen used two, the prestige of this country will not be improved as a shooting nation. In one sense it will suffer rightly enough; in another, it will be a quite unfair inference. In watching the performance of the Americans, good shots that they are, the writer could only feel that if it were necessary to shoot in that style, it would be better to give up shooting altogether.
A good game shooter would not consider that his ability was tested in its most important points when the game always rose at one spot in front of him, in the way it did in this Anglo-American competition. Even when several rises are used, as they are occasionally under the system called ‘unknown traps and angles,’ the limitation of rise and of angle is too great to be considered first rate practice for game shooting.
At clay bird competitions, and for winning under present rules, the choke-bore and the pigeon guns and loads are the most effective by far. The Americans go to extremes because their object is to break clays. We bolt between two minds and get beaten by the Americans because we do not go to extremes; and we frighten away English sportsmen because we go toward trick shooting half-way, which is further than real game shots go.
It is impossible to agree that the (Americans) would necessarily be good game shots, or that they could even break clays if the rules of sport were present in the conditions.
The Field (London)
In this country it has been an axiom that clay bird shooting shall be as closely as possible related to the methods of game shooting, while, as a matter of fact, the size of the target, the distance at which it is shot, and the amount of hitting required to score a kill are widely different in the two classes of shooting. The American uses a specialized gun and loading, and finds that the skill acquired serves him most usefully both at pigeons and in the field. The Briton uses an ordinary cartridge for the clay birds…
(Several paragraphs follow explaining the disadvantage of having two barrels and that the American success was from the loads used, primarily related to the denser pattern with smaller and harder shot. The Brits used English 6s and Americans mostly Tatham’s chilled 7 1/2s, which is English 7s.)
Tom Marshall received a Tiffany & Co. cup from the team in appreciation of his efforts as captain.
J.A.R. Elliott went on to Belgium and joined R.A. Welch competing in a series of pigeon matches, winning 1000 francs in one match. The purse in Namur was $40,000.
Chan. Powers recovered but he and Richard Merrill did not return to the U.S. until August 23.
Following the match, all of the American team members continued to compete in Live Bird and Inanimate Target tournaments. They were not, however, invited back to England for a re-match.
Competition at the New Utrecht Gun Club
Forest & Stream
Final thoughts from Ed Banks
Report in July 7, 1900 Forest & Stream
Report in Journal of Olympic History, Vol. 16, 2008
“The Games of the Second Olympiad in Paris 1900”
There were two Live Pigeon Shooting events during the Universal Exposition of Paris in 1900. These are described in the “Official Report”, published shortly after the sporting events of the Exposition.
20. Event 25. “Grand Prix de Centenaire”, Live pigeon shooting II (Tir aux pigeons II)
1. MacKintosh, Donald (Australia) 22/22 pigeons
2. Villaviciosa, Pedro Marquis de (Spain) 21/22 pigeons
3. Murphy, Edgar (USA) 19/20 pigeons
4. Tavernost, A. Baron de (France) 14/15 pigeons
4. Journu, Henri (France) 14/15 pigeons
4. Ginot, A. M. (France) 14/15 pigeons
Dates: 19-20 June
Place: Cercle du Bois de Boulogne
Participants: 166 “ce qui ne s’était jamais vu dans aucun contours tir aux pigeons.”
Prizes: “Grand Prix du Centenaire” commemorative medals. Money: 1st - 5,000 francs; 2nd - 2,500 francs; 3rd - 1,500 francs; and 4th - 1,000 francs.
Explanation: Miss and out.
Edgar Murphy, U.S., Bronze; Donald Mackintosh, Australia, Gold; Pedro José Pidal, Spain, Silver.
Pedro Pidal y Bernaldo de Quirós, the first Marquis de Villaviciosa de Asturias, was a well-known European shooter of that period. He won at least five Spanish championships. Several months prior to the 1900 Olympics, using the pseudonym “O’Brien”, Pidal won the Grand Prix de Monte Carlo against Donald MacKintosh (AUS) and Crittenden Robinson (USA) among others in the field
of 98 shooters in a Live Pigeon Shooting event.
20. Event 24. Live pigeon shooting I (Grand Prix de l’Exposition Universelle de 1900) (Tir aux pigeons) This appears to have been the more important event and was likely the one considered to be of “Olympic standards.” In addition, most of the “Olympic” events carried the title of an event “…de l’Exposition. ”
1. Lunden, Léon de (Belgium) 21 pigeons of 21
2. Faure’, Maurice (France) 20 pigeons of 21
3. MacKintosh, Donald (Australia) 18 pigeons of 19
3. Robinson, Crittenden (USA) 18 pigeons of 19
5. Pederzoli, J. (Italy) 15 pigeons of 16
6. Bethune, Baron C. (France) 14 pigeons of 15
7. J. Banwell, Great Britain 12 pigeons of 13
Dates: 25 - 27 JUN
Place: Cercle du Bois de Boulogne
Prizes: “Grand Prix de l'Exposition universelle de 1900”, silver plaques as commemorative medals for those placing, and for those with at least three killed pigeons.
Money: 1st - 20,000 francs; 2nd - 50%; 10,000 francs, 3rd - 30%; 6,000 francs, 4th - 20%, 4,000 francs.
“Le deuxième, le troisième, et la quatrième partageront dans la proportion suivante, les entrées du prix.”
Explanation: Miss and out.
July 7, 1900 Sporting Life “Shooting In Paris”
“Crit” Robinson the Only American Among the Winners.
Paris, June 28.
The finals in the pigeon shooting contests at the Cercle du Bois de Boulogne, for the Exposition grand prize, which began Monday, came off yesterday, the competition having narrowed down to 36. The results were as follows: Leon de Lunden, 21 out of 21, first; Maurice Faure, 20 out of 21 second; D. Mclntosh and C. Robinson, each 18 out of 19, tied for third.
M. de Lunden is a well-known Belgian shot. In the first round A. G. Spaulding was among those who missed. “Tod” Sloan and Messrs. Wadsworth and Rogers dropped out in the next two rounds, when only four competitors were left.
Mr. Robinson, a Californian, proposed dividing the whole stake of $6,000 (see above) to which the others agreed. The match has been concluded.
Léon de Lunden of Belgium
Winner of the once and only demonstration sport of Live Pigeon shooting at the 1900 Paris Olympics; Grand Prix de 1’ Exposition Universalle de 1900.
20. Event 26. Clay trap shooting (Ball-trap) Tir au Fusil de Chasse
1. Barbarin, Roger de (France) 17/20 targets
2. Guyot, René (Belgium) 17/20 targets
3. Clary, Comte Justinien de (France) 17/20 targets
4. Bettex, César de (France) 14/20 targets
4. Hilbert, Henri (France) 14/20 targets
Date: 15 July
Place: Cercle du Bois de Boulogne
Participants: unknown. U.S. did not compete.
From left: Roger de Barbarin, France, Gold; René Guyot, Belgium, Silver; and Count Clary Justinien, France, Bronze.
The three tied at 17x20. How the shoot-off was conducted is unknown.
Did not compete at the First DuPont Grand Smokeless Championship Handicap Live-bird Tournament October 1895, nor the 1896, 1897 or 1898 GAH
“Crit” Robinson, of San Francisco, California, won another victory at Monte Carlo on Jan. 4 by defeating Captain d’Ail Orchardson, in a match at 100 live pigeons, 30 yards rise. The Californian killed 92, to 89 for the foreigner.
January 9, 1897 Sporting Life
“Crit” Robinson defeated Mr. Beresford, an English pigeon shot, in a 100 live bird match for $500 a side at Monte Carlo, on Jan. 5, by the score of 95 to 91.
March 6, 1897 Sporting Life
“Crit” Robinson, of San Francisco, took part in the Grand Prix at Monte Carlo on Feb. 1 and 2. He was in the race up to the eleventh round and then withdrew, having lost two birds. Mr. Robinson uses an L.C. Smith gun.
July 17, 1904 Sporting Life
“Crit” Robinson, of San Francisco, won the gold medal at Grand Prix des Casinos, Aux les Baines, France, July 16, killing 16 straight live birds. He was tied by M. Bucquet, the French shot, and they divided first money, $2700, and shot off for the medal. In a second event Robinson divided first money with M. Castadere on 12 kills each.
San Francisco Call 1912
March 23 1895 Sporting Life
Edgar Murphy is another man who is always noticed while at the score. He is the direct opposite of Fred Hoey, being 6 feet 2 inches in height, of robust, athletic build, a good shot in the field and has shot considerable at the traps. He is 40 years of age and of that build and constitution that ought to make a champion, but his work is rather uncertain, sometimes making remarkable kills and long runs, and then going down on a comparatively easy bird.
His position is one of perfection, standing squarely on both feet, his gun held firmly in his left hand, which is well extended on the barrel, the right being raised on a level with his head. He shoots quickly and both barrels are used with regular time. His best score is 95 out of 100, made at Hollywood in 1892.
Live Bird Shooting was not continued as an Olympic sport
No U.S. team participated in the 1908 Olympic Trapshooting Competition
Forest & Stream April 25, 1908
“The Clay Bird Competition” begins on p. 275 - In shooting on the “Team System” each shooter faces three traps. The traps, which are concealed in a deep trench, throw the birds at different angles, but the position from which the bird will fly is known to the shooter. In shooting under “Single Fire” conditions the shooter has in some cases nine, and in other cases fifteen traps before him, and the bird may come from any one of them.
Shells were limited to 12g 1 1/8 oz. but Dr. Eq. not mentioned. Two shots allowed.
W.H. Ewing of Canada won the Gold Individual Competition with a Lefever.
Gold Medal United Kingdom Clay-Pigeon Team Competition
(Back row, l-r) John Postans, James Pike, Peter Easte; (front row, l-r) Alexander Maunder, Frank Moore, Charles Palmer.
Walter Ewing and George Beattie
Using Winchester Leader shells
August 22 , 1908 Forest & Stream
1912 Olympic Games
June 17, 1911 Sporting Life
On the subject of the shooting rules to govern the Olympic games, an interesting communication from Mr. Edward Banks, the noted du Pont man, is appended:
Wilmington, Del., December 9. Editor Sporting Life
I have noticed from time to time brief notices of the plan to take a team of amateurs to Stockholm, Sweden, to attend the Olympic Games next year. So far, however, I have failed to see any special reference to the conditions that will govern trap shooting contests at the above meeting, and it has occurred to me that probably it will be of interest, not only to those who are thinking of crossing the water to fight for trap shooting honors in behalf of the United States, but also for those who are compelled through business or other reasons to stay at home, to know just what the conditions are under which those competing for the individual and team championships will have to shoot.
On the other side of the Atlantic they know next to nothing of automatic traps, and the Sergeant System is a stranger to them. They have five firing points in a straight line, five yards apart, just as we used to have them years ago. Instead of having only one trap in the pit at each firing point they have what might be called a battery of three traps, so that, say, for instance, if a man at No. 1 position calls "Pull" and a target breaks in a trap, he can call “Pull” again immediately and get another trap from the battery of three at that point. In other words, there are 15 traps instead of five, as we used to have them, i.e. they have three at each firing point instead of one. The main point for intending competitors to bear in mind is not so much the fact that the targets are thrown fully 60 yards, which is further than they are in this country, but the most important feature of all, namely, that all competitors must adopt the “gun below the elbow” style of shooting. This looks like going back almost, as it were, to the principles of the Middle Ages, but as a matter of fact, in England and on the Continent of Europe, trap shooting is looked upon not so much as a recreation in itself and a sport to be pursued as we do over here, but rather as practice for game shooting, so that the “field position” has been selected to prevail in the Olympic contests to be held at Stockholm next year.
In a copy of the Sporting Goods Review, published in London, England, on October 10, last, there is a little over two columns of notice given to the booklet recently gotten out by the du Pont Company entitled “The Sport Alluring”, which is criticised quite favorably in, an editorial way, and in which, when comparing trap shooting conditions in England and on the Continent with the conditions prevailing here, particularly with reference to the Olympic contests next year, the Sporting Goods Review makes the following notation:
The conditions of the Olympic competitions at Stockholm are, in the main, those usually adopted in England, there being 15 traps to the five marks, but a point which is of considerable importance, and will need careful attention by the competitors of all nations, is that the “gun below the elbow” position is insisted upon. Game shooters, on first taking up clay bird shooting, invariably decry the “gun at the shoulder” position. If they continue to take part in competitions they end by adopting it, because there is no doubt at all about its advantage when conditions are “known traps” and what might be called the “flushing point” of the bird can be covered.
It is my impression that this “gun below the elbow” idea in connection with these competitions is something new, and that no such restriction prevailed when Walter Ewing, of Montreal, Canada, went over to England three years ago and won the Individual championship for his native country, the Dominion of Canada. I have written Mr. Ewing asking him to advise you by mail as to what the conditions were when he shot for and won the championship at the Olympic Games in England. Yours truly,
Forest & Stream, January 20, 1912, “Trap Shooting at Olympic Games”
Rules & Regulations
June 22, 1912
Just before the departure of the American Olympic trap shooting team, C. W. Billings, captain of the team, broke 95 out of 100 at the New Jersey State Shoot, shooting Olympic style. F. Hall broke 129 straight, using only one barrel in one string of 25. Three members of the team, D. McMahon, R. Spotts and E. A. Renney, use Remington automatics.
GOLD Charles W. Billings, Ralph Lewis Spotts, John H. Hendrickson, James R. Graham, Edward Francis Gleason, and Frank Hall
“The Fifth Olympiad: The Official Report of the Olympic Games of Stockholm 1912”
Ralph Spotts is on the left holding the Remington Automatic; Jay Graham 3rd from left.
Lord Westbury Clay Target Challenge Cup, held by Walter Ewing was awarded to Jay Graham
Live action (the first minute) from the Stockholm Olympics, courtesy of Swedish Olympian Hakan Dahlby
“With Jay Graham Leading, Wearers of Stars and Stripes Smash 532 Out of 600”
Stockholm, Sweden, July 2. Special cablegram to Sporting Life.
The United States today upheld its right to be recognized as the foremost nation of the world in trap shooting when the American team captured the world’s team competition in the Olympic game. Wearers of the American shield shattered 532 out of 600 targets, Great Britain being its nearest rival with a score of 511. Germany was third, having shattered 510.
America’s victory was all the more sweeping in view of the fact that Jay Graham, the great amateur of Long Lake, Ill., wearing the colors of the Chicago A.A., was high gun with 94 out of 100. Charley Billings, of the New York A.C., captain of the team, and the man through whose efforts the team was made up, was second with 93. It was a typical American victory, accomplished with American guns, shells and powder, and aroused great enthusiasm both among the foreign spectators and the American athletes and friends who arrived on the “Finland” on Saturday.
The Americans, despite the fact that the style of shooting with the gun below the arm-pit and two shots permitted was fairly new to them, shot with all the ease and freedom of their ordinary style. The scores of the American team follow:
Jay R. Graham, Chicago A.A. 94
Charles W. Billings, New York A.C. 93
Ralph L. Spotts, Larchmont, Y.C. 90
John H. Hendrickson, Bergen Beach G.C. 89
Frank Hall, New York A.C. 86
Dr. E.F. Gleason, Boston A.A 80
Victory of United States Makes Clean Sweep in Trap Shooting
“Glory for American Gun, Shell and Powder Makers”
Stockholm, Sweden, July 6. Special Cablegram to Sporting Life.
After a three days contest against his American teammates, and the pick of the world’s competitors from every nation of Europe, Jay R. Graham, if Long Lake, Ill., representing the Chicago A.A., won the Olympic individual trap shooting championship at clay targets on July 4. Graham fittingly celebrated America’s natal day by finishing the third stage of the shooting with an aggregate score of 96 out of 100 targets. Behind him came Goelden, of Germany who had made a hard race throughout. In third place was Blau, of Russia, who just beat out several American shots.
Graham’s victory made his second triumph of the Olympic games. The Illinois amateur had already made the high individual score of the contests in the team race early in the week when America’s team, consisting of Graham, W. Billings, R.L. Spotts, J.A. Hendrickon, Frank Hall and Dr. F. Gleason, had won the Olympic team championship. On that occasion Graham scored 94 out of 100. In the individual championship, Graham improved his shooting considerably. The event stretched over three days, which hampered Graham and prevented him from getting one of his famous long runs.
The first stage of the shooting was on July 2. Conditions called for 20 targets in two rounds. In this Graham tied with Dr. Gleason and two Germans, Goelden and Zeidlitz, each breaking 19 targets. Thirty-six shooters broke 15 or better and were eligible for the second stage which was shot on July 3. This stage was at 30 targets. Graham and Gleason went into the lead, each breaking 28 out of 30 and setting their total at 47 out of 60. Goelden only broke 25 and dropped back to third with a total of 44. On Independence Day the final stage was shot and Graham got into the swing, scoring 49 out of 50. He was forced to do his best because the German, Goelden, proved a good competitor, getting his 50 straight and making his total 94. Dr. Gleason fell off and Blau nosed him out with 91. The first big double victory for the American team was the subject of rejoicing among the big attendance of American spectators and athletes, and a big banquet was held on the evening of the Fourth of July.
THE AMERICAN TRAP SHOOTERS were the guests of honor and they were raised by the representatives of every nation. Palmer, of the Great Britain team, in his speech, said the American team is unquestionably the finest in the world and added that they won the clay target competition on merit. Manader, a well-known English shot, said that Graham is the finest individual shot he has ever seen.
In accomplishing his great victory Graham used Du Pont powder, a Remington pump gun and U. M. C. shells. All the Americans used Du Pont powder in the team race and American guns and Remington-U.M.C. shells.
Charles Billings in 1916
The team was coached by George Lyon, a Remington professional representative
Bain News Service photo showing a parade in New York City near Madison Square, for the 1912 U.S. Olympic Team
1920 Olympic Games
“Olympic Boys Came Home Conquering Heroes” by Wayne Capooth
The American Trap Shooting Team of the 1920 Olympic Games was, at the time, the greatest single group of shotgun wizards ever assembled by any one country. The six-man team that won the gold medal was composed of Mark Arie, Horace Bonser, Jay Clark, Forest McNeir, Frank Troeh and Frank Wright. In 21 shooting events, the most ever held, 13 gold medals were won in shooting, seven by the shotgun wizards.
The last time an American shooting team had competed in an Olympics was 1912. An American team did not compete in the 1908 Games. The 1916 Olympic Games, scheduled for Berlin, were not held as Europe was in the midst of the first world war. However, when 1920 came around, America was rarin’ to go, and picked a team that included the world's greatest shots at the time — any time, for that matter.
The 1920 Olympics, held in Antwerp, Belgium, provided a stage for America's great trapshooting stars. They won all the medals, with Mark Arie (95x100) winning the gold, Frank Troeh the silver and Frank Wright the bronze in individual shooting. By breaking straight the last 10 targets, thrown from a multiple of nine traps, “unknown” as to release and angles, Arie did that which European shooters considered almost impossible. No Olympic contestant had ever before accomplished the feat. The six shooters won the team title with 547x600, 44 targets better than second place Belgium. It was the highest ever made in Olympic competition.
Prior to going to Antwerp, the team competed at London, where it won team and individual honors with scores that marked new records in the trap shooting annals of England. It was there that Troeh won the English championship and set the long run record 79 targets higher than the best previous English record by breaking 138 straight.
Leading up to the 1920 Olympics, “the biggest shoot in the country” was held at Clarksdale, Miss. Sid Dodds of the American Trap Shooting Association wanted all the best shots in the country there so he could pick some team members for the Olympic Games. The shooters not only had a chance to go to the Games, but also could shoot for $9,000 in prize money.
On the way to Clarksdale, the shooters stopped off for a two-day shoot at Vicksburg. There, McNeir was beaten by Frank Hughes, from Mobridge. S.D. McNeir's score was 148x150, while Hughes' score was one better. Also shooting at this event was Charley Young of Greenville, Miss. There was a difference of opinions as to who was the best shot in the United States at that time. Some backed Arie, some favored Troeh. The shooting average for McNeir was 96 percent on 2,650 targets for the year, Frank Wright had 96.7 percent, Troeh, 97.10 percent, and Arie had an average of 97.60 percent. At the big Clarksdale trap championship, contested among 26 shooters, Arie, of Champaign, Ill., broke 495x500 16-yard targets; Wright, of Buffalo, N.Y., broke 493; Troeh, of Vancouver, Wash., missed his first two and finished with 490; McNeir, of Houston, Texas, the only shooter from south of the Mason-Dixon Line, missed 13.
Dodds chose these four shooters to compete in the Olympics. Each shooter paid his own way: $1,600.
After winning at the Olympics, their trophies were presented to them by the Count Ballet de Latour at his beautiful castle home near Hoogboom, about 12 miles out of Antwerp. Returning home, the ship's captain arranged a “Deep Sea Championship of the Atlantic” between the team members, which Arie won. That night in the salon of the Lapland they auctioned off the last empty shell Mark Arie had shot to win the individual Olympic championship. An England man bought it for 40 pounds.
F. W. McNeir, F. S. Wright, F. M. Troeh, H. R. Bonser, M. Arie, Jay Clark, Jr. (Capt). From Trapshooting: The Patriotic Sport by D. H. Eaton
“Wiping The Eye of The World”
Western Cartridge Co. ad courtesy of Randy Davis
Mark Arie used his Marlin Model 28 (introduced in 1913) in the Olympic games. The gun and Olympic medals are shown on p. 396 in Marlin Firearms: A History of the Guns and the Company That Made Them by William S. Brophy but is mislabeled as a Model 43 which was not introduced until 1922.
Frank Troeh used a L.C. Smith.
At the 1914 Sunny South Handicap, the big six-day shoot at Houston, Tex., Mark Arie, of Thomasboro, Ills., gave another splendid exhibition of his superior trap shooting ability by winning the high amateur average for all targets thrown and also the Sunny South Handicap, premier event of the week. In winning the big handicap event, Arie broke 94 out of a possible 100 targets, although handicapped by shooting from the extreme distance 22 yards. He also made high score over all 1140x1205 94.6 per cent. He was using a brand new, specially built, Marlin hammerless trap gun, D grade (Model 28), which he had never given a real tryout until he started shooting at Houston.
Jay Clark Jr.
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