View Full Version : 1923 Jack Dempsey Training Camp cards

09-20-2007, 12:08 PM
Posted By: <b>XanaduNow</b><p>Picked these up recently. The first section is a printed copy of the letter that the cards were originally mailed with back in 1923.<br /><br />a<br />June 25, 1923<br /><br />Dear Web:<br /><br />Pardon my [illegible] for not writing sooner but you know how it is. Have been pretty disgusted since we left on account of so much rain which makes the roads terrible. They don't know what pavement is up here consequently everything is mud and more mud. Haven't had any trouble with the car so far and that is something you know.<br /><br />Have been out to Dempsey's camp a couple of times and he looks awful good.<br /><br />If the roads dry are going to Shelby to look around but not to see the fight. To much money, are sending you some pictures I bought. This ****** Godfrey is sure some man and if he was white you would hear more about him. He is the only one out there that gives Dempsey any work out at all. There was a big duffer from Oklahoma came out to the camp last Friday and wanted to swap punches. He weighed 250 # and was 7 ft 2 in tall and was really some man. In the second round Dempsey broke his jaw and they had to carry him out, which was the end of Oklahoma.<br /><br />They charge $.50 to watch him train and everyday there are from 500 to a 1000 people out there which is some money itself believe me.<br /><br />When are those bells going to ring for you my boy.<br /><br />I may hire out with my car for the summer in the Yellowstone but won't know until I get back to Helena. It wouldn't be so bad to knock out $15 a day and everything furnished. We haven't seen anybody we know so far but there are lots of people on the road. The camp here is right on the Missouri river and is sure pretty. Well Web write me at Gardner Montana (Tourist Mail) and tell me all the news. Will do better from now on.<br /><br />Yours,<br />Ford<br /><br /><br /><img src="http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/XanaduNow/1923DempseyTrainingCampCardChampion.jpg"><br /><img src="http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/XanaduNow/1923DempseyTrainingCampCardDempseya.jpg"><br /><img src="http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/XanaduNow/1923DempseyTrainingCampCardGeorgeGo.jpg"><br /><img src="http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/XanaduNow/1923DempseyTrainingCampCardChamp-1.jpg"><br /><br /><img src="http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/XanaduNow/DempseyTrainingCampLetterPage1.jpg"><br /><img src="http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/XanaduNow/DempseyTrainingCampLetterPage2.jpg"><br /><img src="http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/XanaduNow/DempseyTrainingCampLetterPage3.jpg"><br /><br /><img src="http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/XanaduNow/DempseyTrainingCampLetterEnvelope.jpg"><br /><br /><br />Jack Dempsey defended his title against Tommy Gibbons on July 4, 1923. Dempsey won on points in 15 rounds. I spoke with the seller of the above items and she told me that she acquired the letter and photo cards in 1983 while working pest control. She showed up at a job to find the basement filled with boxes and boxes of personal items that belonged to the customer's family. She was told that they could keep anything they wanted but to throw the rest out.<br /><br />The sparring partner named Godfrey was none other than the boxer George Godfrey II. While not the more popular Geo. Godfrey of the 19th century that fought the likes of John Sullivan, this Godfrey did hold the "Colored Heavyweight Title" during the period of time before the rise of Joe Louis and was named to the Ring Magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.<br /><br />The cards measure 2" X 2 3/4" and appear to have almost never been handled. My favorite one, the Champion Jack Dempsey card, does have some surface wrinkles in one corner but all in all these cards appear to have come out of a time capsule. My best guess is that they resided in the envelope from the time the receiver got the letter until the ebay seller stumbled across them in '83.<br /><br />I think the letter really adds a different dimension to the cards, placing you back in 1923 and on the road with the author. I'm really excited about this piece.<br /><br />Arthur

09-23-2007, 02:36 PM
Posted By: <b>boxingcardman</b><p>These four cards are part of a boxed set of 12 by Wesley Andrews, Inc. The set appears to have been marketed in conjunction with Dempsey's training camp. They are covered (albeit with a wrong date) on page 112 of my book.

01-01-2008, 10:41 AM
Posted By: <b>Randy</b><p>Hi Arthur, I just read the letter and agree you picked up a really nice artifact from the period. I would not mind owning this myself! I'd frame and display the letter with the cards (and perhaps try to acquire the other cards to complete the set). <br /><br />If you ever decide to frame it send along another scan to so we can see how it turns out.<br /><br />All the best, Randy