New York Fashions for March 1870. [Baseball uniforms.]

Multi-stone lithograph, 1870.
Image size 9 11/16 x 13 7/8" (24.5 x 35 cm).
Overall in good condition. There is repaired insect damage in the side margins which has been professionally repaired. Lower margin evened out. No loss or damage to image or title.
LOCATION: New York City

Inventory Number: 95719
Price: SOLD
Publisher : Published by E. Butterick & Co. 589 Broadway.
A rare advertising / baseball image.

This image was produced as an advertisement for the clothing fashion firm of Butterick & Co., the originator of the graded sewing pattern. It is also one of the earliest to show an organized baseball game being played and likely the first to show baseball uniforms.

Although not noted on the print, the location shown is a field in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This field had two names, during the warmer months it was called Union Grounds and during the winter months, Union Pond. The Grounds were located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, between Harrison and Marcy Avenues and Lynch and Rutledge Streets. It opened on May 15, 1862, as the Union Grounds, the first fenced-in baseball park, thereby allowing the owner William Cammeyer to charge admission to the games. Three clubs called the Union Grounds home including the Eckford Club and the Mutual Club of New York. Over 100 clubs were members and major league games were played on the Union Grounds.

The club uniforms depicted are (left to right) Cincinnati Red Stockings, undefeated in 1869; Empire of New York; Atlantic of Brooklyn; Star of Brooklyn; unknown, possibly Hartford Dark Blues (Captain on belt), and Mutual of New York. Also of interest, the Empire player lying down is holding a ball with the name of Peck & Snyder on it. Peck & Snyder was one of the first producers of sports equipment including baseballs.

During the winter months to keep money coming in, the ballpark was flooded and the Union Grounds became Union Pond. The first skating season was the winter of 1862-1863. The elegant three-story pavilion was used to illuminate the ice during winter evenings and stood in deep center field during the baseball season. Sadly the Union Pond/Grounds were closed in 1883 - today Heyward Street runs through the original grounds. In 1862 Winslow Homer produced a watercolor which was then published as a print by Thomas Eno entitled Union Pond, Williamsburg, LI. One thing that stands out in Homers image is the pavilion.

Ebenezer Butterick was the inventor of graded sewing patterns for clothing. Prior to his invention cloth patterns came in one size and had to be cut to fit. Within five or so years Butterick went from working out of his home to having a large factory in New York. Although not confirmed, it is likely that Butterick produced patterns for the baseball uniforms. If so, it is likely these first official uniforms for the sport.

The printer was Hatch & Co., 218 Broadway, Herald Building, N. Y. It printed a number of folio-sized colorful advertisements for the firm. The name of the artist or draftsman who drew on the stone is John (“Jno.”) Schuller which appears in small script on the fence to the far right.
18th-19th Century Subjects , Sports & Games , Baseball