Kendall's 1930s Photo Albums
The speed and excitement of harness racing made it a popular sport in Maine and New England from the late nineteenth century through the early twentieth century. Despite the Depression Era economics, legal wagering was first introduced in New Hampshire in 1933. Maine quickly followed suit and established the Maine State Racing Commission within a few years. As a result, the sport exploded into a successful commercial activity. Horses were bred on rural farms and trained near cities and towns with racing facilities.
It is within the pages of albums from this decade that the viewer will find images of the first Grand Circuit races held in Maine as well as photos of Hall of Fame Immortal drivers Benjamin White, Del Cameron, Walter Gibbons, Sep Palin, Charles Lacey, Fred Egan, Harry Brusie, Frank Safford, Vic Fleming, Walter Cox, and Pierce Chappelle. Hall of Fame horses Greyhound, Billy Direct, Bingen, Rosalind, Single G. are among the horses found documented by Kendall. Arguably the most notable and historically significant photos taken by Kendall are those of Hall of Fame horse Greyhound piloted by Hall of Famer Septimus Palin to a 1:57 1/2 finish at Old Orchard Beach in 1939, breaking his own record run of 2.01 three years earlier.
If not for the photographs captured by Guy Kendall in 1935 and 1936, the brief but brilliant career of Vergery Luella Carson of Lewis, N.Y. would have been all but lost to time.
According to Rebecca Howard, collections curator at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y., "The discovery of Carson’s nearly forgotten career in harness racing is an exciting step in the documentation of what has been a long tradition of women in the sport. In most cases we have only trace evidence, one line notes in newspapers or brief accounts of women in the 1880s and early 1900’s who drove in trotting events. With the Guy Kendall images Carson’s all-too-brief career reminds us that there are more stories to be discovered and told."