Site Map
Home | About | Vintage Motorcycle Ads | Articles | Road Tests | Vintage Motorcycle Magazines by Title
Matted Ads | Vintage Motorcycle Apparel | Motorcycle Manuals | Vintage Motorcycle Books, Catalogs, Etc.

Search
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

View additional images

  

1912 Excelsior Auto-Cycle / Boxer Jack Johnson Motorcycle Ad (1964 Reprint)

Stop! or there'll be no need of a white man's hope! Officer Weber, on an Excelsior twin caught Jack Johnson in his big Lozier racer and arrested him for speeding. Officer Weber's machine has traveled more than 35,000 miles in the past 17 months witha repair cost of only $20...

1964 Reprint of 1912 Vintage Ad
Size: Approx. 8" x 10 1/2" (20 cm x 27 cm).
Condition: Good

$ 12.99     Unavailable     Back


This simple record is the usual Excelsior reliability and economy. For every sort of service where reliability, economy, and speed are essential, the Excelsior stands pre-eminent. The City of Chicago has purchased 12 more Excelsior twins for its motorcycle police force, and Detroit has purchased 10 more machines.

Jack Johnson History: 

Johnson finally won the world heavyweight title on December 26, 1908, when he fought the Canadian world champion Tommy Burns in Sydney, after stalking Burns around the world for two years and taunting him in the press for a match. The fight lasted fourteen rounds before being stopped by the police in front of over 20,000 spectators. The title was awarded to Johnson on a referee's decision as a T.K.O, but he had clearly beaten the champion. Johnson constantly mocked both Burns and his ringside crew, while receiving every kind of racial and other slur from them and members of the crowd. Every time Burns was about to go down, Johnson would hold him up, beating an already helpless man.

After Johnson's victory over Burns, racial animosity among whites ran so deep that Jack London called out for a "Great White Hope" to take the title away from Johnson. As title holder, Johnson thus had to face a  series of fighters billed by boxing promoters as "great white hopes", often in exhibition matches. In 1909, he beat Frank Moran, Tony Ross, Al Kaufman, and the middleweight champion Stanley Ketchel. The match with Ketchel was keenly fought by both men until the 12th and last round, when Ketchel threw a right to Johnson's head, knocking him down. Slowly regaining his feet, Johnson threw a straight to Ketchel's jaw, knocking him out, along with some of his teeth, several of which "supposedly" were embedded in Johnson's glove. His fight with Philadelphia Jack O'Brien was a disappointing one for Johnson: though weighing 205 pounds (93 kg) to O'Brien's 161 pounds (73 kg), he could only achieve a six-round draw with the great middleweight.

The "Fight of the Century"
 
Johnson's fight against Jeffries, 1910.In 1910, former undefeated heavyweight champion James J. Jeffries came out of retirement and said, "I feel obligated to the sporting public at least to make an effort to reclaim the heavyweight championship for the white race. . . . I should step into the ring again and demonstrate that a white man is king of them all.". Jeffries had not fought in six years and had to lose weight to get back to his championship fighting weight.

The fight took place on July 4, 1910 in front of 20,000 people, at a ring built just for the occasion in downtown Reno, Nevada. Johnson proved stronger and more nimble than Jeffries. In the 15th round, after Jeffries had been knocked down twice for the first time in his career, his people called it quits to prevent Johnson from knocking him out.

The "Fight of the Century" earned Johnson $65,000 and silenced the critics, who had belittled Johnson's previous victory over Tommy Burns as "empty," claiming that Burns was a false champion since Jeffries had retired undefeated.

Riots and aftermath
The outcome of the fight triggered race riots that evening the Fourth of July all across the United States, from Texas and Colorado to New York and Washington, D.C. Johnson's victory over Jeffries had dashed white dreams of finding a "great white hope" to defeat him. Many whites felt humiliated by the defeat of Jeffries.

Blacks, on the other hand, were jubilant, and celebrated Johnson's great victory as a victory for racial advancement. Black poet William Waring Cuney later highlighted the black reaction to the fight in his poem "My Lord, What a Morning". Around the country, blacks held spontaneous parades and gathered in prayer meetings.

Some "riots" were simply blacks celebrating in the streets. In certain cities, like Chicago, the police did not disturb the celebrations. But in other cities, the police and angry white citizens tried to subdue the revellers. Police interrupted several attempted lynchings. In all, "riots" occurred in more than 25 states and 50 cities. About 23 blacks and two whites died in the riots, and hundreds more were injured.

Film of the bout
A number of leading American film companies joined forces to shoot footage of the Jeffries-Johnson fight and turn it into a feature-length documentary film, at the cost of $250,000. The film was distributed widely in the U.S. and was exhibited internationally as well. As a result, Congress banned prizefight films from 1912 until 1940. In 2005, the film of the Jeffries-Johnson "Fight of the Century" was entered into the United States National Film Registry as being worthy of preservation.