Charles M. Conlon photo archive coming to auction via Heritage

lf-2The glass negative plates for some of the most-iconic baseball photographs of all time are hitting the open market via Heritage Auctions.

It’s the Charles M. Conlon collection and it consists of 7,462 different images taken by the photographer whose work was owned by The Sporting News after his death in 1945. The collection was recently purchased by collector John Rogers so the negatives could be digitized for commercial reproduction.

“With audio and video recordings of the pre-war game extremely limited in population,” reads the auction house description, “The Charles Conlon Photographic Archive is, quite simply, the most important and comprehensive record of early twentieth century baseball that exists, the DNA that gave birth to our collective vision of that time.”


The collection is estimated to sell for more than $1 million and the bidding opened at $250,000 in an auction that will close on Aug. 27. in Dallas.

The glass negatives are sturdy yet, of course, fragile and is stored in 85 shoebox-sized boxes that would take up a good part of a cargo van, according to Heritage.

The images span from 1904 to 1942 and feature some of the biggest names in the history of the game — Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson, Lou Gehrig, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb and so many more. These images have been seen in books and on Conlon Collection baseball cards in the past as well as many more areas.

To learn more about the collection, click here.

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