• I wonder if he wore the hat for the entire marathon? - Shuey Nio
  • Pedestrian catcher on tram ? - Rod Wilkinson
  • I think this is a bicycle rack behind the tramcar - BobMeade
  • Date on negative: 5/16(?)/11. - Wystan
  • Russell Senate Office Building. [corrected!] - Ouij

Elphinstone Winning Washington marathon (LOC)

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Bain News Service,, publisher.

Elphinstone Winning Washington marathon

1911 (date created or published later by Bain)

1 negative : glass ; 5 x 7 in. or smaller.

Title and date from data provided by the Bain News Service on the negative.
Photo shows H.E. Elphinstone in marathon on Constitution Avenue, NE, Washington, D.C. Building on left is the Russell Senate Office Building. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2009)
Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress).

Track athletics

Format: Glass negatives.

Rights Info: No known restrictions on publication.

Repository: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA, hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

General information about the Bain Collection is available at hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.ggbain

Higher resolution image is available (Persistent URL): hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.09200

Call Number: LC-B2- 2196-11

justindc, ddsiple, viaduckvideo, and 18 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. pixeljones 87 months ago | reply

    This is possibly H.E. Elphinstone of the Cross-Country Club, Baltimore.

    According to the New York Times June 13, 1909 article, Y.M.C.A. Boy Wins Marathon, he came in second in the 1909 Washington Marathon.

  2. Harry Angstrom 87 months ago | reply

    Unusual name, he must somehow be related to the terrible British general Elphinstone, whose actions led to British Army massacre in Afghanistan, as described in the novel "Flashman" by George MacDonald Fraser,


  3. ivan | sciupac 64 months ago | reply

    I saw this print recently (MLK Library, perhaps?) and loved it. Great shot.

    Can anyone tell me where this is? What building that is? What streets/intersection this is? Thanks.

  4. pixeljones 64 months ago | reply

    Ivan Sciupac: That's a tough one. I wandered around with Google Streetview to try to find the building and, frankly, trying to find a columned building in Washington is like trying to find a snowflake in Aspen.

    However, the double-columned style is fairly unique while bearing a resemblance to many of the buildings around the Federal Archives. Still, I had no luck.

    Maybe somebody with more time than I have could use Google Streetview to find it by following the old trolley routes: Wikipedia: Streetcars in Washington D.C..

  5. ivan | sciupac 64 months ago | reply

    Thanks, pixeljones. Nice analogy!

    I might just try walking around the area and see what I can find.

    Actually, now that I look at it in a larger size, I'm reminded of 17th Street with the building possibly being OEOB?

    I think I might be right about this. At least, it's possible. Look at the MAP. The Red "Washington and Georgetown" Line crossed in front of the White House and went up Pennsylvania.

  6. pixeljones 64 months ago | reply

    OK, got it! A few more minutes in Google Streetview paid off.

    The viewpoint is at 8 Constitution Ave. NE facing eastbound. Here's the Google Streetview image (click for larger):

    That's the Russell Senate Office Building which was brand new when the shot was taken (built less than a year before).

  7. ivan | sciupac 64 months ago | reply

    Nicely done! I knew it looked familiar (like you said, not saying much in this town), good to know. I'll have to head down there this weekend to take a shot.

    And, by looking at the old map, that trolley car is the Green Line, the "Metropolitan"!

  8. Kristi (LOC P&P) 64 months ago | reply


    Thanks so much for all the investigation into this photograph, including the location. We will add to the photo's description when we update.

  9. Jukka1 60 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Retro Athlete, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  10. Ouij 27 months ago | reply

    If I'm not mistaken, that's the Dirksen Senate Office Building. He might be running westbound on Constitution Ave. Photographer is standing on the corner of Constitution Avenue and Delaware Avenue, right on the NE/NW division line.

  11. pixeljones 27 months ago | reply

    It's close, Ouij, but Wikipedia shows the plainer looking Dirksen building just east of the Russell Senate office which is a bit more ornamental (horizontal "stripes" of stone, etc.).

    Dirksen: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirksen_Senate_Office_Building
    Russell: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Senate_Office_Building

  12. Ouij 27 months ago | reply

    Ah yes, you are right. It is Russell!

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