Summer Meeting at Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Summer Meeting at Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

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A color print of a track filled with race horses being ridden hard by jockeys. The spectators behind the railing are very fashionably dressed. A woman in a long blue gown and red cape and hat is escorted by a man in a black jacket and high hat. The other men wear vests, white shirts, bow ties, caps, and trousers. The jockeys wear jodhpurs, colorful jackets, and caps.
Saratoga Race Course is located in Saratoga Springs, New York, a neighbor to the area’s famous mineral springs. It is the oldest racetrack left in the United States and considered possibly the oldest sporting venue in the country. Beginning in 1847 it hosted Standardbred trotting races before reopening across the street. The first Thoroughbred race took place on August 3, 1863, a day after the Battle of Gettysburg. It was organized by boxer and future Congressman John “Old Smoke” Morrissey drawing thousands of locals and tourists wanting to see Lizzie W. defeat Captain Moore in the best-of-three series of races. New York’s prohibition on gambling put a stop to the races in 1911 and 1912, but very few other exceptions have historically stopped the races, which have been held almost every year since opening. The first betting machines were installed there in 1940. The population of Saratoga Springs still triples to 75,000 when the racing season begins in the summer and the opening meet has been extended from four days to forty.
Heinrich or Henry Schile’s was a lithographer and publisher in New York in the 1870’s, listed on Division Street. Though his works often were German in source or character, and often bore titles in foreign languages, it was for the convenience of immigrants and invariably and outrageously were crude in conception, composition, and drawing; yet, Schile’s prints are undoubtedly American in spirit. Schile vividly represented the melting pot mentality of the US. Schile played to his audiences’ desires for history of the new country they had immigrated to; from personifications of America, to the races in Saratoga. Schile’s patrons were mostly immigrants and he created specific works from them, from German inspired to Jewish religious prints. His most frequent and popular works were his gaudy sentimentals which were to the New York tenements what the Kellogg sentimentals were to the white New Englanders.
Schile’s works were often large in quantity and were often on heavy black paper; though the paper often ranged from the thinnest to the very thickest. Notable to Peter’s was that the coloring was very crude in many of the prints.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
date made
ca 1870
Schile, Henry
place made
United States: New York, New York City
United States: New York, Saratoga Springs
Physical Description
ink (overall material)
paper (overall material)
image: 18 3/4 in x 25 3/4 in; 47.625 cm x 65.405 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Peters Prints
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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