"Major Taylor's" first place medal

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Ed Berry

Finally riding a big boys bike
I was told Major patted this kid on the head after the race.
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coasterbrakejunkie1969

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Almost nothing from 1895 looks like that. If it was real someone polished it and killed its value. If you look at their other items for sale there is nothing like it just a bunch of modern sports cards.
 

66TigerCat

I live for the CABE
For $15k you think the seller would offer some proof. V/r Shawn
The description states that the previous owner had mostly sports cards and this was included in the lot he bought from him. But, yes, for 15k your provenance has to be bullet-proof, IMO.
 

lgrinnings

I live for the CABE
Just doing some basic math…

Marshall Walter "Major" Taylor (November 26, 1878 – June 21, 1932)

1878 + 12 = 1890 (or 1891 if race is earlier than November)

1895 - 1878 = 17 (or 16 if the race is earlier than November)

While the seller perhaps comes just shy of emphatically claiming this as Major Taylor’s medal, the wording is problematic at best and downright shameful to be sure.

[EDIT] I was under the impression the medal Ed posted was the one for sale in the auction… where the Major clearly would have been older than “Boys under 12”
 
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New Mexico Brant

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Local newspapers would have certainly reported who won the Jay County Fair's five mile race. Looks like someone would need to check the local archive to prove or disprove either way. Taylor was winning races at that time and is cited as turning professional at the age of 18.

The seller should have done more due diligence to prove his case. There is a high probability this medal was from a Major Taylor win. What was he doing in Indiana in 1895? WINNING!

@lgrinnings; the fair was in Sept. and ended the last week of that month.

This is from the July 6, 1895 Indianapolis News:

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@Blue Streak
 
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Blue Streak

Wore out three sets of tires already!
To add to Lester and Brant's postings above here is some more information:

The 1895 Jay County Fair (also called Portand Fair) was held in Portland IN from Monday September 23 through Friday September 27, 1895. The September 21, 1895 issue of The Daily Democrat (Huntingdon IN) states there were three bicycle races scheduled during the 1895 Jay County (Portland) Fair. The five mile race for which the posted medal is for was to be on Friday September 27, 1895. This is the only reference I can find for bicycle races at this fair. No mention of Major Taylor and no race results.
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Since Major Taylor was born on November 26, 1878 he would have been 16 years old during the 1895 Jay County Fair.

I did find a reference in September 21, 1895 issue of Muncie Evening Press (Muncie IN) that states Major Taylor was scheduled to race at The Big Diamond bicycle races at Greensburg IN on Thursday September 26, 1895. Greensburg is 52 miles southeast of Indianapolis. These races were advertised as the greatest cycling event ever held in Indiana so it makes sense Taylor would be there. Although the race results posted below do not list Taylor placing in any of the 10 races so the question is was he even there. Greensburg is 100 miles south of Portland so the next question is if Taylor did race and not win in Greensburg on Thursday would he have then travelled 100 miles north to race the next day in Portland. Without seeing the race results from the 1895 Jay County Fair it will be hard for someone to state that this medal was won by Major Taylor.

From the September 21, 1895 issue of Muncie Evening Press (Muncie IN)
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The Big Diamond race results from September 27, 1895 issue of The Indianapolis Journal (Indianapolis IN)
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