Broadway Barney

This content was lifted from the Barney Oldfield scrapbook. Like most of the material from that source, the name of the newspaper that originally published it, as well as the date, was snipped from the clipping. This is a collection of eight articles and all appear to be from 1906. Four of the articles focus on his role in the play titled "The Vanderbilt Cup," starring then 17-year-old Elsie Janis. Oldfield and partner Tom Cooper revved their engines of the Green Dragon and the Peerless Blue Streak on treadmills to simulate actual racing.
For those interested in Oldfield's personality and what made him tick, the articles touch on insights to his ostentatious nature. Oldfield was said to have purchased $10,000 in diamond jewelry for himself, as well as a $1,000 red haired Irish terrier and a $1,000 floor-length seal skin coat. In 1906 the dollar had the purchasing power of roughly $21 in 2005. Two of these articles corroborate that Oldfield was paid $1,000 a week for his services in the production of the play. A small item reports on Oldfield's first appearance in the play at a performance at the Parson's Theater in Hartford, Connecticut.
This collection also contains a curious article carrying Oldfield's byline that condemns the use of "black bottle" doping of bicycle racers during six day events. Apparently this use of stimulants as performance enhancing drugs was an emerging issue in the day. Another article is interesting in that it reports on how Oldfield, Webb Jay and Earl Kiser, all victims of accidents during the 1905 season, were avoiding auto races on horse tracks due to the danger involved. A small item reports that Oldfield planned a speed record run between New York and Philadelphia.

Oldfield_Green_Dragon_Broadway.pdf2.49 MB