Media item

Gordon Sisters boxing

Film from the Paper Print Collection of the Library of Congress.


Two women on a stage approach from either side of the painted backdrop of a garden and engage in a boxing match. Both the boxing gloves and the hits exchanged between the women seem genuine. One woman wears a modest white dress with long sleeves and a skirt to mid-calf, dark stockings, and laced boots. The other woman--taller, thinner, and perhaps younger--sports a shorter, dark, sleeveless dress and the same dark stockings and boots.

Two sets of Gordon Sisters advertised their bag punching and boxing act in the New York clipper: Bessie and Minnie in 1901, and Bessie and Alice in 1903. The sisters performing in this film are most likely Bessie and Minnie, given a photo of the two that ran in the 11/15/02 issue of the Clipper. Photo caption: "Gordon Sisters, Bessie and Minnie, have successfully played Eastern houses for the past six or seven years. They are now with the Oriental Burlesquers, as the feature act. Their specialty also introduces bag punching by Bessie Gordon. They claim to be the originators of the lady boxing acts, presenting only scientific sparring. Both play leading parts in the burlesque" (p. 836).

See also the entry for this film on the Library of Congress American Memory website

Edison Manufacturing Co.
Publication date:
5 May 1901


Original format:
Library of Congress