Edward Payson Weston Research
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Sunday, 22 November 2009 23:28

EPW-NewYorkPublicLibraryAt long last, the painstaking work of piecing the Weston material  together reaches online publication.  If you do an internet search on "Edward Payson Weston," you will find that much of the material repeats a few main sources, such as Tom Talpey.

Most of the Wiki-Walk material on Weston is fresh, original research.  A great debt goes to P.S. Marshall for his indispensable book, "King of the Peds."  Then there are the New York Times press clippings from "The Gentle Art of Walking" (1972).  Some other Weston material is slowly surfacing, which can be found in Google Books.   The Bain Collection, a predecessor of the Associated Press, has a remarkable treasure trove of photographs.

The research effort is not merely one of discovery.  It involves putting together puzzle pieces with incomplete parts.  The newspaper accounts of another age spoke to a different audience, with different grammar and different priorities.

Photograph credit: New York Public Library.  Larger version at this link:  Weston Slideshow. Hope the material intrigues you as much as it does me.  Enjoy!  Charlie


For more details, see these links:

Search Wiki-Walk: Weston articles

Last Updated on Saturday, 04 September 2010 09:04
Weston's 1861 walk

Edward Payson Weston
10-day walk

from Boston, MA
to Washington, DC.
for the 1861 inauguration
of Abraham Lincoln.

Link to a review of:
The Pedestrian
- a book published
by Weston in 1862.

Fifty years after
shaking hands with
the President,
Weston walked across
the country twice.

Link to: Larger Map

Link to: Weston Photos




Weston Vital Statistics & Health Habits
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Sunday, 22 November 2009 20:06

EDWARD PAYSON WESTON'S birth, career summary, and death

EPW-weston3bBorn in Providence, RI, March 15, 1839, weight: 4 lbs 6 oz, he was described as "weak and sickly" in childhood.

During his 90-year lifetime, Weston pioneered Pedestrian sport and set records into his seventies. The dignitaries he met included Abraham Lincoln, Horace Greeley, Sir John Astley, the Prince of Wales, and prominent physicians fascinated with his endurance. His performances in Madison Square Garden, Agricultural Hall, and on cross-country walks in the USA and England, covering 50-100 miles per day except on Sunday, were reported world-wide.

Injured by a taxicab at age 88, confined to a wheelchair, and rescued from poverty by author Anne Nichols, he died in Brooklyn, NY, May 12, 1929 and was buried in St. John's Cemetery.

Last Updated on Friday, 04 December 2009 20:05
Weston & Pedestrian Era Walking Contest Rules
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Sunday, 22 November 2009 21:05
EPW-Weston head

Pedestrian Era Walking Contest Rules

A distinction must be made between Pedestrian era of the 1800s and Olympic race walking from 1906 forward. This article covers the Pedestrian era from 1861 to 1889 from the perspective of Edward Payson Weston, not the race walk regulations of today.

The walking rules of the Pedestrian era evolved on an ad-hoc basis, with terms advertised in advance of the event. These events started with modest challenges against time. As the public interest for walking events increased, promoters held sweepstakes for big prize money and eventually permitted running. By the time the mania peaked, the events attracted huge crowds, gambling, and international news coverage.

Last Updated on Monday, 02 August 2010 14:04
Weston on Competition Rules
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 22 November 2009 22:32

PEDS-4The judges' statement

In 1877, for a walking competition at Agricultural Hall, London, the judges prepared a document which included the following text: "We the undersigned, who have been appointed judges in the walking match between E.P. Weston and D. O'Leary... have mutually agreed to consider all walking fair so long as neither of the two competitors has both feet off the ground at the same time. We consider the disinction between running and walking to be the former is a succession of springs, in which both feet are off the ground at the same moment; the latter to be a succession of steps, in which it is essential that some part of one foot must always touch the ground."

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 December 2009 09:30
Weston Walking Style & Technique
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Sunday, 22 November 2009 21:31

EPW-weston-a2-pcWeston's adaptable style

Edward Payson Weston walked in all conditions at every hour of day and night. On roads under the stars, in mud or two feet of snow, or on prepared tracks in smoke-filled auditoriums, such as Madison Square Garden, NY. His first public notice came at the age of 21 when he averaged more than 50 miles per day over ten days, and shook the hand of Abraham Lincoln. At age 71 he walked across the country in 77 hiking days, averaging 47 miles per day.

As one of the most durable walkers of all time, Weston knew a little something about the subject. Here are some of this thoughts as filtered though press accounts of his day.

Last Updated on Friday, 04 December 2009 23:02
Weston's Comebacks
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Sunday, 22 November 2009 21:58

Weston the Great Failer

This article contains an account of Edward Payson Weston's challenges against time and against himself in his later years, bypassing his competitive career on indoor tracks. The stage is set with a derisive editorial and some accomplishments between 1879 and 1884. Then the article springs thirty years forward to the senior Weston's outdoor feats.

An amusing rant appeared in the NY Times in 1879, entitled, "The Walking Torture: Weston the Great Failer."

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 March 2010 06:53
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