The Frenchman Jules Beau is considered the first photographer to specialize in shooting sports and distributing the work to the press. He was a photographer of “the people’s sports” and was particularly attracted to the new Parisian craze of “velocipede,” which soon became a competitive sport. His albums are filled with men and women posed on their bicycles much like these photographs of Marshall “Major” Taylor, an African American who won the one-mile track cycling world championship in 1899 and who would go on to set many world records in cycling.

Jules Beau (French, 1864–1932) Collection Jules Beau, Photographie Sportive, 1896, 1906–8. Bibliothèque Nationale de France.