The most prolific photographer of early automobile racing and the Vanderbilt Cup Races was Russian emigrant Nathan Lazarnick. His profile and several of his unique photos are posted tonight.
Enjoy Spring Ahead Sunday,
Nathan Lazarnick (1879-1955)
Nathan Lazarnick was a pioneer photographer of the development of early automobiles and racing from the early 1900s to the late 1920s. Born in Russia on September 7, 1879, Nathan Lazarnick was brought to the New York as an infant. His education included the study of art at Cooper Union in New York. At the turn of the century, he worked as a photographer's apprentice for three years. He then became a free-lance photographer for the New York Mail, the New York Herald and Harper's Weekly and all the major automobile trade journals. In this capacity, he covered many automotive events including the Vanderbilt Cup Races, the presidential campaigns of Taft, McKinley and Roosevelt. Among the people he photographed were Steinmetz, Edison, Oldfield, Rickenbacker and many prominent personalities of the era.
When asked about his photography in 1924, Lazarnick responded; "The automobile hypnotized me and I became intensely interested in the "horseless carrigage" following all of its activities closely, also the developments of the automobile as a mechanical invention, a sport, a traveling medium, and as a wonderful industry, which developed what I believe to be the most interesting group of men in the last quarter of a century."
Later he became a photographic illustrator based in New York. He worked for Redboook, Cosmopolitan, McCalls, American Druggist and Good Housekeeping. He also developed advertising photography for the industrial and medical fields.
Lazarnick was married with one son George, who worked with him for several years. When Nathan Lazarnick died on January 20, 1955, George donated his father's early glass negative to the International Museum of Photography.