These fabulous old photos of old racing yachts come (with permission) from the JS Johnston collection of photographs taken by John S Johnstone of New York in the 1880s and 90s.
Although his work is widely acknowledged – he’s recognised for his cityscapes as well as yachting photos – but not too much seems to be known about the man, except that he lived until 1899, and was a keen canoeist.
An obituary described him as an old-time disciple of the legendary leisure canoeing pioneer MacGregor, and as having taken up the sport as a boy in England.
Johnston died of heart trouble at Niagra Falls after catching a cold photographing racing between Columbia and Shamrock – apparently he travelled there to recuperate. Photos of these races appear on the collection website.
For more posts about MacGregor and his canoes, click here.