I posted earlier today about Bradley Cook, the Curator of Photographs in the Office of University Archives and Records Management at Indiana University. Bradley had shared with me a link to a photograph of Lloyd Messersmith’s measuring device.
For the best part of twenty-years, I thought Lloyd’s measuring wheel was a pastry cutter, taped up to give scaled readings of distance as Lloyd traced the distances traversed by basketball players.
As a result of Bradley’s work and the sharing of this photograph
… it is probable he used a swivel caster from a chair. This is Bradley’s take:
When you take a look at the image you can see how thick the metal frame is that holds the wheel. My guess is that he purchased a swivel caster to make it easier to go back and forth and make turns while following the player’s movement.
This would have made Lloyd’s measurements even more agile than I had anticipated. I am now thinking Lloyd is the Eadweard Muybridge of notational analysis.
Detail of Lloyd Messersmith’s measuring device (Bradley Cook, Indiana University)
Today was a serendipity day.
This morning, I read a post by Anita Brooks Kirkland about the role of the teacher-librarian as a curator. She concludes:
In the early days of the Internet we sometimes had to justify our existence. After all, who needed libraries and librarians when we had the Internet? Fast-forward to 2013 and the very techies who espoused that idea are discovering a compelling need for human intervention in contextualizing information. Taking the lead in this environment offers a huge opportunity for teacher-librarianship.
This afternoon, I received a delightful email alert from Bradley Cook, the Curator of Photographs in the Office of University Archives and Records Management at Indiana University. Bradley shared with me a link to a photograph of Lloyd Messersmith’s measuring device for quantifying distances traversed in basketball. This photograph appears at the top of this post and is reproduced here with the permission of the Office of University Archives and Records Management at Indiana University. The photograph was taken seventy-three years ago.
I think this is a very important artifact and exemplifies perfectly the vital work that curators do on our behalf. Anita Brooks Kirkland observes:
The core element of content curation is the human touch. For librarians who found themselves defending that role in the early days of the Internet, one can’t help reflect on the irony of the rest of the world now realizing that they really do need help in filtering and sharing information effectively!
Lloyd’s device is very significant. To my knowledge his thesis is the first to outline a technological tool to measure distances travelled in a sport (basketball) and as such makes him (along with Hugh Fullerton) a founding father of notational analysis of sport.
I have written about Lloyd’s work and provide some detailed information about him.
You can find out more about the outcome of Bradley’s curation work at this link.
Apparatus for measuring distance travelled by basketball players