Elsie Janis Entertains Race Participants

No greater evidence of the success of the Vanderbilt Cup Race emerged than when popular culture embraced it. In January 1906, the two races inspired a Broadway musical titled, aptly enough, “The Vanderbilt Cup,” starring 17-year old sensation Elsie Janis. Before the 1906 competition, race participants had box seats to watch Janis perform on stage: (from left to right) George Robertson, Ralph Mongini, Al Poole, Walter Christie, Louis Wagner, unidentified, Louis Vivet and Joe Tracy. The show featured appearances by track racer Barney Oldfield who developed special effects to simulate the race on stage using a treadmill.