This film is part of Free

Foundling Hospital Sports Day

A sports day gives the young residents of the Foundling Hospital a chance to let off steam

1899 2 mins Silent


Sack races, three-legged races, a tug of war, barrel swings and lots of gleeful running about. In this early multiple-shot film, the Victorian children at Thomas Coram's pioneering Foundling Hospital in London are making the most of their sports day, under the watchful eye of the suited and top-hatted gentlemen who are acting as officials. The Foundling Hospital opened in 1741 for the "education and maintenance of exposed and deserted young children". It closed in 1954

This film was made by Charles Goodwin Norton, a stationer from Surrey, who started out in moving images by staging spectacular magic lantern shows. In 1896 Norton purchased a camera and became one of the country's first filmmakers.