Collection America at Work, America at Leisure: Motion Pictures from 1894-1915

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  • Collecting mail, U.S.P.O. /

    The subject is the movement of mail by the U.S. postal service. As the film begins, two types of mail boxes on a pole on the corner of a street can be seen. In the background, away from the camera position, are people going by on foot, as well as horse-drawn and electric streetcar transportation. At the end of the film, a man wearing ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Rural wagon giving mail to branch, U.S.P.O. /

    The first scene shows a rural free delivery mail man standing waiting for the area mail to be delivered to him. As the film continues, a horse-drawn wagon marked "Rural Postal Delivery" passes the camera position. The mail is then handed to the waiting postman who boards a two-wheel wagon and drives away.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Opening ceremonies, St. Louis exposition /

    The principal buildings surrounding the square at the St. Louis Exposition are shown in a nearly 360-degree pan. The last portion of the film was photographed over the heads of spectators cheering the dedication speaker.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • International contest for the heavyweight championship--Squires vs. Burns, Ocean View, Cal., July 4th, 1907 /

    This is an actual film of the heavyweight championship prize fight between Canadian, Tommy Burns (defender) and Australian, Bill Squires. The fight was labeled the shortest and fiercest prize fight on record up to that time.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1907
  • Rural wagon delivering mail, U.S.P.O. /

    The subject is the delivery of the U.S. mail in a rural area. The camera was positioned in full sight of a standard rural free delivery post box located in front of a well-kept house and garden. A small boy and girl walk past the camera position in front of the mail box. At that moment, a standard rural horse-drawn postal delivery wagon comes ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Albany, N.Y., fire department /

    A sidewalk crowd on a main street of Albany, N.Y., watches as fourteen pieces of horse-drawn fire equipment quickly pass by.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1901
  • Girls taking time checks, Westinghouse works /

    Almost 200 women file by a device on the wall from which they take their time checks. A man runs half-way across the screen at the end of the film.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • [Easter Sunday, Atlantic City boardwalk] /

    Crowds of people in their Easter finery parade on the boardwalk near Green's Hotel, and near a pier in Atlantic City. Some people ride in stroller chairs, one man pushes a baby carriage, and the ladies hold their hats to keep them from being blown off in the wind.

    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Kleine (George) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Loading sugar cane /

    The short length of this films leaves much to be desired to give proper description. However, it is possible to see a large receiving car in a cane brake where several people are visible chopping cane and carrying it to the receiver. There is one person wearing white trousers, a blue coat, and a straw hat who comes from behind the camera position and ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1902
  • Delivering mail from sub-station /

    The subjects seen by the camera are a portion of a large building with columns in front that indicates it is a government building and three small shuttle streetcars across the street from the camera position. As the film progresses, the shuttle cars leave. Twice during the film a larger streetcar passes in front of the camera position.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • America at Work, America at Leisure: Motion Pictures from 1894-1915

    Work, school, and leisure activities in the United States from 1894 to 1915 are featured in this presentation of 150 motion pictures. Highlights include films of the United States Postal Service from 1903, cattle breeding, fire fighters, ice manufacturing, logging, calisthenic and gymnastic exercises in schools, amusement parks, boxing, expositions, football, parades, swimming, and other sporting events. America at Work, America at Leisure: Motion ...

    • Date: 1894
  • Tapping a furnace, Westinghouse works /

    A large bucket is lowered into a pit by male workers using machinery. Molten material from a furnace is poured into the bucket using a slide. The bucket, which has flames coming from inside, is lifted up from the pit by a crane.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Panoramic view of Charleston exposition /

    The camera was placed in almost the center of the compound area by the exhibit buildings, and the cameraman began to photograph and pan his camera simultaneously. The film consists of pictures of the walkways, pools of water, bridges over the pools, exhibit buildings, bandstands, statuary, and decorations of all nature that, put together, made up the Exposition in Charleston in 1902.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1902
  • Coach at rural post office, U.S.P.O. /

    This section of the postal film is concerned with a stagecoach pulled by four horses arriving and delivering a pouch of mail to a rural post office for rerouting. Also visible is the post office delivery wagon.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Special delivery messenger, U.S.P.O. /

    As the scene opens, the front of a house, the shrubbery, a staircase, and the sidewalk are visible. From camera left, using a flying dismount, comes a bicycle rider in the uniform of a special delivery messenger. After parking his bicyle, he goes up the stairs to the front door of the house. A woman emerges, he hands her a letter, returns to his ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Logging in Maine /

    The subject is the movement of cut timber from the forest to the mill. The few scenes that make up the film are loggers performing the various operations necessary to prevent logs from jamming together. The men keep them headed with the flow of the water toward the lake on which the mill is located. The activities of approximately a dozen men were photographed.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1906
  • Horse parade at the Pan-American Exposition /

    There is a paved street in the foreground and on the curbing on the opposite side spectators have gathered to watch a parade. In the background are several large exposition buildings. A band in uniform passes the camera, and following that are many show horses of various types led by their handlers. From a contemporary Edison film company catalog: HORSE PARADE AT THE PAN-AMERICAN ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1901
  • Midway of Charleston exposition /

    The film, photographed from a single-camera position, shows people walking on the midway at the Charleston Exposition. Very few objects are discernible because of the distance.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1902
  • Westinghouse Air Brake Co. Westinghouse Co. works (casting scene) /

    What appear to be molds pass by some men on conveyor belts. The men take them off the belt and dump the contents onto the ground. Other men pick up with tongs the parts that have been dumped onto the ground and put them on a pile in the foreground.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Swimming pool, Palm Beach /

    The film, photographed from a single-camera position, shows a swimming pool with a white building on the far side. Several persons in bathing suits dive into the water from a springboard, as well as from the balcony above.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1905
  • Testing a rotary, Westinghouse works /

    A small group of men turn on what appears to be a generator. As the rotary spins, the men make adjustments to the machine and check its operations.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Mining operations, Pennsylvania coal fields /

    The film opens on an area covered with snow where the following operations are visible: track laying, and dirt moving by explosion, grader, steam shovel, and steam engine.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Taping coils, Westinghouse works /

    Numerous women stand at several rows of tables where they appear to be wrapping tape around some devices, presumably coils. Male supervisors walk down the aisles, observing the women's work.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Girls winding armatures /

    Numerous women sit in rows at machines where they appear to be winding some type of wire and tooling it onto machines. Two young men push spools of this wire down the aisle. Supervisors, male and female, walk down the aisle and observe the women's work, stopping for a while at one woman's station.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904