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

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  • Train taking up mail bag, U.S.P.O. /

    The subject of this Postal Department documentary is "snatching" the mail bag from the suspended post by the railroad mail clerk. As the film begins, a man climbs the steps leading to the device that suspends the mail bag in the air. A train can be seen in the distance approcaching the mail bag. At the end of the film, the mail bag is ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • [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
  • Tourists going round Yellowstone Park /

    "The following pictures were taken by our artists at various points on the Northern Pacific Railway...Rapidly one after the other coach after coach passes before the camera. First comes a big one, six horses, crowded top and inside with tourists. They wave hats and handkerchiefs as they pass. Then comes another; then follows four more, each drawn by a four-horse team, while ten or ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1899
  • St. Patrick's Day parade, Lowell, Mass.

    Shows policemen and men in top hats and formal riding attire carrying large bunches of flowers as they parade on horseback. Angle changes slightly as a marching band carrying a drum inscribed Bugle Corps, Lowell appears, followed by a uniformed military group carrying rifles and marching in formation. Angle changes to show carriages and the rest of the procession. Scene changes to a building, ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1905
  • Sham battle at the Pan-American Exposition /

    Large arches and columns are seen surrounding a flat field. In the foreground of the field, some American Indians on horseback ride toward the camera. The Indians are wearing feathers, war paint, and are carrying frontier rifles across the bare backs of their horses. In the middle of this flat area, men dressed as U.S. Army troops in battle regalia are lined up in ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1901
  • Panoramic view aisle B., Westinghouse works /

    Filmed using a camera on an overhead crane, a traveling view of a large, long aisle is shown. Men are busy performing various tasks on machinery, probably generators. Other men are walking down the aisle in all directions, and carts carrying items come and go. The film ends when the camera reaches the end of the aisle where windows and a large opening are. ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Annual baby parade, 1904, Asbury Park, N.J. /

    Shows the Baby Parade at Asbury Park, N.J., in 1904. Includes scenes of boys (dressed as soldiers and sailors) and girls (dressed in oriental costume) marching in groups, mothers pushing decorated perambulators, and horse-drawn floats.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Auto boat race on the Hudson /

    The single camera position was from the point of view of the judge of the course. The films shows a boat race between small, motor-driven speed boats, which were approximately twenty feet long with the inboard engine decked over. Many boats of various designs and spectators can be seen as if the locale were a yacht club basin or yacht mooring. Participants in the ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Drill by Providence police /

    "In the center of a town square, a company of uniformed policemen equipped with nightsticks is standing at attention. The policemen execute several close-order drill maneuvers similar to those of any army infantry company. They end as they began, company front"--Early motion pictures.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Esquimaux village /

    The first of three camera positions shows a low building resembling an igloo beside a small pool, and an ice floe. Dark-complexioned people dressed as Eskimos run up and down alongside the pool, and a dog pulls a sled. Next, some sled dogs are led in front of the camera. The last camera position shows the same dogs running into a tent made from ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1901
  • Panoramic view of Electric Tower from a balloon /

    The title indicates that this film was taken from a balloon. However, there is no aerial photography. Instead it is an up and down or elevation of the camera on the then-famous Electric Tower built for the Exposition at Buffalo, New York. From a contemporary Edison film company catalog: PANORAMIC VIEW OF THE ELECTRIC TOWER FROM A BALLOON. Unhabile [code for telegraphic orders]. Here ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1901
  • Atlantic City floral parade /

    Views of a parade down an Atlantic City street lined with crowds of spectators--some people watching from roofs--children, women in long skirts, many moustached men wearing hats. Shows uniformed men marching, boys pulling a small floral float with a woman riding in it, an elaborate float with a girl in it being pushed by a man, more small floats (decorated chairs?) with children, two ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Buying stamps from Rural Wagon, U.S.P.O. /

    The film shows a man carrying a mail sack. He climbs the stairs of a front porch, rings a doorbell, and a woman comes to the door. The postman hands her something, turns around, and walks down the stairs.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • High school field exercises, Missouri Commission /

    The cameraman placed his equipment on the side of an athletic field adjacent to a high school. During the course of the film, teen-age boys exhibit their skill at high jumping, pole vaulting, shot putting, discus throwing, and broad jumping. These events take place in the immediate area of the camera range. All the events are supervised by an adult who is visible on ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • "Columbia" winning the Cup /

    "The decisive moment in the great International Yacht Races is shown in this picture. Against a background of well defined clouds, the Light Boat is seen marking the finishing line in this great aquatic struggle. As the Columbia crosses the line, followed closely by the Shamrock, we see the steam from the whistle of the Light Ship announcing the well earned victory of the ...

    • Contributor: Blackton, James Stuart - Smith, Albert E. - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1899
  • Free-for-all race at Charter Oak Park /

    From Maguire & Baucus catalogue: Shows a part of the enormous crowd and the start and finish of the free-for-all pacing race, in which the fastest harness horse in the world, John R. Gentry (2:00-1/2), the coming Star Pointer and Frank Agan competed for a purse of 6,000. The heat we photographed was won by Star Pointer in the fast time of 2:04-3/4. From ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Exchange of mail at rural P.O., U.S.P.O. /

    The opening scene shows a yard in front of what seems to be a two-story house. A small boy is standing in front of the house near a post box fastened to one of the columns supporting the roof of the building. A horse-drawn rural delivery wagon drives up and a man gets out, delivers mail, gets back in, and drives the wagon out ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • New York City "ghetto" fish market /

    The view, photographed from an elevated camera position, looks down on a very crowded New York City street market. Rows of pushcarts and street vendors' vehicles can be seen. The precise location is difficult to ascertain, but it is certainly on the Lower East Side, probably on or near Hester Street, which at the turn of the century was the center of commerce for ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Asia in America, St. Louis exposition /

    The film begins with a wide shot of an area crowded with people, some riding elephants, others marching in procession in front of a structure with the sign "Asia" on it. The people are wearing various costumes.

    • 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
  • Armour's electric trolley /

    From Maguire & Baucus catalogue: Shows the private electric railway of Messrs. Armour & Co. in their great Chicago yards. Part of the "Erie Railroad Series" (Edison films catalog): The following subjects present novel and interesting views along the line of the Erie, such as do not always come within the observation of the general tourist. We are indebted to the courtesy of the ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Union Iron Works /

    From Edison films catalog: Here was built the peerless battleship "Oregon." The scene is taken at lunch hour, and shows a great throng of employees leaving the shop. 50 feet. 7.50. Advertised as part of the "Southern Pacific Company Series" (Edison films catalog): The Southern Pacific Company ("Sunset Route") offers special inducements to winter travelers, by reason of its southern route, thereby avoiding the ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • 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
  • Westinghouse Air Brake Co. Westinghouse works /

    A large group of men are shown performing various tasks in one room at the Westinghouse Air Brake Co. On one side, men are shown pouring a hot liquid into molds on the floor. A conveyor belt delivers items which are then taken off the belt by a man. Men on the other side of the screen appear to be lifting items out of ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Lathrop School, calisthenics /

    A group of preadolescent boys and girls is standing in a row facing the camera position. In back of them is a wall on which is written "Kansas City, Mo." As the film progresses, the students go through a series calisthenics, performing them in unison, and continue this throughout the film.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904