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

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  • 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
  • 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
  • Spanish dancers at the Pan-American Exposition /

    The film was photographed from the area back of the midway of the Pan-American Exposition. The immediate background indicates the camera was in front of the living quarters of the gypsy dancing troupe. Several female gypsies in costume appear and dance. From a contemporary Edison film company catalog: GYPSY DANCE AT THE PAN-AMERICAN EXPOSITION. Unhaltbar. [code for telegraphic orders] The picture was taken in ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1901
  • Sorting refuse at incinerating plant, New York City /

    The subject is a group of about thirty men and boys who are sorting combustible refuse, mostly paper, and stuffing it into large sacks. In the background a man in a hat with an emblem on it can be seen unloading trash from a large wagon. Location may be the New York City Sanitation Department's East 17th Street facility, or possibly the incinerator at ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Bathing at Atlantic City /

    The film shows the bathing beach at Atlantic City, New Jersey. The camera position was from a tower or some platform high over the heads of the people on the sand adjoining the water. The camera pans approximately 180 degrees, taking in hundreds of people sitting on the sand between the boardwalk and the ocean, part of the boardwalk, and a great deal of ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1901
  • 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
  • [End of school day at coeducational school] /

    A factual film in which exuberant boys and girls, apparently high school students, walk through the arches of a school building and down the steps. Most of the boys wear caps and most of the girls wear fancy hats and ankle-length or mid-calf length full skirts; many of the students carry books. Two men attired in robes appear. Possibly a scene of graduation day ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1914
  • Annual parade, New York Fire Department /

    Dignitaries are shown as they alight from a horse-drawn brougham and enter the speaker's bleachers. Next, personnel of the New York Fire Department walk by the camera. One of every piece of fire-fighting equipment then used by the department passes.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • 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
  • Wrestling at the New York Athletic Club /

    Several teams of wrestlers in action were photographed from a single-camera position on the set of the gymnasium of the New York Athletic Club.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1905
  • A rube couple at a county fair /

    From Edison films catalog: Scene I--Driving into the Grounds. Scene II--Machinery department. Scene III--Getting weighed. Scene IV--On the Pike. Scene V--Looking at the big pumpkins. Scene VI--Cattle parade. Scene VII--Trotting race, with female jockeys. Scene VIII-- Hurdle jumping, female riders. Scene IX--High school horse. Scene X--Slide for life. 540 Ft. $81.00.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Sutro Baths /

    From Edison films catalog: Another view in which the figures show larger. A springboard furnishes the bathers with much amusement; also a toboggan slide. 50 feet. $7.50. "A large indoor swimming pool is shown, as well as the walkways that separate the varying depths of the water, and a sign identifying the locale on the wall farthest from the camera position. In the immediate ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Panorama of esplanade by night /

    The first objects visible in this film, which was taken at night, are the glowing light globes that outline the buildings closest to the camera position. The camera slowly pans, encompassing the complete area of the exhibit buildings, and the outlines of all the buildings are clearly discernible. Edwin S. Porter maintained that this was the first motion picture taken at night by incandescent ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1901
  • The ball game /

    Photographed from one camera position behind home plate, the film shows a baseball game in progress. The Reading pitcher has just let a Newark batter walk to first. He gets up on his toes, ready to head for second base. The next batter up cracks first ball pitched for a two bagger, and races for the base with a burst of speed. The first ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • Hockey match on the ice /

    "The skaters dart to and fro, swinging their hockeys [i.e., hockey sticks] and trying to hit the disc toward the goal. 150 feet"--Edison films catalog.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • Tying up bags for train, U.S.P.O. /

    The camera shows the action of two postal employees as they remove mail sacks from the semicircular rack where they are placed so they can be filled with mail for their respective locations. The two postal employees stack the mail sacks on a cart in preparation for dispatch elsewhere.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Shooting the chutes, Luna Park, Coney Island /

    The camera was positioned to view the shoot-the-chutes concession from the best location. A special added attraction for the entertainment of the spectators is a man in a swimming suit who rides down the shoot-the-chutes on one ski.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Old mail coach at Ford, U.S.P.O. /

    The film begins by showing a river approximately fifty yards wide. The opposite bank from the camera position is wooded. Shortly after the beginning of the film, four horses, drawing a standard passenger-and-mail coach, head for the camera position. The horse-drawn vehicle proceeds into the water, crosses the river, and passes the camera.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Chicago-Michigan football game /

    Excerpts of a 1903 football game between the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan. Includes views of the uniformed players, the spectators in the stadium and surrounding stands, and the game itself.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Cancelling machine, U.S.P.O. /

    The camera that photographed this film, built around the operation of cancelling mail, was placed high enough to include not only the machine and its operation but also the man who was making it work. During the film, a large number of envelopes are worked through the machine by an operator.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Calf branding /

    The cameraman placed his camera near a fire where some branding irons were being heated. As the film begins, three men can be seen going through the various operations of branding calves. In the background is a large herd of cattle.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • Assembling a generator, Westinghouse works /

    A group of men work on various parts of a large generator, assembling the pieces. A crane carries a large piece of the generator over to the rest of the machine, and the men guide it down to assemble it. The crane brings two other pieces to the machine and lays them down where they belong.

    • 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
  • Carriers leaving building, U.S.P.O. [Version 1] /

    The opening scene shows the steps of a large public building. Above the steps is a door out of which, coming toward the camera position, are approximately a hundred and fifty mail carriers of the postal service. They are in uniform and are all carrying mail bags. They continue down the steps in formation for the full length of the film.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • "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 ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1899