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

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  • 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
  • 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
  • Princeton and Yale football game /

    The camera was moved to many positions throughout the stadium, which contained an estimated 50,000 spectators. The opening scene was a complete pan around the locale, showing the crowd assembled to watch the game. The remaining scenes were photographed from various positions throughout the football field, showing the game in progress. There is line play shown as well as broken-field running.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • 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
  • Loading the ice on cars, conveying it across the mountains, and loading it into boats /

    The film covers four operations involved in shipping ice: sawing the ice from frozen-over lakes, transferring it by means of speciality constructed freight cars to a dock some distance away, unloading it, and then transloading it onto a waiting ship.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1902
  • Coil winding machines, Westinghouse works /

    Numerous women stand in rows at winding machines, taking material from large spools behind them. A male supervisor walks down the aisle, checking the work of the women.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Bass fishing /

    A man in fashionable sporting attire is standing on some large rocks at the edge of a stream. He is holding a short fishing rod in his hands and casting into the running stream. The film ends as the fisherman kneels at the edge of the water, holding the reel in his left hand while he hauls in the fish with a net held ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Cleveland fire department /

    The subject is the activities of a fire department that can be seen coming out of the fire engine house located across the street from the camera position. The action must have been a drill or rehearsal as the street is lined with people awaiting the arrival of the three pumpers, the two hook-and-ladder wagons, and the four personnel wagons that made up the ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Panorama view street car motor room /

    A camera moving forward on an overhead crane gives a traveling view of men working on machinery. Carts carrying parts and pieces of machinery pass by on rails; cranes lift machinery; and men perform their various duties, including hammering objects.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • 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
  • Parke Davis' employees /

    Photographed from a single-camera position, this film encompasses a scene of a large number of people either walking or riding bicycles as they leave what appears to be a factory. The title indicates they are employees of a drug firm.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Loading mail car, U.S.P.O. /

    This film, part of series on the various activities of the Post Office, starts with a scene of a large railroad mail car on a siding. A horse-drawn, four-wheeled vehicle with a sign "U.S. Mail" on the side proceeds away from the camera toward the mail car. The vehicle stops, the driver gets out, and, as the film ends, he is seen unloading the ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Parade of floats, St. Louis Exposition /

    One of the parades of floating craft held in the waterways of the St. Louis Exposition is shown in this film. The cameraman placed equipment on shore at a distance to include each of the competing craft. Photographed were twelve small craft, some motot-powered and some rowed, but all decorated with foliage and bunting and containing foreign representatives and dignitaries.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Rube and Mandy at Coney Island /

    This film records a trip around Coney Island by a couple made up as country bumpkins. The camera placement shows their entrance, exit, and participation in the various concessions. In the next-to-last scene, the two approach a hot dog stand, and each buys a hot dog and eats it in a greedy manner while walking toward the camera. In the final scence, the camera ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • 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
  • Circular panorama of housing the ice /

    The camera photographed an area of industrial activity. Against a hill approximately one hundred feet in height, ten escalatorlike conveyors have been constructed. The film indicates that the system was designed to lift ice that had been cut from a lake to the top of a hill where it was either stored or shipped. The camera pans from the mechanized area to the right ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1902
  • Canoeing on the Charles River, Boston, Mass. /

    About fifty canoes filled with people on an outing in the summertime were photographed from a single camera position from a bridge overlooking the Charles River in Boston, Massachusetts.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Clerks tying up for bags, U.S.P.O. /

    The film shows two postal employees as they tie into bundles stacks of letters they have just removed from a destination "case."

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • 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
  • Herding horses across a river /

    Approximately forty horses can be seen in the distance across a river. They are being driven into the water by men on horseback. The horses approach the camera position as they ford the river. The film ends as the horses are seen passing the camera and being herded by five men on horseback.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • [Claremont Theatre, N.Y.] /

    Shows the entrance to the Claremont Theatre in New York City at 135th St. and Broadway where Edison is showing Gertrude McCoy and Bigelow Cooper in On the stroke of twelve. Large numbers of men, women and children leave the theater, some as many as two or three times. Delivery boys, a wagon, automobiles and a boy on rollerskates pass by.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1915
  • Sheep run, Chicago stockyards /

    From Maguire & Baucus catalogue: A large flock of sheep being driven over the runs from the cars to the slaughter beds. The sheep, pressed by the driver and frightened by the surroundings and confusion, move very fast. Advertised as part of the "Erie Railroad Series" (Edison films catalog): The following subjects present novel and interesting views along the line of the Erie, such ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • A glimpse of the San Diego exposition /

    The film begins from a single-camera position high above the Exposition grounds. The camera begins to pan from left to right, following the horizon. The picture includes all of the spires and buildings of the fair. Then the camera is moved to the Exposition midway and footage is taken of the California exhibit, the Panamanian exhibit, and many others. The emphasis is on the ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1915
  • 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
  • Cutting and canaling ice /

    The camera shows what appears to be a frozen-over lake on which men are driving teams of horses pulling a device similar to a plow. The second camera position shows that the horses are being driven in a straight line across the ice, with the device chiseling a groove, called canaling, into the ice. This action precedes removal of the ice for storage so ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1902