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

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  • Opening, Pan-American Exposition /

    A group of dignitaries from various countries was photographed from a single camera position participating in a parade marking the opening of the Pan-American Exposition. From a contemporary Edison film company catalog: OPENING OF THE PAN-AMERICAN EXPOSITION ON MAY 20th, 1901. Ungehofft [code for telegraphic orders]. This is a great historical event. Our cameras were stationed in the center of the Esplanade looking toward ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1901
  • Shooting the chutes /

    "A lively scene on the famous water chutes at Coney Island"--Maguire & Baucus catalogue.

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Heise, William - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Hendricks (Gordon) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1896
  • Giant coal dumper /

    From Edison films catalog: Shows how a full carload of coal is loaded into a vessel every thirty seconds at the great Erie Railroad docks, Cleveland, Ohio. Great clouds of coal dust rise as each car is unloaded. 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Coaches arriving at Mammoth Hot Springs /

    From Edison films catalog: The scene is the broad piazza of the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, and shows the arrival of tourists. Up dashes a spanking team of six, seemingly as fresh and spirited as when they started. Friends who are waiting on the piazza rush to greet the new arrivals and help them alight. 50 feet. 7.50. Advertised as part of the "Alaska ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1899
  • Esquimaux leap-frog /

    The film, photographed from a single camera position, shows buildings resembling igloos on ice floes, in front of which persons clothed as Eskimos play a game of leapfrog. From a contemporary Edison film company catalog: SCENE IN THE ESQUIMAUX VILLAGE. Ungulado. [code for telegraphic orders]. This shows several Esquimaux at the game of "Misheetak," or leap frog, which differs somewhat from the civilized game, ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1901
  • Sleighing scene /

    A view of a snow-covered road in Central Park. A variety of horse-drawn sleighs ride by the camera from both directions. Only two pedestrians appear. From a contemporary Edison film company catalog: SLEIGHING SCENE. Unbehangen [code for telegraphic orders]. A view taken on the West Side Drive in Central Park. Shows a continuous stream of handsome rigs and turnouts passing in both directions. Pedestrians ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • Society ballooning, Pittsfield, Mass. /

    At the beginning of the film, a group of men can be seen gathered around a flat area near a large municipal gas tank. Most of the group are attending to the skin of a big balloon in the foreground near the camera. The remainder of the film shows the balloon being filled with gas until it is buoyant enough to become airborne, the ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1906
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Panorama of Machine Co. aisle, Westinghouse Co. works /

    A camera on an overhead crane travels down a large, long aisle where men are shown working on large machinery on either side. Carts carrying equipment are shown traveling on rails down the aisles. There are also men walking in the aisles.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Cattle leaving the corral /

    The single camera shows a fenced area, a large gate, two men on the fencepost above the gate, and a large herd of cattle behind the gate. The gate is opened and the cattle stream through the opening, herded by four men on horseback. As the film ends, all of the herd of cattle have passed through the gate and by the camera position. ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • Delivering newspapers /

    The film shows a group of about fifty pre-adolescent boys running and crowding around a one-horse paneled newspaper van that pulls up in the foreground of the picture. On the side of the van is a sign reading "New York World." As they gather around the rear of the vehicle, a fight breaks out between two of the boys. The film ends as the ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • [Lancaster, Pa., high school] /

    Shows boys and girls going out the door and down the steps of a high school building in Lancaster, Pa. The boys come out first, led by a man, probably a teacher, holding a young boy's hand. The boys wear suits, and a few carry books or instrument cases. The girls, wearing long dresses and broad-brimmed hats, follow the boys. The last person to ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 190?
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Buffalo stockyards /

    From Edison films catalog: A long line of horses, mules and ponies are led, driven and ridden into the yards, where they are sold and distributed. 50 feet. 7.50.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Street mail car, U.S.P.O. /

    The first scene appears to have been taken on a main thoroughfare of large city. In the immediate foreground is a horse-drawn U.S. mail vehicle waiting at the side of a streetcar track. Soon a streetcar approaches the camera position. It stops beside the mail vehicle and the driver unloads mail sacks from the streetcar. He then puts some sacks from his wagon onto ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Charleston chain-gang /

    Apparently, the film was photographed from a compound bordered by high walls and buildings. At a distance of fifty yards in the direction that the camera is pointed a column of men can be seen walking backwards and holding a chain under their arms. All the men are dressed the same. Two men carrying shotguns gesture to indicate the chain gang should move. They ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1902