• Beginning of a skyscraper /

    Beginning of a skyscraper /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 18Apr1902; H16723. Duration: 0:25 at 15 fps. Camera, Robert K. Bonine. Photographed January 18, 1902. Location: New York, N.Y. The scene is an excavation site in New York City. A large group of workmen with picks and shovels are digging. Carts drawn by pairs of horses can be seen emerging from the smoke in the background. From a ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1902
  • Interior N.Y. subway, 14th St. to 42nd St. /

    Interior N.Y. subway, 14th St. to 42nd St. /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 5June1905; H61570. Duration: 3:37 (part 1) and 2:41 (part 2) at 15 fps. Camera, G.W. "Billy" Bitzer. Photographed May 21, 1905. Location: Interborough Subway, 14 St. to 42nd St., New York, N.Y. The camera platform was on the front of a New York subway train following another train on the same track. Lighting is provided by a specially ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1905
  • Departure of Peary [and the] "Roosevelt" from New York /

    Departure of Peary [and the] "Roosevelt" from New York /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 28July1905; H63906. Duration: 4:14 at 15 fps. Camera, G.W. "Billy" Bitzer. The camera pans to show the schooner "Roosevelt" docked at a covered pier on the Hudson River on Manhattan's west side. Then, from a camera position on board, men in straw hats and fashionably dressed ladies are seen boarding the ship. Next, the famous polar explorer Robert ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1905
  • Lower Broadway /

    Lower Broadway /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 13Jun1903; H32629. Duration: 1:33 at 15 fps. Camera, Robert K. Bonine. Photographed May 15, 1902. Location: New York, N.Y. The film shows a view which appears to be looking north on Broadway at the intersection of Wall Street, in front of Trinity Church. The sidewalk along Broadway is crowded with people, and the traffic in both streets is ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • [Fireboat "New Yorker" in action--excerpts] /

    [Fireboat "New Yorker" in action--excerpts] /

    Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 20May1903; H32035. Duration: 1:59 at 15 fps. Camera, James Blair Smith. Photographed May 10, 1903. Location: New York Harbor. This excerpt shows a demonstration by the famous fireboat "New Yorker." The picture shows the fireboat with all its nozzles spurting water as it goes back and forth in front of the camera. Put in service on February 1, 1891 as ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Buffalo Bill's wild west parade /

    Buffalo Bill's wild west parade /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 2July1902; H19660. Duration: 1:52 at 10 fps. Camera, Frederick S. Armitage. Photographed April 1, 1901. Location: Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. The film shows a parade down Fifth Avenue, New York. In the foreground many children, both black and white, can be seen following alongside the parade. The participants in the parade include cowboys, Indians, and soldiers in ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1902
  • Sorting refuse at incinerating plant, New York City /

    Sorting refuse at incinerating plant, New York City /

    Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 20May1903; H32038. Duration: 1:42 at 15 fps. Camera, Edwin S. Porter. Photographed May 9, 1903. 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 ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Automobile parade /

    Automobile parade /

    Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 6Feb1900; D3293. Duration: 1:52 at 15 fps. Ref print copies 1 and 2 and dupe neg copy 2 are low contrast; ref print copies 3 and 4 and dupe neg copy 1 are high contrast. DLC Location: New York, N.Y. This may be the first annual automobile parade, held on November 4, 1899 in downtown Manhattan. At least ten different ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1900
  • Arrival of emigrants [i.e. immigrants], Ellis Island /

    Arrival of emigrants [i.e. immigrants], Ellis Island /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 9May1906; H77049. Duration: 3:27 at 15 fps. Camera, G.W. "Billy" Bitzer. Photographed April 27, 1906. Depicts scenes at the Immigration Depot and a nearby dock on Ellis Island. Appears to show, first, a group of immigrants lined up to board a vessel leaving the island, then another group arriving at the island and being directed off of the ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1906
  • Parade of horses on Speedway /

    Parade of horses on Speedway /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 8July1903; H33282. Duration: 0:52 at 15 fps. Camera, Robert K. Bonine. Photographed May 15, 1902. Location: West bank of Harlem River, New York, N.Y. The film is of a parade of fine horses and fashionable carriages taken along what is now the Harlem River Drive, in the Highbridge section of northern Manhattan. The view is from the Manhattan ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • The Paper Print Film Collection at the Library of Congress --                        The Life of a City: Early Films of New York, 1898-1906

    The Paper Print Film Collection at the Library of Congress --...

    Most of the films featured in the American Memory presentations are from the Paper Print Collection of the Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division. Because the copyright law did not cover motion pictures until 1912, early film producers who desired protection for their work sent paper contact prints of their motion pictures to the U.S. Copyright Office at the Library ...

    • Date: 1898
  • Excavating for a New York foundation /

    Excavating for a New York foundation /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 25Nov1903; H38561. Duration: 2:28 at 15 fps. Location: New York, N.Y. The scene is an excavation pit at an unidentified New York City construction site. A crew of six men can be seen shoveling dirt into a four-wheeled wooden cart. Then a full cart is slowly lifted out of the pit to street level by a steam-powered crane. ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Funeral of Hiram Cronk /

    Funeral of Hiram Cronk /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 25May1905; H61323. Duration: 3:51 at 15 fps. Camera, G.W. "Billy" Bitzer. Photographed May 17-18, 1905. Location: Brooklyn, New York, N.Y. The film shows a city thoroughfare lined with crowds of people watching a military parade. The first group to come into view is a marching band [Frame: 0120], then a large formation of soldiers in the uniform of ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1905
  • New York City "ghetto" fish market /

    New York City "ghetto" fish market /

    Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 20May1903; H32029. Duration: 2:53 at 15 fps. Camera, James Blair Smith. Photographed May 1, 1903. 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, ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • A perilous proceeding /

    A perilous proceeding /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 16Apr1902; H16639. Duration: 1:19 at 10 fps. Camera, James Congdon. Photographed October 21, 1901. Location: Broadway and 13th Street, New York, N.Y. The film follows a group of approximately ten men who are suspended on the cable of a large crane atop a building under construction. As the men are lifted over the site and gradually lowered, they ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1902
  • Panorama from Times Building, New York /

    Panorama from Times Building, New York /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 11Apr1905; H59310. Duration: 2:04 at 15 fps. Camera, Wallace McCutcheon. The view is from the top of the then newly-erected Times Building, at a height of approximately twenty stories. The film opens with a vertical pan, going from the street below up to the sky. The photographer then makes a pan to the north over the tops of ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1905
  • Opening the Williamsburg Bridge /

    Opening the Williamsburg Bridge /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 11Feb1904; H42039. Duration: 0:55 at 15 fps. Camera, G.W. "Billy" Bitzer. Photographed December 19, 1903. Location: East River, New York, N.Y. The film was shot on the roadway of the newly constructed Williamsburg Bridge. The first people to come into view are press photographers carrying large wooden "box" cameras [Frame: 0690]. Next, a parade of dignitaries and military ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • N.Y. Fire Department returning /

    N.Y. Fire Department returning /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 19May1903; H32003. Duration: 0:39 at 15 fps. Camera, G.W. "Billy" Bitzer. Photographed May 11, 1903. Shot at an unidentified location in New York City, the film shows several pieces of horse-drawn fire vehicles in motion: two hook-and-ladders [Frame: 0114, 0905]; two steam pumpers [0373, 1111]; a rescue wagon [0549]. Note the kids hanging on the back of some ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Panorama of Riker's Island, N.Y. /

    Panorama of Riker's Island, N.Y. /

    Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 20May1903; H32031. Duration: 2:15 at 15 fps. Camera, Edwin S. Porter. Photographed May 9, 1903. Location: East River, New York, N.Y. The film was photographed from a boat going around Riker's Island. Located on the East River north of Hell Gate between the Bronx and Queens, Riker's Island was the site of a massive New York City landfill operation at ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Bargain day, 14th Street, New York /

    Bargain day, 14th Street, New York /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 20Apr1905; H59778. Duration: 1:22 at 15 fps. Camera, Frederick S. Armitage. Photographed April 1, 1905. Location: 14th Street, New York, N.Y. The film shows hundreds of tightly packed people crowding into the front door of the Rothschild Co. 5 and 10 cent store. They are so closely packed it is difficult to tell one from another. The view ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1905
  • Panorama from the tower of Brooklyn Bridge /

    Panorama from the tower of Brooklyn Bridge /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 12Sept1903; H35636. Duration: 0:35 at 10 fps. Camera, G.W. "Billy" Bitzer. Photographed April 18, 1899. The view was taken from the tower on the Brooklyn side of the bridge. As the film begins, the camera is looking southwest, towards the southern tip of Manhattan (the Battery). The camera pans very rapidly north following Manhattan's East River shoreline, across ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • About this Collection --                        The Life of a City: Early Films of New York, 1898-1906

    About this Collection -- The Life of a...

    This collection contains forty-five films of New York dating from 1898 to 1906 from the Paper Print Collection of the Library of Congress. Of these, twenty-five were made by the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, while the remaining twenty are Edison Company productions.

    • Date: 1898
  • New York Harbor Police boat Patrol capturing pirates /

    New York Harbor Police boat Patrol capturing pirates /

    Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 20May1903; H32027. Duration: 2:09 at 15 fps. Camera, James Blair Smith, Edwin S. Porter. Photographed May 10, 1903. Location: Upper New York Bay. This was probably filmed in the southern part of the Upper New York Bay looking towards the Narrows, with Fort Lafayette partly visible in the far background. The subject is a simulated capture by the police gunboat ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Move on /

    Move on /

    Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 27Oct1903; H37369. Duration: 1:42 at 15 fps. Camera, Alfred C. Abadie. Filmed in New York's Lower East Side, the scene is a street where several pushcart vendors have gathered to sell their goods. In the foreground are fruit and vegetable carts. An elevated railroad track crosses over the street in the background. As the film progresses, two policemen can be ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • White Wings on review /

    White Wings on review /

    Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 20May1903; H32033. Duration: 3:53 at 15 fps. Camera, James Blair Smith. Photographed April 29, 1903. Location: New York, N.Y. Filmed on an unidentified street in New York City, probably Fifth Avenue. Rows of men wearing the white uniforms of New York City street sweepers (known as White Wings) march by the camera. Each row has a police escort. The parade ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Pioneer Cameramen --                        The Life of a City: Early Films of New York, 1898-1906

    Pioneer Cameramen -- The Life of a Cit...

    Thomas Edison's great pioneer cameraman and film-maker was Edwin S. Porter, creator of The Life of an American Fireman (1902-1903) and The Great Train Robbery (1903). Porter shot four of the films included in this collection (as well as eight of the McKinley films). Another Edison cameraman, James B. Smith, photographed seven. Of the Biograph films, Billy Bitzer, famous for his camera work with ...

    • Date: 1898
  • New York City dumping wharf /

    New York City dumping wharf /

    Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 20May1903; H32030. Duration: 1:21 at 15 fps. Camera, James Blair Smith. Photographed April 28, 1903. The film shows a wharf where a barge is being loaded with trash from two-wheeled, horse-drawn wagons. The trash is dumped off the edge of the pier onto the barge, where men with shovels are spreading the piles of debris. The camera pans left to ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Star Theatre /

    Star Theatre /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 18Apr1902; H16735. Duration: 1:55 at 15 fps. Camera, Frederick S. Armitage. Photographed in 1901. Location: Broadway and 13th Street, New York, N.Y. Using time-lapse photography, the film shows the demolition of the famous Star Theatre. Judging from the various exposures, the work must have gone on for a period of approximately thirty days. The theater opened in 1861 ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1902
  • Delivering newspapers /

    Delivering newspapers /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 24Apr1903; H30745. Duration: 0:53 at 15 fps. Camera, G.W. "Billy" Bitzer, Arthur Marvin. Photographed May 1, 1899. Location: New York, N.Y. 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 ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Pennsylvania Tunnel excavation /

    Pennsylvania Tunnel excavation /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 30Aug1905; H65053. Duration: 3:22 at 15 fps. Camera, G.W. "Billy" Bitzer. Photographed July 19, 1905. Location: Seventh and Eighth Avenues, New York, N.Y. This film employs a 180-degree pan shot of the excavation site of New York's Pennsylvania Station, and includes shots of the narrow-gauge train used to haul debris from the tunnels under construction. Work began in ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1905
  • America at the Turn of the Century: A Look at the Historical Context --                        The Life of a City: Early Films of New York, 1898-1906

    America at the Turn of the Century: A Look at the Historical ...

    The National Setting By 1900 the American nation had established itself as a world power. The West was won. The frontier -- the great fact of 300 years of American history -- was no more. The continent was settled from coast to coast. Apache war chief Geronimo had surrendered in 1886. Defeat of the Sioux at the battle of Wounded Knee in 1891 had ...

    • Date: 1898
  • New York City at the Turn of the Century --                        The Life of a City: Early Films of New York, 1898-1906

    New York City at the Turn of the Century -- ...

    At the turn of the century, New York was the preeminent American city; it represented the "new metropolis." The great waves of European immigrants coming to New York, the consolidation of the five boroughs into one vast city, the development of the city's infrastructure, and the incredible construction boom of the next thirty years all contributed to the city's prominence. In many of the ...

    • Date: 1898
  • At the foot of the Flatiron /

    At the foot of the Flatiron /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 2Nov1903; H37499. Duration: 2:19 at 15 fps. Camera, A.E. Weed. This street level view is of the Broadway side of the Flatiron, or Fuller Building, near the narrow north corner. Filmed on a very windy day, pedestrians of various descriptions are seen passing by the camera, clutching hats and skirts against the wind. According to some New York ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • The Actuality Film --                        The Life of a City: Early Films of New York, 1898-1906

    The Actuality Film -- The Life of a Ci...

    The earliest popular venues for motion pictures were nickelodeons -- peep show parlors where machines played short film loops, or films on flip cards called mutoscopes, for individual viewers on demand. By the turn of the century, films were being shown in store-front theaters and traveling carnivals. Significantly, movies also began to be projected in vaudeville and burlesque theaters, sharing the bill with a ...

    • Date: 1898
  • Skyscrapers of New York City, from the North River /

    Skyscrapers of New York City, from the North River /

    Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 20May1903; H32025. Duration: 3:23 at 15 fps. Camera, James Blair Smith. Filmed from a moving boat, the film depicts the Hudson River (i.e., North River) shoreline and the piers of lower Manhattan beginning around Fulton Street and extending to Castle Garden and Battery Park. It begins at one of the American Line piers (Pier 14 or 15, opposite Fulton Street) ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • The skyscrapers of New York /

    The skyscrapers of New York /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 11Dec1906; H86424. Duration: 4:00 (part 1), 4:32 (part 2), and 3:08 (part 3) at 15 fps. Camera, Fred A. Dobson. This melodrama was filmed during the actual construction of a skyscraper in New York City, and includes several scenes of real work crews: a line of bricklayers [Frame: 1773 (part 1)], a man heating rivets in a forge ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1906
  • Skating on lake, Central Park /

    Skating on lake, Central Park /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 25Aug1902; H21313. Duration: 0:54 at 15 fps. Camera, Frederick S. Armitage. Photographed February 5, 1900. Location: Central Park, New York, N.Y. The view is of a frozen lake in Central Park crowded with ice skaters. The film is of such poor quality that it is difficult to tell if the apparent "snow" is real or just scratches on ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1902
  • Panorama water front and Brooklyn Bridge from East River /

    Panorama water front and Brooklyn Bridge from East River /

    Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 20May1903; H32037. Duration: 2:28 at 15 fps. Camera, Edwin S. Porter. Photographed May 9, 1903. This film depicts the East River shoreline and the piers of lower Manhattan starting at about Pier 5 (the New York Central Pier) opposite Broad Street, and extending to the Mallory Line steamship piers just south of Fulton Street and the Brooklyn Bridge. The film ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Panorama of Flatiron Building /

    Panorama of Flatiron Building /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 4June1903; H32387. Duration: 1:00 at 15 fps. Camera, Robert K. Bonine. This shows a view looking south from Madison Square, across the intersection of Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and Twenty-third Street, to the famous Fuller (or "Flatiron") Building. The cameraman elevates his camera, going from street level to the roof. Designed by D.H. Burnham and Company, the Fuller Building ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Parade of "exempt" firemen /

    Parade of "exempt" firemen /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 1Oct1903; H36401. Duration: 1:29 at 15 fps. Camera, Frederick S. Armitage. Photographed September 21, 1903. Location: Washington Square Park (Greenwich Village), New York, N.Y. The film shows a large group of people watching the approach of a color guard followed by a number of elderly marching firemen [Frame: 1734] pulling antique fire equipment [2486]. In the background is ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Panorama of Blackwell's Island, N.Y. /

    Panorama of Blackwell's Island, N.Y. /

    Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 20May1903; H32034. Duration: 2:23 at 15 fps. Camera, Edwin S. Porter. This film was photographed from a boat heading south along the eastern shore of Blackwell's Island (known today as Roosevelt Island). The island lies in the East River, between Manhattan (which can be seen in the background) and Long Island City, Queens. It is approximately one and three-quarters of ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Opening of new East River bridge, New York /

    Opening of new East River bridge, New York /

    Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 28Dec1903; H40151. Duration: 2:28 at 15 fps. Camera, James Blair Smith. Photographed December 19, 1903. Location: New York, N.Y. The first view is from the roadway of the Williamsburg Bridge on the day of the opening. Close-ups of the parading dignitaries and members of the press [Frame: 0345] are seen. From another camera position, taken over the heads of the ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Emigrants [i.e. immigrants] landing at Ellis Island /

    Emigrants [i.e. immigrants] landing at Ellis Island /

    Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 24July1903; H33775. Duration: 2:20 at 15 fps. Camera, Alfred C. Abadie. From a contemporary Edison film company catalog: EMIGRANTS LANDING AT ELLIS ISLAND. Shows a large open barge loaded with people of every nationality, who have just arrived from Europe, disembarking at Ellis Island, N.Y. A most interesting and typical scene. Length 140 feet. Class B. $16.80. The film opens ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Elevated railroad, New York /

    Elevated railroad, New York /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 24Feb1903; H28548. Duration: 1:07 at 15 fps. The film was photographed from the front platform of a train traveling over elevated tracks in New York City. Although many of the buildings alongside the tracks can be seen, it is difficult to determine the exact location of the scene. Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Broadway & Union Square, New York /

    Broadway & Union Square, New York /

    Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 8Jul1903; H33290. Main title lacking. DLC Title, Broadway and Union Square, New York, taken from leader. DLC Film copyrighted under title: Broadway & Union Square, New York. Camera, Arthur W. Marvin. Duration: 0:22 at 15 fps. A horse-drawn street car with a sign for Broadway pulls away from the camera with a full compliment of passengers. Another approaches ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • What happened on Twenty-third Street, New York City /

    What happened on Twenty-third Street, New York City /

    Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 21Aug1901; H7985. Duration: 1:17 at 15 fps. A street level view from the sidewalk, looking along the length of 23rd Street. Following actuality footage of pedestrians and street traffic, the actors, a man in summer attire and a woman in an ankle-length dress, walk toward the camera. As they cross a grate on the sidewalk they pause, and the escaping ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1901