Collection Inventing Entertainment: The Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies

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  • Building a harbor at San Pedro /

    From Edison films catalog: This picture was secured from a launch furnished by Mr. Eager, President of the California Construction Co., who are fulfilling this

    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1901
  • Lurline Baths /

    From Edison films catalog: At San Francisco. The main feature is the toboggan slide which the bathers use, some sitting, others lying down, head first or feet first. 50 feet. $7.50.

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • After launching /

    From Edison films catalog: Taken near the Union Works, San Francisco, Cal., immediately after the launching of the Japanese Man-of-war "Chitose." The scene opens with the pleasure yacht "Unadilla" passing in the immediate foreground, her decks loaded with passengers. The boat slowly passes, until the stern is directly to the audience. The water in the wake of the yacht is churned by her screw ...

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • Troop ships for the Philippines /

    Shows the departure from San Francisco of two troop ships, the S.S. Australia and the S.S. City of Sydney, bound for Manila during the Spanish-American War. The first ship shown is the Australia with many troops on deck, some waving. The ship's name is visible on the hull at the end of the sequence. The second ship, the City of Sydney, is shown being ...

    • Contributor: Blechynden, Frederick - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • Sunset Limited, Southern Pacific Ry. /

    "Taken at Fingal, Cal., where the world-renowned "Sunset Limited" trains pass each other. One runs on a side track, and the other dashes by at a high rate of speed. Switch is then turned, and the train passes on, slowly receeding from view. 150 feet"--Edison films catalog. "Southern Pacific Company series: The Southern Pacific Company ("Sunset Route") offers special inducements to winter travelers, by ...

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • Feeding sea gulls /

    From Edison films catalog: A fine view of San Francisco Bay, from an Oakland ferryboat. Tug towing a scow passes by. Sea gulls sail through the air and dive into the seething wake of the boat. 40 feet. $6.00. 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 ...

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • 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 ...

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Return of lifeboat /

    "Shows a life boat coming through the breakers. The surf is high and the stout boat is tossed about like a cork. 50 feet"--Edison films catalog. "Pacific Coast Life Saving Service series: These subjects are illustrative of the work performed by the Life Saving Corps of the United States Government, and show the methods in vogue at one of the most important stations on ...

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Fort Point Life Saving Station (U.S.) - United States. Life Saving Service - United States. Revenue Cutter Service - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Sutro Baths, no. 1 /

    From Edison films catalog: One of the sights of San Francisco. A 50-foot slide is used by the bathers, who toboggan down its slippery surface in all positions. The bathers are clad in black trunks, making fine contrast with the flesh tints. 50 feet. $7.50. "In the background are three tiers of spectators watching the bathers. There are many people bathing and diving into ...

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Going through the tunnel /

    From Edison films catalog: On the way to Santa Monica, Cal., the train approaches, runs through and emerges from a tunnel. Train passes in opposite direction. Camera is at front end of train, giving a very novel view. 100 feet. $15.00. Advertised as part of the "Southern Pacific Company Series" (Edison films catalog): The Southern Pacific Company ("Sunset Route") offers special inducements to winter ...

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • Native daughters /

    From Edison films catalog: Taken at San Francisco, Cal., at the Golden Jubilee. In the foreground is shown an immense concourse of people, including ladies and children, while the background is formed by very high buildings, from the windows of which numerous flags are waving. The film opens showing the native daughters mounted on horses, passing through the immense throngs of on-lookers. They are ...

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • Surf at Monterey /

    From Edison films catalog: The water breaks over the rocks, and is dashed into silvery spray, high into the air. Exceptionally fine water effects. 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 extreme cold of the ...

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Tenderloin at night /

    77521 U.S. Copyright Office Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 27Nov1899; 77521. Duration: 2:02 at 16 fps. Filmed ca. June to September 1899, probably in West Orange, New Jersey. Sources used: Copyright catalog, motion pictures, 1894-1912; Musser, C. Edison motion pictures 1890-1900, 1997, p. 533; Niver, K.R. Early motion pictures, 1985. Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files.

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1899
  • Launching, no. 2 /

    From Edison films catalog: The camera was changed after the former subject had been photographed [Cataloger's note: see film entitled Launch of Japanese man-of-war "Chitosa"] and the ship is seen nearly head-on, bow first, still floating backward into the harbor, while in the foreground are seen numerous row-boats with their occupants. As the boat passes out of view the row-boats constantly move around and ...

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • S.S. "Coptic" sailing away /

    From F.Z. Maguire catalogue: Shows the vessel after she has been fully turned and on her way across the Pacific. The boat shows large and clear with smoke coming from the stack. In the foreground is a constantly changing crowd of people composed of men, women and children. Action is added by some late comers who rush to the dock to wave their last ...

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Cupid and Psyche /

    From Edison films catalog: By the Leanders. The dress of one consists of a pair of wings and a bow and arrow; the other represents a fairy. Bathers in all stages of dress and undress watch the graceful dance. 50 feet. $7.50.

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Leander Sisters - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Afi/Holt (H.L.) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Lick Observatory, Mt. Hamilton, Cal. /

    From F.Z. Maguire catalogue: The background of this picture is the Lick Observatory, Mount Hamilton, Cal. This observatory, the gift of James Lick, of Pennsylvania, was constructed at a cost of $700,000, being equipped with one of the most powerful telescopes that has ever been produced, and is famous the world over. The view of the Observatory is very complete, showing the style of ...

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Leander Sisters /

    From Edison films catalog: A clever, characteristic dance called the "Yellow Kid." Very unique. Stage is in the Sutro Baths, San Francisco, Cal., and the audience is composed largely of bathers. 50 feet. $7.50.

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Leander Sisters - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Hotel Vendome, San Jose, Cal. /

    This brief film shows an excursion party passing in the carriage drive of the Vendome Hotel, a major resort hotel in San Jose, south of San Francisco. The exact date of the film is unknown, but may be in October 1897. The camera faces north-northwest in the carriage drive, toward the main (east) entrance of the hotel. Two excursion stages, a surrey, and three ...

    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • S.S. "Coptic" in the harbor /

    From F.Z. Maguire catalogue: Shows the vessel away from the dock and slowly turning. The vessel is seen to good advantage, the four masts, smokestack and hull being faithfully reproduced. Clouds of smoke pour out of the funnel, and volumes of steam out of the exhaust pipe. In the foreground is a dense crowd, among which are numerous Chinamen. Clear and sharp with figures ...

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Launch of life boat /

    "Pacific Coast Life Saving Service series: These subjects are illustrative of the work performed by the Life Saving Corps of the United States Government, and show the methods in vogue at one of the most important stations on either side of our Continent. The exact routine pursued in actual practice is clearly illustrated. We are particularly indebted to Major T.J. Blakeney, Superintendent of the ...

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Fort Point Life Saving Station (U.S.) - United States. Life Saving Service - United States. Revenue Cutter Service - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • S.S. "Coptic" at dock /

    From F.Z. Maguire catalogue: Taken at the docks of the Pacific Steamship Co., San Francisco, Cal., which is operated in connection with the Southern Pacific Railroad Co. The "Coptic" is one of the best appointed, largest and fastest vessels that traverse the Pacific Ocean, and this view was taken as she was leaving for a voyage to the Sandwich Islands, Japan and China. The ...

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Procession of floats /

    From Edison films catalog: Taken at San Francisco, Cal., at the Golden Jubilee. In the foreground are seen crowds of people, all being very close to the camera. The first float is drawn by four white horses and is at least twenty feet long. It carries a full load of little school girls, who sit along its full length facing the sides of the ...

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • 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 ...

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • Bird's-eye view of San Francisco, Cal., from a balloon /

    As early as 1874, passenger balloon flights were being made over San Francisco. San Franciscans - and Americans in general - were fascinated with the thrills and dangers of flight. Although balloon technology had not advanced greatly by the turn of the century, attempts at man-powered flight were sustaining public interest. The era of powered flight arrived in 1903 with the Wright brothers' flight ...

    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1902