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

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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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

    • 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
  • 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
  • Sham battle at the Pan-American Exposition /

    Large arches and columns are seen surrounding a flat field. In the foreground of the field, some American Indians on horseback ride toward the camera. The Indians are wearing feathers, war paint, and are carrying frontier rifles across the bare backs of their horses. In the middle of this flat area, men dressed as U.S. Army troops in battle regalia are lined up in ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1901
  • Racing at Sheepshead Bay /

    "The finish and weighing out of a running race with nine starters. Won by famous Clifford, Sloane up. 50 feet"--Edison films catalog.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Leonard-Cushing fight /

    From Edison films catalog: An actual six-round contest between Mike Leonard, commonly called the "Beau Brummel" of pugilism, and Jack Cushing. Full of hard fighting, clever hits, punches, leads, dodges, body blows and some slugging. Sold by rounds. Each round contains 150 feet. Price each round, $22.50.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1894
  • 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 ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Lurline Baths /

    "A large indoor swimming pool can be seen. The camera was directed toward a slide from which people can be seen entering the pool in rapid succession"--Early motion pictures. "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"--Edison films catalog.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Esquimaux village /

    The first of three camera positions shows a low building resembling an igloo beside a small pool, and an ice floe. Dark-complexioned people dressed as Eskimos run up and down alongside the pool, and a dog pulls a sled. Next, some sled dogs are led in front of the camera. The last camera position shows the same dogs running into a tent made from ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1901
  • Corbett and Courtney before the Kinetograph /

    From F.M. Prescott catalog: This fight consists of six rounds, each round on a film 150 feet long. It is not a fac-simile [sic] or a "fake" of any description, but an actual contest between James J. Corbett, former champion of the world, and Peter Courtney. The films are listed as "1st Round," "2nd Round," "3rd Round," "4th Round," "5th Round," and "6th Round"... ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1894
  • 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
  • Circular panorama of Electric Tower /

    The film, photographed from a single camera position, shows the total exposition and its buildings. The film contains a 360-degree pan. From a contemporary Edison film company catalog: CIRCULAR PANORAMA OF THE ELECTRIC TOWER. Ungulata. [code for telegraphic orders] A most interesting picture at the Pan-American Exposition structure was taken from the north side of the Electric Tower. It presented the most perfect and ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1901
  • A trip around the Pan-American Exposition /

    The entire film was photographed from an excursion vessel traveling through all of the waterways surrounding the Exposition. The major exhibit buildings and amusement attractions of the fair can be seen as the boat makes its way through the area, going through tunnels and under bridges. "The Pan-American Exposition is encircled by an especially constructed canal, which was put in for the purpose of ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1901
  • Esquimaux game of snap-the-whip /

    The film, photographed from a single camera position, shows a large tent of animal skins in front of which are two spectators watching two participants perform a game of skill using whips. From a contemporary Edison film company catalog: SCENE IN THE ESQUIMAUX VILLAGE. Ungulado. [code for telegraphic orders]. The picture [shows] a number of Esquimaux picking nickels from cracks in a board with ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1901
  • Buffalo police on parade /

    "A street scene showing parade of the entire Buffalo Police Department, 16 men abreast, with military band"--Edison films catalog.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897