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

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  • 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.

    • Contributor: Bitzer, G. W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1905
  • Clerks tying bags, U.S.P.O. /

    Two employees of the Post Office Department are removing stacks of letters from the aperatures in the "case" or cabinet and tying them into bundles. They then throw the tied envelopes into the appropriate sacks.

    • Contributor: Weed, A. E. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Special delivery messenger, U.S.P.O. /

    As the scene opens, the front of a house, the shrubbery, a staircase, and the sidewalk are visible. From camera left, using a flying dismount, comes a bicycle rider in the uniform of a special delivery messenger. After parking his bicyle, he goes up the stairs to the front door of the house. A woman emerges, he hands her a letter, returns to his ...

    • Contributor: Weed, A. E. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • 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 ...

    • Contributor: Bitzer, G. W. - Marvin, Arthur W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Skating on lake, Central Park /

    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 the film.

    • Contributor: Armitage, F. S. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1902
  • Carriers at work, U.S.P.O. /

    The subject is the handling and sorting of the U.S. mail. The sorting bags and the alphabetizing pigeonhole equipment are visible in a scene photographed from an altitude of approximately twenty-five feet. The placement of the equipment and its use by the post office personnel can be seen.

    • Contributor: Weed, A. E. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • 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.

    • Contributor: Armitage, F. S. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Train taking up mail bag, U.S.P.O. /

    The subject of this Postal Department documentary is "snatching" the mail bag from the suspended post by the railroad mail clerk. As the film begins, a man climbs the steps leading to the device that suspends the mail bag in the air. A train can be seen in the distance approcaching the mail bag. At the end of the film, the mail bag is ...

    • Contributor: Weed, A. E. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • 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.

    • Contributor: Bitzer, G. W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Westinghouse Air Brake Co. Westinghouse Co. works (moulding scene) /

    Men working in teams carry buckets of molten material and pour the material into what appear to be molds lined up on the ground.

    • Contributor: Bitzer, G. W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Westinghouse Air Brake Co. Westinghouse works /

    A large group of men are shown performing various tasks in one room at the Westinghouse Air Brake Co. On one side, men are shown pouring a hot liquid into molds on the floor. A conveyor belt delivers items which are then taken off the belt by a man. Men on the other side of the screen appear to be lifting items out of ...

    • Contributor: Bitzer, G. W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Testing a rotary, Westinghouse works /

    A small group of men turn on what appears to be a generator. As the rotary spins, the men make adjustments to the machine and check its operations.

    • Contributor: Bitzer, G. W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • 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 ...

    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • 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.

    • Contributor: Abadie, Alfred C. (Alfred Camille) - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • 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 ...

    • Contributor: Weed, A. E. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Westinghouse Air Brake Co. Westinghouse Co. works (casting scene) /

    What appear to be molds pass by some men on conveyor belts. The men take them off the belt and dump the contents onto the ground. Other men pick up with tongs the parts that have been dumped onto the ground and put them on a pile in the foreground.

    • Contributor: Bitzer, G. W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Clerks casing mail for bags, U.S.P.O. /

    The subject is an operation of mail handling called "casing." The camera was placed so that two men can be seen demonstrating the method. The demonstrators, with stacks of letters in their hands, place them in one of many apertures built into a cabinet or "case."

    • Contributor: Weed, A. E. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • 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 ...

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

    • Contributor: Talbot, Henry - Marvin, Arthur W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • 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, ...

    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Kleine (George) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1905
  • High school field exercises, Missouri Commission /

    The cameraman placed his equipment on the side of an athletic field adjacent to a high school. During the course of the film, teen-age boys exhibit their skill at high jumping, pole vaulting, shot putting, discus throwing, and broad jumping. These events take place in the immediate area of the camera range. All the events are supervised by an adult who is visible on ...

    • Contributor: Weed, A. E. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Automobile race for the Vanderbilt Cup /

    This automobile race was filmed from many camera positions. Several different types of motor cars from all parts of the world are seen. A series of interconnecting roads was used as the race course.

    • Contributor: Bitzer, G. W. - Weed, A. E. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Carriers leaving building, U.S.P.O. [Version 2] /

    Male letter carriers of the U.S. Post Office are the subject of this series on the Postal Department. The camera was placed to show a large number of uniformed mail carriers as they leave the main post office to deliver letters. They can be seen walking down the steps of the building toward the camera position. Some mount bicycles and ride away, while others ...

    • Contributor: Weed, A. E. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • 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 ...

    • Contributor: Bitzer, G. W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • New York City "ghetto" fish market /

    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, probably on or near Hester Street, which at the turn of the century was the center of commerce for ...

    • Contributor: Smith, James Blair - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903