• Film, Video
    Latina, contortionist
    Latina, contortionist-act-with-rings
    A woman wearing a light-colored leotard, gathered at the waist, and tights stands against a black background. Although she is filmed in a long shot, her feet are cut off in the frame. She opens with a flourish of her arms and faces the camera. First stretching up with her arms, Latina then bends in half at the waist, steps into a metal ring ...
    • Contributor: Latina - Bitzer, G. W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1905
  • Film, Video
    From show girl to burlesque queen
    Dressing room scene, from show girl to burlesque queen
    Opens on a dressing room set with a mirror, dressing table, and chair center stage and a folded dressing screen on the left. A smiling, dark-haired woman enters through the door on stage right, unbuttoning a full-length polka-dot costume. As she undresses, she frequently looks directly at the camera and smiles. She removes her sash or cummerbund, the top with its trailing sleeves, and ...
    • Contributor: Weed, A. E. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    Stealing a dinner
    Stealing a dinner by dogs
    A man sits at the dinner table, with a row of dogs behind him and a black dog sitting near the table in the foreground. When the master rings a bell for service, a dog enters on her hind legs dressed in a servant's cap and apron. As she hops toward the table, however, a cat jumps upon the surface. The master tosses the ...
    • Contributor: Leonidas - Bitzer, G. W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    Crissie Sheridan
    Serpentine dance in national colors
    A woman in a white gown performs a skirt dance, using her arms to produce circles and other patterns within the folds of her costume. Her legs and feet appear to be bare.
    • Contributor: Sheridan, Crissie - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Heise, William
    • Date: 1897
  • Film, Video
    The society raffles Opens on a set of a nicely-decorated living room, with a door stage left and a settee in front of an open window in the foreground. A middle-aged man with greying hair and a mustache, wearing formal evening clothes, enters the room, looks around, and seems relieved to find it empty. He crosses to the window and signals, and a roughly-dressed "tough" appears. The ...
    • Contributor: Dobson, F. A. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1905
  • Film, Video
    Mr. Jack in the dressing room
    Mr. Jack visits the dressing room
    Opens on a stage set of the interior of a theatrical dressing room. Along a bar that serves as a dressing table sit three costumed young women--perhaps chorus girls or members of a burlesque troope--adjusting their hair and makeup in three mirrors hanging from the wall. Two of the women wear very short outfits that show their stockinged legs; the third woman is dressed ...
    • Contributor: Weed, A. E. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1904
  • Film, Video
    A frontier flirtation
    Frontier flirtation, or how the tenderfoot won out | How the tenderfoot won out
    Opens on a stage with a painted backdrop of a forest or garden. On a park bench center stage sits a well-dressed woman with a dark veil obscuring her face, holding an open parasol overhead and a closed fan in her lap. A mustached cowboy enters, dressed in fringed chaps, boots, Western hat, neck kerchief, and pistol belt. When he spies the woman, he ...
    • Contributor: Bitzer, G. W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    Charity ball A man in formal dinner clothes and a woman in a white ruffled dress with a flower corsage and white shoes execute various dance steps designed as exhibition dancing. The set is bare, without backdrops or props. The couple's feet are not evident at times in the frame, and the dance appears to have been shot in relatively slow motion.
    • Contributor: Heise, William - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Kelley, James T. - Kent, Dorothy - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1897
  • Film, Video
    Latina, dislocation act Opens with a repeat of the last scene in "Latina, contortionist." In a medium shot from the bust up, Latina faces the camera and interlaces her fingers with her arms held out in front of her, palms towards the camera and elbows pointed out. In that position, she raises her arms over and behind her head and then down her back, dislocating her shoulders ...
    • Contributor: Latina - Bitzer, G. W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1905
  • Film, Video
    Princess Rajah dance
    Princess Rajah, dance with chair
    Princess Rajah performs an "Oriental" or belly dance, and a balancing chair act in her teeth like that often found in folk performances in various cultures from Northern Africa to Greece. Shot outdoors in a street scene at the St. Louis Exposition, the film captures her act in an extreme long shot. She wears a dark, sleeveless dress to mid-calf, with a fringed, low-cut ...
    • Contributor: Princess Rajah - Weed, A. E. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1904
  • Film, Video
    Fougère Opens on a stage with a painted backdrop of what appears to be clouds [K.R. Niver sees the background as rolling waves]. From the left of the frame enters Eugenie Fougère in a strutting type of leg movement, shot in profile but with her face turned toward the camera. She wears a dress with a dark, lace-patterned, low-cut bodice, striped sleeves, and a frilly ...
    • Contributor: Fougère, Eugenie - Armitage, F. S. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1902
  • Film, Video
    Cake walk
    Coon cake walk | Darkey cake walk | Cakewalk
    Five African Americans--three men and two women--perform a cakewalk, a dance featuring fancy strutting that was named after the prize awarded in the original contests. The dancers wear rather formal attire, with the men in dark suits and black tie and the women in full-length, high-collared dark dresses; one woman carries a small American flag. As they step in place against a light background, ...
    • Contributor: American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    Bicycle trick riding, no. 2
    Bicycle trick riding
    Opens with a man riding a bicycle in a backwards circle, on a stage with a painted backdrop of a city street. He dismounts, then remounts the cycle and rides in a forwards circle, pausing and balancing for a moment as he rears up and spins the front wheel. Continuing in the circle, the man moves in front of the handlebars and continues pedaling ...
    • Contributor: Neidert - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1899
  • Film, Video
    Happy Hooligan
    Happy Hooligan interferes
    Opens on a stage set of a house exterior, complete with a door, window, and ivy on the walls. In front of the house, an organ-grinder plays as Happy Hooligan listens and claps along merrily. The Hooligan character is dressed as a tramp in a ragged and torn suit, and sports a bald pate with an incredibly tiny hat perched atop it. A middle-aged ...
    • Contributor: Bitzer, G. W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    Spirit of '76 Dramatic recreation of the ca. 1875 painting "The spirit of '76" by Archibald M. Willard. Film opens on a stage with a painted backdrop of a battlefield and stage props of dirt, stones, and a broken wagon wheel. From stage left marches a trio of Revolutionary soldiers in a fife and drum corps. As in the painting, the center drummer is a tall, older, ...
    • Contributor: Bitzer, G. W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Willard, Archibald M.
    • Date: 1905
  • Film, Video
    Turkish dance, Ella Lola A young, dark-haired woman performs a period "Oriental" dance (commonly known as a belly dance) with some Turkish styling. She performs distinctive dance movements that include shoulder shimmies with pelvic movements and several foot patterns, side traveling movements with pelvic circles, a slow pelvic circle and a front pelvic lock, and paddle turns with various arm gestures. Her dance costume consists of a two-layered ...
    • Contributor: Lola, Ella - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1898
  • Film, Video
    Dance, Franchonetti Sisters
    Dance, Franchenette Sisters
    Three young women with dark, curly hair stand on a stage with a black background and patterned carpet or tile underfoot. They wear tights, ballet shoes, and frilly dresses to the knee with multiple petticoats and ruffled drawers. They begin by raising their right legs up by their heads, and then perform a dance with a variety of kicks and leg movements, their hands ...
    • Contributor: Franchonetti Sisters - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    Sandow
    Sandow (no breathing)
    Strong-man Eugene (Eugen) Sandow poses in a long shot on a bare stage against a black background, wearing only tight trunks and laced sandals. He begins with his arms folded against his chest, looking off screen left, then strikes a variety of poses that accentuate his muscular development. These positions include flexing his right arm with the fist to his head and face to ...
    • Contributor: Sandow, Eugen - American Mutoscope Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1896
  • Film, Video
    The serenaders Opens on a stage set of a two-story brick building. Two street serenaders in rather shabby clothes stand outside the building, one playing a trombone and the other what appears to be a clarinet. A young woman appears in the upstairs window and looks down smiling on the two suitors. She soon favors and encourages the trombonist by throwing kisses and clutching her chest, ...
    • Contributor: Bitzer, G. W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1899
  • Film, Video
    Pity the blind, no. 2 Filmed version of a popular vaudeville gag, as if from the audience of a variety theater. A boy, holding a sign under his arm, leads a man onto a stage with a painted backdrop of a city street corner. With his dark glasses and cane, the man is apparently blind. He kneels down slightly left of center stage and lays down his hat and ...
    • Contributor: Weed, A. E. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1904
  • Film, Video
    Admiral cigarette
    We all smoke
    44332 U.S. Copyright Office Copyright: Thos. A. Edison; 5Aug1897; 44332. Camera, William Heise. Duration: 0:25 at 30 fps. Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files.
    • Contributor: Heise, William - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1897
  • Film, Video
    Arabian gun twirler A bearded man performs a rifle twirling act on a stage with a painted backdrop of a city street corner. He wears a white turban and a dark two-piece costume of tunic and baggy pants that narrow at the knees; perhaps the costume of an Arab infantryman. The tricks he performs include throwing the spinning rifle in the air and catching it; twirling the ...
    • Contributor: Cheriff, Hadji - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1899
  • Film, Video
    The extra turn Camera is positioned as if in the audience of a vaudeville show. A man and two women, all in evening clothes, are seated in a theater box to the left of a stage with curtains and a painted backdrop of trees. A young woman in a white dress, identified by a sign as "Dolly Lightfoot," performs a simple dance with leg kicks. The audience ...
    • Contributor: Porter, Edwin S. - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    Subub surprises the burglar
    Subbubs surprises the burglar
    Opens on a bedroom set, with a man in a white nightshirt asleep on a Murphy bed. The bedroom window is raised from the outside, and a man dressed in black clothes and cap enters, furtively looks around the room, and checks to see that the bed's occupant is asleep. The burglar then rummages through the clothes in a chest of drawers and, finding ...
    • Contributor: Porter, Edwin S. - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    The tramp's unexpected skate On a stage with a painted backdrop of a terrace overlooking a park, a man identified as a tramp by his ragged costume and beard lies asleep against a potted palm tree. Two boys enter from screen right, each rolling on one skate. They see the sleeping tramp, communicate to each other through gestures the gag they have in mind, and bend down to ...
    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1901