Top of page

Film, Video Toto Brothers Unidentified Peters No 3: Vaudeville acts

Digital viewing copy

About this Item


  • Toto Brothers

Other Title

  • Unidentified Peters No 3: Vaudeville acts


  • Opening title identifies this as a "balancing and iron jaw novelty act." Cuts to a long shot of a stage with a carpet and dark curtains as a backdrop, in front of which stand four chairs and a table. From stage left enters a man wearing dark leotards with a single-shouldered top, a waist belt, and dark high-top shoes with a white border. From stage right tumbles a male clown dressed in a white sailor suit and cap. The two engage in a slap-and-tumble novelty turn. The man then carefully positions two chairs facing each other on the carpet, but as he attends to one the clown sits in the other laughing, until it is yanked out from under him by his impatient "brother." This bit is repeated with the other chair. Finally, the two chairs are positioned correctly and the man performs a balancing act across them, with one arm on one chair and his feet on the other. Behind him, the clown grabs another chair and unsuccessfully attempts his own balancing act. His balancing brother, in the meantime, lowers himself as if doing a one-handed pushup, grabs in his mouth a handkerchief placed on the chair, and raises back up. He then encourages the clown to attempt the same act, with the expected humorous result that the chairs are pushed apart and the clown falls to the ground between them. The clown is picked up by his brother and tossed out of the way.
  • While his brother lays on the carpet and balances two stacked chairs in one hand as he moves about, the clown tries to balance some sort of stick in his mouth. Cut to intertitle: "You will notice I do all the work, but a double act gets more money, so I carry the brother with me." Cuts back to the man still balancing the stacked chairs from reclining, standing, and sitting positions, as the clown first tries a headstand and then balances his midsection on the back of a chair and scuttles it across the floor. The brothers then move the table to center stage. Cuts to intertitle: "You must have lock-jaw to do this." Cuts back to a closer shot as the man places a chair on top of the table and two others to either side of him, kneels down, grabs the corner of the table in his mouth, and slowly rises to his feet with the table in his teeth and a chair held high in each hand. In the background, the clown fails at a balancing act with a single chair. His brother then lowers the furniture back to the ground and gestures to the camera. Cuts to intertitle: "To fully appreciate this stunt, try it on your kitchen table when you get home." Cuts to the man placing a chair on the edge of the table, on which the clown sits. The iron-jaw brother then grabs a rung of the chair in his mouth and its front legs in his hands, and begins to lift the chair and clown in his teeth. Film ends abruptly.


  • Spanuth, Hans A., production
  • Toto Brothers
  • Commonwealth Pictures Corporation
  • AFI/Peters (S.E.) Collection (Library of Congress)

Created / Published

  • United States : [Commonwealth Pictures Corp., 1919 or 1920?].


  • -  Clowning--United States
  • -  Clowns--United States
  • -  Tricks
  • -  Tumbling--United States
  • -  Strong men--United States


  • Filmed vaudeville acts
  • Silent films
  • Short films
  • Nonfiction films


  • -  No copyright registration or production and distribution information could be found for an act under this name, but the film appears to be an uncopyrighted Spanuth's original vod-a-vil movie given the similarities in title graphics and camera technique to identified Spanuths.
  • -  Film is on r1 of two reels that contain the four acts in Spanuth's original vod-a-vil movies release no. 38, interspersed with four unidentified vaudeville films. LC also holds reel 2. Nitrate deterioration from the original film is printed throughout.
  • -  Duration: 5:23 at 18 fps.
  • -  Fourth film on reel with: Kruger and Ward, Allen Brothers, and Three jumping Tommies.
  • -  Sources used: Copyright catalog, motion pictures, 1912-1939; M/B/RS copyright descriptions; M/B/RS Acquisition files (AFI/Peters file); M/B/RS shelflist cards.
  • -  Performers: Toto Brothers.
  • -  Filmed in Chicago Illinois, probably in 1918 or 1919.
  • -  Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files.


  • viewing print 1 film reel of 2 (r1) (362 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm.
  • dupe neg pic 1 film reel of 2 (r1) (362 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • FEA 2900 (viewing print)
  • FPD 9067 (dupe neg pic)


  • Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA dcu

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 96521479

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright or other restrictions in the vast majority of motion pictures in these collections. Absent any such restrictions, these materials are free to use and reuse.

In rare cases, copyrighted motion pictures are made available by special permission to the Library and may be used only for educational purposes. For example, the Gershwin home movies fall within this category. Rights assessment is your responsibility. No registration information exists for some titles, and reproduction of some titles may be restricted by privacy rights, publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Additionally, some works may still be protected by copyright in the United States or some foreign countries. The written permission of the copyright owners in materials not in the public domain is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions.

Whenever possible, we provide information that we have about copyright owners and related matters in the catalog records, finding aids and other texts that accompany collections. You should consult the catalog information that accompanies each item for specific information. This catalog data provides the details known to the Library of Congress regarding the corresponding item and may assist you in making independent assessments of the legal status of these items for their desired uses. You should also consult restrictions associated with donations to the Library.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division.

More about Copyright and other Restrictions.

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Toto Brothers, Commonwealth Pictures Corporation, and Afi/Peters. Toto Brothers. produceds by Spanuth, Hans A.Uction [United States: Commonwealth Pictures Corp., or 1920?, 1919] Video.

APA citation style:

Toto Brothers, Commonwealth Pictures Corporation & Afi/Peters. (1919) Toto Brothers. Spanuth, H. A. U., prod [United States: Commonwealth Pictures Corp., or 1920?] [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Toto Brothers, Commonwealth Pictures Corporation, and Afi/Peters. Toto Brothers. prod by Spanuth, Hans A.Uction [United States: Commonwealth Pictures Corp., or 1920?, 1919] Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.