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Sulphur Springs Collection of Pre-Nickelodeon Films

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    • [Gymnastics]

    • Unknown
    • n.d.
    • Two male gymnasts perform routines on high parallel bars in an outdoor arena that resembles a period baseball park with a roof over part of the grandstands. In the background, six men seated on chairs before the empty grandstands watch them perform...
    • [Pillow Fight Scene]

    • Unidentified
    • n.d.
    • A one-shot film taken on a bedroom set features about a dozen young girls in long nightgowns engaged in a pillow fight with feathers flying. Though pillow fight scenes were generic in early cinema, catalog descriptions of similar subjects offered...
    • [Trio of Acrobats]

    • Unknown
    • 1901
    • In this one-shot film, three vaudeville acrobats in make-up and ethnic costumes suggesting a Scottish motif perform comic somersaults, head stands, and other tumbling on a makeshift stage. The stage curtain which depicts a river scene droops...
    • Epopee napoleonienne: Crossing Mt. St. Bernard

    • Pathe Freres
    • ca. 1903-1904
    • The film consists of a one-shot tableau of Napoleon's soldiers, horses, and artillery moving through a wintry Alpine scene, rendered on an elaborate set complete with falling snow. Many costumed extras are posed or moving in several planes of the...
    • Inexhaustible Cab

    • Lubin Manufacturing Company
    • 1901
    • This one-shot comedy was taken on a city street with a white shuttered, two-story building in the background, a fire-plug and police call-box on the corner in mid-ground, and a horse-drawn wagon parked at the curb around the corner. As passersby...
    • Japs Loading and Firing a Gun on Battleship 'Asam'

    • Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
    • ca. 1904
    • This is one of several actualities taken on the Japanese warship and offered for sale by Edison in March, 1904. Photographed in medium long shot, four Japanese sailors overseen by an officer operate a heavy gun. The print uses the Edison sprockets...
    • Life Of An American Fireman

    • Lubin Manufacturing Company
    • 1905
    • Perhaps the most intriguing film of the Sulphur Springs discovery is Lubin's imitation of the famous Porter/Edison Life Of An American Fireman. The title, along with a two-column description first appeared in the Lubin catalog issued in May, 1905...
    • S.S. 'Coptic'

    • Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
    • 1898
    • This is a one-shot scene taken from the side of a ship moving in rough seas. In the foreground we see the ship's railing with two life preservers attached; the name 'Coptic' is readable on one. Musser's account of the production of the eight Coptic...
    • The Counterfeiters

    • Lubin Manufacturing Company
    • 1905
    • This sophisticated story film containing at least twenty-seven shots details the investigation of a gang of counterfeiters by U.S. Secret Service agents. In shot 6, the old woman aiding the counterfeiters exits their attic work room then returns...
    • The Golf Girls and the Tramp

    • Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
    • 1902
    • With a set representing a low wall, a tree, and a half-moon in the sky, this one-shot comedy depicts two female golfers frightened by the approach of a Tramp. One woman resourcefully alters her golfing clothes and golf bags to make it appear she is...
    • The Goose Takes a Trolley Ride

    • Lubin Manufacturing Company
    • 1903
    • In shot 1 of this threeshot comedy, a young woman boards a streetcar with a man who's carrying a live goose. In shot 2, men already seated inside reading newspapers offer seats to the young woman, while ignoring an older, heavy woman. When the...
    • Two Rubes at the Theater

    • Lubin Manufacturing Company
    • 1901
    • The surviving title of this one-shot film reads '2 Rubes In The Theater'. In a medium shot, two jovial rubes are seated in a theater with several other people. The rubes laugh and point at off-screen action, using opera glasses and spectacles to...

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