Tag Archives: very short

Vision in the Forest (1957)

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Institution: Internet Archive
Collection: Prelinger Archives

Running time: 05m 11s
Source film:  16mm; color; sound
Year: 1957
Sponsored by: United States Forest Service, The Advertising Council, Inc.
Published by: United States Department of Agriculture

Narrator: Vaughn Monroe
Cast: Vaughn Monroe, Chris Monroe, Candace Monroe, Marian Monroe


If you find yourself in these last summer days longing for a walk in the woods, beware of the potential forces you may encounter, for they carry messages of grave importance!  I don’t mean to imply that they’ll necessarily be scary, but that depends entirely on your tolerance for the sudden appearance of talking, anthropomorphic bears or — if we’re being real, here — strangers in bear suits lurking in the woods.
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The Boxing Cats (Prof. Welton’s) (1894)

Watch on Library of Congress

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

Other title: Boxing cats
Running time: 00m 22s
Source film: 35mm; b&w; silent
Year: 1894
Director: William K.L. Dickson
Cast: Henry Welton
Production: Thomas A. Edison; Edison Manufacturing Co., Black Maria Studio
Photography/Camera: William Heise


As far as inventor loyalties go, I’ve always considered myself part of Team Tesla rather than Camp Alva Edison, but one can’t argue the progress made at Edison’s Black Maria Studio in the early days of the moving image. (Ignore the fact that the earliest motion picture camera was likely engineered not by Edison, but by his employee, William K.L. Dickson; while you’re at it, strike Eadweard Muybridge from your memory too). In just a year’s time after the studio’s construction in West Orange, New Jersey, Edison and his cohorts were pumping out films of dancers, sneezes, and even cockfights, all of which clocked in at well under 60 seconds. Among these early films was 1894’s The Boxing Cats (Prof. Welton’s) — known more simply as Boxing Cats — which modern media outlets have come to recognize as “The Film Demonstrating That Our Freakish Obsession with Cat Videos Transcends Time and Space.”

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Would You Vote For a Woman for President? (1964)

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Institution: Northeast Historic Film
Collection: WCSH Collection
Identifier: 1619.0024
Item Record @ oldfilm.org

Running Time: 0m 54s
Source film: 16mm; b&w; sound
Year: 1964
Reporter: Lew Colby


On a rainy, January 1964 day in Portland, Maine, WCSH-TV reporter Lew Colby hit the streets with a camera crew and a microphone to address the pressing question of the day. After Maine’s own Republican Senator, Margaret Chase Smith, had voiced an interest in running for the presidency that year, the voting population was confronted with a startling potential choice: vote for a man … or vote for a woman!

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College Professor Talks on Feminine Beauty and Brains-Outtakes (1932)

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Institution: University of South Carolina, Moving Image Research Collection
Collection: Fox Movietone News Collection

Running time: 03m26s
Source film: 35mm; Nitrate; B&W; Negative; 300 feet
Year: 1932
Production: Fox Movietone News
Camera: Jack Painter


For marriage counselor, date palm farmer, and eugenicist Paul Popenoe, the divorce rate in the early 1930s — whatever it may have been — was very likely a ghastly figure. There’s no telling how he would have reacted had he lived in a time where nearly half of all American marriages end in splitsville.

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Bear Attends Classes-Outtakes (1929)

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Institution: University of South Carolina Moving Image Research Collections
Collection: Fox Movietone News Collection

Running time: 03m58s13ms
Source film: 35mm; Nitrate; B&W; Negative; 300 feet
Video quality: Good
Year: 1929
Camera: Frank Lamb


While attending a liberal state university in the early 2000s, it was not uncommon to see students or faculty bringing their dogs around campus. (I never had the distinct pleasure of having one in a class I attended, but I would have welcomed it). In this silent footage shot by cameraman Frank Lamb, we see a different sort of animal being paraded around the campus of Georgia Tech: a small bear named Bruin, a gift to football player Jack “Stumpy” Thompson following GT’s 1929 Rose Bowl win over California.

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