Railways, Subways, Phantom Rides-03

Empire State Express
P: American Mutoscope & Biograph. USA 1902

Empire State Express was a phenomenal hit that thrilled – and momentarily terrorized – unsuspecting viewers. In one instance, ‘two ladies in one of the boxes on the left-hand side of the horseshoe, which is just where the flyer vanishes from view, screamed and nearly fainted as it came apparently rushing upon them. They recovered in time to laugh at their needless excitement.’ Such films attracted their own constituency. Biograph’s first night at Hammerstein’s, for example, was attended by a large group of men from the New York Central Railroad; on the following Thursday, the railroad bought a block of two hundred seats in the orchestra.”
Charles Musser: The Emergence of Cinema. The American Screen to 1907. Berkeley-Los Angeles-London 1990, p. 152 ff.


Railroading in the East. Train Films 1897-1906.
Print: Library of Congress
Collection of films made by Edison and Biograph
(Speed: 0,5 recommended)

“In the 1890s illustrated lectures, often known as ‘lantern journeys’, featured railroads as the best way to reach and view American scenery. These frequently created a spatially coherent world with views of the train passing through the countryside, of the traveler/lecturer in the train, of scenery that could be seen out the window or from the front of the train, and finally of small incidents on sidings or at railway stations. The railroad, which carried its passengers through the countryside, was ideally suited for moving the narrative forward through time and space.”
Charles Musser: Before the Nickelodeon. Edwin S. Porter and the Edison Manufacturing Company. Berkeley/Los Angeles/Oxford 1991, p. 261

See also:


TRAUM UND EXZESS, S. 118 f. (about Black Diamond Express)