A Star is Born

R & B: Urban Gad. K: Alfred Lind. D: Asta Nielsen. H. Neergaard, Robert Dinesen. P: Kosmorama, Kopenhagen. Dk 1910
Engl. subtitles

“After Joyless Street (1925), Asta Nielsen was called the greatest tragedienne since Sarah Bernardt. However, her fame was established fifteen years earlier with her first screen appearance in ‘The Abyss’ (Afgrunden), a film of sexual bondage and passion featuring the erotic ‘gaucho’ dance in which Nielsen, a respectable girl led astray, ties up her lover with a whip on stage as she twists her body around his provocatively.  ‘The Abyss’ was an explosive success and Nielsen became, overnight, the first international star of the cinema, celebrated from Moscow to Rio de Janeiro. Her performance brought people to the cinema who had never before taken it seriously as an art form. Her personal appearances drew crowds around the world. (…)
Between 1910 and 1915, Nielsen and [her husband and director] Gad collaborated on over thirty films, establishing the signature style of her first period. In these early films, Nielsen’s sensuality is matched by her intelligence, resourcefulness, and a boyish physical agility. Her expressive face and body seem immediate and modern, especially when compared with the exaggerated gestures that were common in early cinema. Her powerful, slim figure and large, dark eyes, set off by dramatic, suggestive costums, allowed her to cross class and even gender lines convincingly.”
Janet Bergstrom: Asta Nielsen (1881-1972). In: Geoffrey Nowell-Smith (ed.): The Oxford History of World Cinema. Oxford University Press 1997, p. 25

Asta Nielsen
Photographs and Posters

More Asta Nielsen:

>>> Den sorte Drøm , Balletdanserinden Die Filmprimadonna (Fragment)Die Suffragette, Das Mädchen ohne Vaterland


New Media around 1900 – 07

How a French Nobleman Got a Wife through the New York Herald Personal Columns
R: Edwin S. Porter.  P: Edison Manufacturing Co.  USA 1904

Edison‘s principle domestic rival in 1904 was once again the American Mutoscope & Biograph Company. Biograph was then producing a series of popular story films, which it used as exclusives for its exhibition circuits. Edison affiliated renters and exhibitors were deeply frustrated that they could not acquire these films. Taking advantage of this demand and eager to harm its competitor, the Edison Company had Edwin S. Porter remake several of Biograph’s hits. This one was a remake of Personal. Ultimately, Biograph had to sell its story films as soon as they were shown in theaters, undermining its exhibition service. Biograph sued Edison for copyright infringement on this film, but lost.”

R: Wallace McCutcheon. P: American Mutoscope & Biograph. USA 1904

“Although the chase is implied throughout most of The Great Train Robbery , it only becomes explicit for a single shot. The Escaped Lunatic , in contrast, makes the chase the dominant element of the film, as it would be for subsequent Biograph subjects such as Personal (June 1904 next hit) and The Lost Child (October 1904). As used by Biograph, the chase encouraged a simplification of story line and a linear progression of narrative that made the need for a familiar story or a showman’s narration unnecessary. These chase films locate the redundancy within the films themselves as pursuers and pursued engage repeatedly, with only slight variation, in the same activity. Rather than having a lecture explain images in a parallel fashion, rather than having the viewer’s familiarity with a story provide the basis for an understanding, chase films created a self-sufficient narrative in which the viewer’s appreciation was based chiefly on the experience of information presented within the film.”
Charles Musser: Before the Nickelodeon. Edwin S. Porter and the Edison Manufacturing Company. Berkeley / Los Angeles / Oxford 1991, p. 240

Getting Evidence
R: Edwin S. Porter. D: Paul Panzer. P: Edison Manufacturing Co. USA 1906

“This movie has a lot in common with Mr. Flip, that came out a few years later. The comedy hinges on a man being a persistent pest, and not taking the hint when he is upbraided for his behavior. The seltzer spritz* and wheelbarrow scene are also similar to some of the punishments Ben Turpin suffers in that film. Unlike Turpin, however, this comedian doesn’t really add much to his pratfalls, he just takes the abuse when it comes. He isn’t funny in himself, it’s just that some of the things that happen to him are funny. The car running over him is pretty convincing, although I think it was done with jump cuts and a dummy.”
Century Film Project

*Wine Spritzer vs. Hard Seltzer

Max fait de la photo
R: Lucien Nonguet. D: Max Linder. P: Pathé. Fr 1913
Engl. version

TRAUM UND EXZESS, S. 242 and S. 245

Early Sitcoms: Max Linder (1)

Max reprend sa liberté
R: Max Linder. D: Max Linder. P: Pathé. Fr 1912
Engl. version

Max prend un bain
R: Lucien Nonguet.  D: Max Linder. P: Pathé. Fr 1910

Idylle a la ferme
R: Max Linder. D: Max Linder. P: Pathé. Fr 1912

Une nuit agitée
R: Max Linder. D: Max Linder. P: Pathé. Fr 1912

“Der künstlerische Wert und Sinn dieser Szenen wäre auch gleich null und noch weniger, wenn sie nicht von Max Linder gespielt würden. So ist er ein markanter Typus des Kinoschauspielers, einer, der nicht nur aus dem Sprechunvermögen heraus Großes leistet, sondern der bei diesem Bemühen so weit gelangt ist, daß hinter der Bedeutung seines Spiels die Bedeutung der dargestellten Szene vollkommen zurücktritt, weil sie eben nur die eine Bedeutung haben darf, die, daß Max Linder sie spielt. Ein jedes Mehr wäre hier ein Weniger. Auch die Gleichartigkeit und Aehnlichkeit der dargestellten Szenen ist kein Mangel und langweilt auch nie, weil in ihnen das Leben einer seltenen schauspielerischen Individualität pulsiert. Die schauspielerische Elastizität Max Linders ist ganz besonders erstaunlich. Aus einer Handbewegung, aus einer gewollten und stets unnachahmlich gelungenen Ungeschicklichkeit geht oft mehr hervor als aus raffinierten und tiefen gedanklichen Erwägungen. In der Art, wie er sich eine Zigarre anzündet, liegt oft mehr Geist als man unserer ideenarmen Zeit zutrauen dürfte und die Verwirrung, die die Tatsache, daß er raucht – er stößt vielleicht mit der Zigarre an einen Neubau an, der dann natürlich zusammenstürzt, man wundert sich, daß die Trümmer noch existieren – anzurichten imstande ist, scheint mir nicht nur auf die Wertlosigkeit der Kinowelt einem solchen Vorgang gegenüber hinzudeuten, sondern vielmehr die falsche, geschäftliche Wertschätzung zu verulken, die so oft in der wirklichen Welt herrscht, die es gar nicht auf der Leinwand gibt. Darum ist es zu bedauern, daß wir uns am Abend vor die Leinwand drängen müssen, um uns über die mißlungenen Versuche eines falschen Ehrgeizes von ihm trösten zu lassen, auf daß er uns erklärt, wie nebensächlich, wie bedeutungslos das ist, daß das Leben höchstens ein Kinoschauspiel wert ist, ein Kinoschauspiel, wie Max Linder es spielt. O daß wir doch alle so frei, so leicht und ungehemmt wie er sein könnten!”
Erste Internationale Film-Zeitung, 9.11.1912

>>> Early Sitcoms: Max Linder (2)



Louis Feuillade’s Series Bout-de-zan

Bout-de-zan vole un éléphant
R: Louis Feuillade. D: René Poyen. P: Gaumont. Fr 1913

Feuillade had been making the Bébé series with child actor René Dary ([i.e. Clément Mary] who would later enjoy a career in the talkies) but Dary’s parents insisted on more and more money for their son’s services and so a younger René was engaged, our Bout de Zan. (…) As you can probably tell, this is a lightweight short designed to showcase both the charms of its tiny star and the impeccable training of the little elephant. It succeeds brilliantly on both counts with Bout de Zan never simpering or wearing out his welcome with saccharine behavior, nor does he come off as homicidal or sociopathic, which was sometimes the case with Bébé (and Jackie Coogan). He’s a rascal and he’s proud of it and he will likely continue to be a rascal for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, he and his elephant are taken in by Mommy Warbucks and she seems to find their antics appealing so a happy ending all around. The film was released in the United States just a few months after its French debut, as was common practice before the First World War made such importation challenging. It was renamed Tiny Tim and the Adventures of His Elephant and apparently expands the story somewhat with the use of title cards. (…) This retitling and expanding a story to appeal to local audiences showcases the versatility of silent films. Minor details like character names could be changed but some distributors went even further and completely reworked the thing with a whole new plot and perhaps the original ending snipped off. In the case of Bout de Zan Steals an Elephant, the main changes seem to be jokey title cards added in but the general structure of the film remained intact.”
Fritzi Kramer
Movies Silently

Bout-de-zan et l’embusqué
R: Louis Feuillade. D: René Poyen. P: Gaumont. Fr 1915
Engl. version

Buster Brown, an American colleague of Bout-de-zan:

Buster’s Dog to the Rescue / Buster’s Revenge on the Tramp / Buster and Tige Put a Baloon Vender out of Business / Buster and the Nude / Buster Makes Room for his Mama at the Bargain Counter
R: Edwin S.Porter. B: Richard Felton Outcault. P: Edison Manufacturing Company. USA 1904

Richard Felton Outcault was one of the comic pioneers, and often credited as the inventor of the comic strip. Coming from Lancaster, Ohio, Outcault was a graduate from the McMicken University in Cincinnati, who studied art in Paris, and eventually settled in New York. After doing illustration work for publications like The Electrical World, Life and Judge, he was hired by media tycoon Joseph Pulitzer to come and work for the New York World in 1894.
For this newspaper, Outcault made series of cartoons set in certain quarters in Manhattan, which eventually resulted in the feature ‘Down in Hogan’s Alley’. Being one of the first continuing series with a regular cast, one character stood out. At the time, it was still difficult to use yellow ink in color printing, since it didn’t dry properly. When one of the World’s foremen of the color-press room wanted to experiment with a new type of yellow ink, he used the shirt of one of Outcault’s characters as a test area. ‘The Yellow Kid’ was born.”
Lambiek Comiclopedia

>>> Feuillade’s Fantômas


André Deed as Cretinetti

Come Cretinetti paga i debiti
D: André Deed. P: Itala Film. It 1909

Come fu che l’ingordigia rovinò il Natale a Cretinetti
D: André Deed. P: Itala Film. It 1910

“Not long after Deed made his film debut, a decidedly different comedian established himself as Deed’s most formidable rival.  That comedian was the irrepressible Max Linder.  Deed and Linder were the yin and yang of early film comedy.  But, at first, Linder did not seem as influential as Deed, who spawned far more imitators than Linder.  There was, however, a good reason for that.  Linder derived comedy from his distinct charm and personality.  How could anyone really be Max Linder except for Max Linder himself?  Deed played a bungling idiot who created destruction wherever he went.  That was an easier formula to replicate. (…)
Deed, a protégé of Georges Méliès, is the missing link between Méliès and Mack Sennett. He achieved popularity with camera-trick gags and slapstick chases. An early success for Deed was The Wig Chase (1906), which was written by André Heuzé. This film, which was about a woman’s wig floating away with balloons and a mob of people climbing up the Eiffel Tower to retrieve it, established an effective formula of fantastic comic anarchy for the comedian. Heuzé later applied the same formula to The Runaway Horse (1908), a highly successful comedy that was quickly remade by Biograph as The Curtain Pole (1909). The Biograph film starred Mack Sennett as Monsieur Dupont, who was made up to resemble a grotesque version of the dapper Linder. This funny and energetic film set Sennett on a path that would eventually lead the young filmmaker to launch the Keystone studio.”
Anthony Balducci
Anthony Balducci’s Journal

>>> Runaway Horses

Le delizie della caccia
D: André Deed, Valentina Frascaroli. P: Itala Film. It 1910

Troppo bello!
D: André Deed. P: Itala Film. It 1909
Print: Museo Nazionale del Cinema

“Silent cinema is in some ways a cinema of exaggeration, and smoking is a useful gesture that, like clutching at one’s breast, may be overrepresented there. The density of smoking in the silent films (…) at times literally clouds the screen. And some smokers puff away in absurdly vogorous fashion, e.g. in the short Troppo bello (Too much Beauty) of 1909. Still, that presence provides a useful counter to the rarity of smoking in, for example, the popular press of the time. Probably real practice fell somewhere in between the two. And already in this period – few opportunities seem to have escaped these early masters – the cinematic possibilities of smoking are employed to good effect.”
Carl Ipsen: Fumo: Italy’s Love Affair with the Cigarette. Stanford University Press, 2016, p. 34


French Serial Stars

André Deed as Boireau

Le costume blanc
D: André Deed. P: Societé Anonyme des Phonographes et Cinématographes Lux. Fr 1908

321-André Deed
André Deed

“According to Sadoul, Deed had been an singer and acrobat on the café-concert circuit, performing at the Folies-Bergère and the Châtelet, and had occasionally even appeared in Méliès‘ films. His Boireau character comes out of that stage tradition, both as grotesquely bewildered clown and a skillful practioneer of physical gags. (…) By repeatedly stitching together adjacent spaces into short, unified scenes, the Boireau series (…) seems to have established an economical narrative model that could continually prepare for, extend, and conclude its comic business and run at least as long, if not longer than, Pathé’s other comic films.”
Richard Abel: The Ciné Goes to Town. Berkeley-Los Angeles-London 1994, p. 228 f.

“In 1908, Itala’a artistic director Giovanni Pastrone hired away star André Deed from Pathé, where he had become famous with the character of Boireau, and renamed him Cretinetti, after a popular cartoon. Deed found new popularity in France, this time as Gribouille, and became famous in most English- and Spanish-speaking countries as, respectively, Foolshead and Toribio or Don Toribio. At Itala, the minute Deed starred in more than 90 films, some of which he directed, mainly impersonating two apparently respectable, yet restless and highly destruvtive characters: the good family boy donning a sailor suit, and the distinguished bourgeois, sporting light color outfits. No matter what sub-role Deed was playing, his surrealist display of anarchic energy remained similar.”
Giorgio Bertellini: Silent Italian Cinema: A New Medium for Old Geographies. In: Frank Burke (ed.): A Companion to Italian Cinema. John Wiley & Sons 2017, p. 38

Roméo Bosetti as director and actor

Roméo se fait bandit
R: Romeo Bosetti. D: Max Linder. P: Pathé. Fr 1909

Le tic
R: Étienne Arnaud. D: Roméo Bosetti. P: Gaumont. Fr 1908

Une dame vraiment bien
R: Louis Feuillade, Roméo Bosetti. D: Renée Carl. P: Gaumont. Fr 1908

>>> Roméo Bosetti – 1, Roméo Bosetti – 2

>>> André Deed as Cretinetti



The Monsters Are Coming

Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
R: Lucius Henderson. B: Robert Louis Stevenson (novel), Thomas Russell Sullivan (play). D: James Cruze, Florence La Badie, Marie Eline. P: Thanhouser Film Corporation. USA 1912

Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
R: Herbert Brenon. B: Herbert Brenon, Robert Louis Stevenon (novel). D: King Baggot, Jane Gail, Matt Snyder, Howard Crampton. P: Independent Moving Pictures Co. of America / Universal. USA 1913

Carl Laemmle, the son of a poor Jewish estate agent, was born in Laupheim, Germany in 1867. By 1884, he had emigrated to America and in 1905 he invested his savings into a nickelodeon chain and his fortunes were made. By 1909 he entered into film production as the Independent Motion Picture Co. as a slight against the new Motion Picture Patents Co. that planned to take control over the whole film industry. Out of the ensuing battle emerged Universal, an amalgamation of IMP, Bison, Eclair, Nestor and several other small film companies. Amongst their early productions was a successful string of films based on classic literature. One of these is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1913) starring Universal’s biggest box office draw of the day, King Baggott who had been lured to the studio by Laemmle in 1910 at the end of a stage tour.”
Classic horror

R: J. Searle Dawley. B: Mary Shelley (novel). D: Mary Fuller, Charles Ogle, Augustus Phillips. P: Edison Manufacturing Co. USA 1910

“As the popularity of motion pictures grew, so did the attention they received from moral crusaders and reform groups, who decried the new medium as being dangerous and encouraging of immorality. Some called for strict laws governing film content and some communities banned theatres all together. Knowing that these groups could pose a serious threat to his bottom line, Edison ordered that not only the production quality of his films be improved, but also their moral tone. The Trust even set up the first Board of Censors, consisting of film executives and religious and education leaders.
Frankenstein was the perfect choice to kick off production under this new moral banner. It’s a story that deals with the extremes of the human condition, life and death, and the dangers of tampering in God’s realm. Plus, Edison made sure that publicity stressed that some of the more sensational elements of the Mary Shelly‘s novel had been toned down. The March 15, 1910 edition of The Edison Kinetogram, the catalog that the Edison Company would send to distributors to hype their new films, described the film as such:
‘To those familiar with Mrs. Shelly’s story it will be evident that we have carefully omitted anything which might be any possibility shock any portion of the audience. In making the film the Edison Co. has carefully tried to eliminate all actual repulsive situations and to concentrate its endeavors upon the mystic and psychological problems that are to be found in this weird tale. Wherever, therefore, the film differs from the original story it is purely with the idea of eliminating what would be repulsive to a moving picture audience.’”
One of those changes made to the narrative concerns the creation of Frankenstein’s monster. While Shelly’s novel did not go into specifics about the monster’s creation, the creation scene in the film certainly owes more to alchemy than science. The film certainly didn’t stress the danger of unchecked scientific experimentation, not when the boss has transformed the world with his own scientific marvels. Instead, the monster is cast more as a reflection of Frankenstein’s baser instincts and dark reflection of a mind that presumed to meddle in God’s domain.”
Rich Drees: Edison’s Frankenstein -– Cinema’s First Horror Film

>>> another version of this film, 2018 restored by The Library of Congress / National Audio-Visual Conservation Center:  here

Telling a Crime Story: Four Examples

Histoire d’un crime
R: Ferdinand Zecca. P: Pathé. Fr 1901

“In April 1900, at the Paris Exposition Universelle, Charles Pathé, in a hurry to instal the pavilion allocated to him, gave the job to Zecca. He managed it so well that Pathé appointed him as assistant to the director at his Vincennes factory. From then on until 1906, Zecca himself directed or supervised several hundred Pathé films. The first of these are obvious copies or plagiarisms of English films, for example La loupe de grand-mère or Rêve et réalité, both from 1901, to cite only two.
But Zecca was soon creating his own films. A la conquête de l’air (1901) showed a strange machine, called Fend-l’air, flying over the rooftops of Belleville. Above all, one of the first dramas, L’Histoire d’un crime (1901) was stylistically innovative in its use of superimposition. Alone or with Lucien Nonguet, in 1901 Zecca began to make fairy tales (féeries). With the indefatigable Zecca in charge, dozens of films were produced at Vincennes. These were not only comedies, trick films or fairy tales, such as Les Sept châteaux du Diable, both 1901, and La Belle au bois dormant in 1902, but also social dramas like Les Victimes de l’alcoolisme (1902), Au pays noir (1905) and reconstructed actualities, the most famous being La Catastrophe de la Martinique (1902). He also acted in many of his trick films. At the end of 1906, Zecca, assisted by the Spaniard Segundo de Chomón‘s photography and special effects, started filming in colour a second Vie et Passion de N.S. Jésus Christ, in four parts and 38 scenes, 990 metres long, which he finished in 1907.”
Henri Bousquet
Who’s Who of Victorian Cinema

Les incendiaires
R: Georges Méliès. P: Star-Film. Fr 1906

Méliès‘s greatest financial successes had occurred in 1903 and 1904; by 1906, his fortunes had begun to decline as competition with other firms, such as Pathé Freres and Gaumont, became more intense. In an attempt to keep financially afloat, Méliès expanded from his usual fantasy style to try making films in the genres his competitors had made popular, including the melodramas A Desperate Crime [i.e. Les incendiaires] and The Christmas Angel and the chase film The Chimney Sweep. According to the 1944 recollections of Georges Méliès’s nephew Paul, the scenario for A Desperate Crime was written by Gaston M. (Georges’s brother and Paul’s father). The film is heavily indebted to Histoire d’un crime, a 1901 film by Méliès’s competitor Ferdinand Zecca; the plot closely follows the events of the earlier film, differing only in the details of the crime itself. On the other hand, Méliès’s film is stylistically very different from Zecca’s, which uses a faster pace and a more stringent insistence on journalistic realism. Méliès’s American catalogue claimed that the crime in the film was based on a real-life incident. The actor Manuel, who directed some films for the Méliès studio in 1908, plays the main role of the bandit who is arrested and executed. Georges Méliès probably plays the executioner’s assistant. In a highly unusual move for Méliès, many of the scenes were shot outdoors on location (…)”

Rescued by Rover
R: Lewin Fitzhamon / Cecil Hepworth. P: Cecil Hepworth. UK 1905

“In dem von Charles Hepworth 1905 gedrehten Film Rescued by Rover wird (…) die einfache Fort-Bewegung des Schäferhundes Rover in die Tiefe des Bildes dazu genutzt, um räumliche Diskontinuitäten zu überbrücken und neben der Illusion einer kontinuierlich fortschreitenden Zeit auch die sukzessive Abfolge der Handlungsorte (Villengegend, Vorstadtstraße, Flussufer, Gasse in den Slums) als die eines sozialen Auf- und Abstiegs zu verdeutlichen. Ein solcher Eindruck von der ‘Selbst’-Verständlichkeit einer Handlung hängt also nicht so sehr davon ab, wie real das Gefilmte tatsächlich ist – das heißt vom dokumentarischen Wert dessen, was einmal vor der Kamera stand oder sich bewegte, obwohl gerade die heute dokumentarisch anmutenden Ansichten der Arbeiterviertel in Rescued by Rover natürlich sehr wohl ihren eigenen Charme haben. Vielmehr ist entscheidend, ob das System, das die Bilder zu einer ‘Repräsentation’ macht, den Zuschauern verständlich ist.”
Thomas Elsaesser: Filmgeschichte und frühes Kino. Archäologie eines Medienwandels. München 2002, S. 83f.

Le Médecin du Château
P: Pathé. Fr 1908

Le Médecin du Château employed the technique of cross-cutting between a distress scene and those contacted for help as they raced for the rescue, the point of view transferring freely between the two spheres of action while action is ongoing to generate suspense and dramatise the nearing of a deadline. As with most of the race-to-the-rescue films, Le Médecin du Château used a physical connection between the two spheres of action – the telephone line – to initiate and rationalise what was widely seen at the time as the viewpoint ‘jumping’ from place to place.”
Andrew Shail: The Cinema and the Origins of Literary Modernism. Routledge 2012, p. 43.


Porter and Griffith: The Early Social Drama

Uncle Tom’s Cabin
R: Edwin S. Porter. P: Edison Manufacturing Co. USA 1903

The Ex-Convict
R: Edwin S. Porter. P: Edison Manufacturing Co. USA 1904

“An uncredited but quite obvious adaptation of a well-known vaudeville piece, Number 973, by Robert Hilliard and Edwin Holland. Starting from the Hilliard-Holland one-act playlet, Porter visualized the storyline into a total of eight scenes. Unlike Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Ex-Convict was not filmed theater but an adaptation that took advantage of the filmmaker’s ability to place a scene in an appropriate location (outside a store, home, or factory, and on the street) and to move quickly from one setting to the next. The naturalistic locales and the accelerated pace heightened the emotional intensity of the viewer’s reaction to the pathetic story, achieving a level of realism impossible on the stage. In the process of adaptation, Porter also added important new elements, notably the ex-convict’s family.”

The Kleptomaniac
R: Edwin S. Porter. P: Edison Manufacturing Co. USA 1905

“Historians since Terry Ramsaye have remarked on Porter’s articulation of social problems in The Ex- Convict and The Kleptomaniac (January 1905). These two features were part of a larger group of films, made between November 1904 and December 1905, that directly and indirectly confronted significant social issues in American life. Despite a shift away from actualities, Porter continued to conceive of cinema as a form that could inform and instruct as well as entertain. His films were still linked, albeit less directly, to the concept of a visual newspaper, for he focused on problems raised in the antitrust editorials and political cartoons of the New York Journal-American and the New York World . These pictures, which represented one of several ideological positions evident in American popular and mass culture, were the most ambitious cinematic expressions from this period.
Although several Porter/Edison films, if viewed separately, are ideologically consistent with then emerging trends of Progressive thought, as a body of work they express the often contradictory worldview of the old middle class and small-town America confronted with an era of large-scale manufacturing and monopoly capital. In short, these films remained consistent with Porter’s own experience of America while growing up in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, and with a viewpoint expressed twenty years earlier in his hometown newspaper, ‘The Keystone Courier’.”
Charles Musser: Before the Nickelodeon. Edwin S. Porter and the Edison Manufacturing Company.Berkeley / Los Angeles / Oxford 1991, p. 292

What Shall We Do With Our Old?
R: David Wark Griffith. D: W. Chrystie Miller. P: Biograph. USA 1911

TRAUM UND EXZESS, S. 136 und S. 218 f.

Flight and Wreck

Aeroplane Flight and Wreck
P und R: unbekannt. Vermutl. UK 1910.

Der Pilot in diesem Film ist vermutlich der international bekannte Flugpionier Samuel Franklin Cody aus Iowa, der im Auftrag des britischen Militärs um 1906 den Doppeldecker British Army Aeroplane No. 1 konstruiert hat. (KK)

095-Samuel Franklin CodySamuel Franklin Cody

The Wright Brothers’ 1909 Flight
P: Edison. USA 1909

Edited by Paul Glenshaw with footage from the National Archives, Wright State University, and the College Park Aviation Museum

“Airplane inventors Wilbur and Orville Wright are famed for making the first controlled, powered, heavier-than-air flights on 17 December 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Lesser-known are other flights of theirs which played an important role at the dawn of aviation history. In 1909 Wilbur was invited by the Hudson-Fulton Celebration Committee to make paid exhibition flights to help mark 300 years of New York history, including Henry Hudson discovering Manhattan and Robert Fulton starting a successful commercial steamboat service on the Hudson River. The committee wanted the Wrights to demonstrate flights over the water around New York City. Orville was making flights for customers in Germany, so Wilbur, who had just finished training U.S. Army pilots, accepted the job. (…)
On Monday, October 4, Wilbur took off at 9:53 AM. He flew north over the Hudson along the west shore of Manhattan, passing Grant’s Tomb, then returned by the same route, finishing the 21 mile, 33-minute flight with a safe landing on Governor’s Island.[2] As many as a million people witnessed the flight. This was the exact flight that Curtiss had been unable to make. Before the flight, Wilbur attached a red canoe to the bottom of the airplane as a safety precaution in case of an emergency landing in the water. After Wilbur’s death in 1912, Orville put the canoe in Hawthorn Hill, his estate in Oakwood, Ohio, as a memento. This first airborne canoe was later moved to Carillon Historical Park in Ohio and exhibited in a room adjacent to the Wright Flyer III in Wright Hall.”

Clement van Maasdijk
R: F.A. Nöggerath Jr. P: Filmfabriek F.A. Nöggerath. NL 1910
Kopie: EYE Film Amsterdam

“On July 31 and August 1, 1910, the Dutch aviator Clement van Maasdijk gave two flight demonstrations during Heerenveen’s ‘air week’. Van Maasdijk flew in a Sommer biplane that was powered by a Gnome engine with seven cylinders.(…) At 7 o’clock, three hours after he took his Sommer out of the hangar, he makes a flight of exactly one minute and sixteen seconds at an altitude of thirty meters. We also see how the biplane lands on the grandstand of the former Thialf ice-rink. The next day, during his second flight over Heerenveen, Van Maasdijk achieved an altitude of 120 meters. After his landing, he was grandly honoured by about four thousand spectators.
Throughout the rest of August, Van Maasdijk gave demonstrations throughout the country. On August 27, 1910, he died when his plane crashed near Arnhem.”