American Glory, Hand-Colored

Three American Beauties
R: Wallace McCutcheon / Edwin S. Porter. P: Edison Manufacturing Company. USA 1906

Three American Beauties (1906) was nearly always shown as a hand-tinted color film, & would be used by exhibitors as the closing short subject after a program otherwise of black & white films. Because it was designed to be colored, it was restricted to under a minute, as hand coloring films was an expensive time consuming process. At the Edison Manufacturing Company, it was performed chiefly by the wives of company employees.

The first beauty is a rose which is in fact called ‘American Beauty’ & to this day a garden standard. The second beauty is a woman holding the rose. Close ups of a rose, & of pretty women holding a rose, provided for easy & coloring opportunity. The third beauty is the American flag blowing in the wind, in red white & blue. Ending exhibits with the flag would remain a tradition of many movie houses for decades to come, as also early television which went off the air each night with the American flag & patriotic band music.”
Paghat the Ratgirl