Northeast Historic Film thinks about the aesthetics of nontheatrical film
Alan Cogswell Bemis (1906-1991) was a professor of physics at MIT until 1972; lived at High Head in Brooklin, ME. Sidney N. Shurcliff (1906-1981), who photographed and edited the Motormauler films, was a Harvard classmate. His father, Arthur Shurcliff, and Frederick Law Olmsted founded the Harvard School of Landscape Design. The Motormaulers Club: “Each member was to show up with a $10 automobile…Sid Shurcliff would dream up a movie scenario involving a chase of some kind.” The Saga of the Motormaulers, by Alan Bemis and Sidney Shurcliff in 1980.
Lester Bridgham (1875-?) left only one known film, the 16mm town portrait Cherryfield, 1938. Possibly Arthur Lester Bridgham, an engineer and inventor who patented railway-related mechanisms in Boston and Canada. The Cherryfield Narraguagus Historical Society located the Cherryfield film and identified all individuals shown.
Dr. Albert D. Conley (1887-1974) was a resident of Freeport, ME. He was a research chemist, married Mary F. Johnson Conley and lived on Pleasant Street, Freeport. His second wife was Madelyn Edith Dyer Conley.
Raymond C. Cotton (1904-1998) of Hiram, ME owned a grocery store; his wife, Marcia Norton Cotton (1907-1939), ran a beauty shop above the store. Cotton grew blueberries, was town clerk and member of the fire department. In August 1939, while filming flooding Breakneck Brook near Hiram, the Cotton family and others were swept away. Marcia and their daughter Rachel (1930-1939) did not survive. Rachel appears in Over the Garden Wall, 1938.
Hilda Davis (1895-1995) and Meyer Davis (1893-1976) Hilda was raised in Maine and Newburyport, MA. In her teens she moved to Bar Harbor, ME to play the piano for her uncle Joe Emery’s Star Theatre. Meyer Davis was a popular society dance band leader running orchestras all over the US. The Davises had a home for many years in Sorrento, ME and made comedy story films with their extended family including Hilda’s sister Doris Hodgkins and Doris’s husband, conductor Pierre Monteux.
Milton E. Dowe (1912-2001) lived in Palermo, ME where he ran the general store, which he inherited from his father, who also served as the Palermo Funeral Director. Virginia Wescott Dowe, Milton’s wife, and his friend W.J. Roach participated in 8mm film creation.
Ivan Walter Flye (1916-2000) was born in Troy, ME. He enlisted during World War II, 1942 to 1946 served in the Air Force Photography division. Flye established the Maine Bait Co. in 1940, retiring in 1985. Flye chaired the Maine Marine Worm Conservation Committee. He operated Pictorial Studios, a Newcastle photo studio, from 1938-1987.
Alexander Forbes (1882-1965) was born and died in Milton, MA. Harvard Medical School MD in 1910; specialized in neurophysiology. Great-grandfather John Murray Forbes, a diplomat and businessman in China, was responsible for establishing the Forbes family on Naushon Island, MA.
Olin Potter Geer (1886-1957) attended Williams College and Columbia University Law School. Member of the Amateur Cinema League and worked as a lawyer in New York City, commuting from the family’s home in Montclair, NJ. The Geer family spent the summer months in Boothbay Harbor, ME.
Charles B. Hinds (1881-1958) was son of the founder of the A.S. Hinds Company, a Portland, ME, manufacturer of hand cream. The founder, employees and manufacturing process—including assembly line, inspection, and hand packing—are covered in Reel 10 of the collection.
Clayton Hodgkin (1914-1964) was a dairy farmer; C.P. Hodgkin & Sons Dairy ran for 23 years in the Lewiston, ME, area with up to 100 Guernsey and Holstein cows. He and Laura Marion Meade had five sons and a daughter.
Philip W. Hussey (1892-1985) established Hussey Manufacturing Company in North Berwick, ME with his father in 1913. Philip W. Hussey, Sr.’s descendants run the Hussey Seating Company, Maine’s oldest family-owned business.
John Butler Jameson (1873-1960) was born in Bennington, NH resident of Concord, NH and Brown Hill Farm, Bow, NH. Married Elizabeth Eidlitz of NYC (father designed the first New York TImes building). Treasurer of United Life Accident Insurance Co. in Concord, NH and director of Eastern Zinc and Lead Co. and First National Bank of Concord, NH.
Hiram Percy Maxim (1869-1936) was an engineer and inventor. His father, Hiram S. Maxim, from Sangerville, ME invented the Maxim automatic gun. Hiram P. Maxim was founder and first president of the Amateur Cinema League, beginning in 1926. Family members participated in his films including his wife, Josephine Hamilton Maxim, and daughter, Percy Maxim Lee (the latter stars in Mag the Hag as Percy Proudfoot).
Cyrus C. Pinkham (1915-1989) was born in Rockland, ME and in high school participated in the Catonsville, MD Vagabond Players. He moved to New York in the late 1930s. His sister started the Maine Bag Company; he joined the business, returning to Maine. He made personal films as a young man and later with his partner, Ned Reiner.
Arthur Libby Race (1879-1960) was born and brought up in Boothbay, ME. He worked as managing director of the Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston and lived at the hotel as resident manager in the 1920s-1940s. Earlier he managed a lodge on Heron Island, ME. Race was national chairman of the American Hotel Association Committee on Prohibition.
Colonel F.B. Richards (1862-1940) was a summer resident of Blue Hill, ME. Graduated from MIT in 1884, industrialist from Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Lieutenant Colonel in World War I.
Charles Norman Shay (1923- ) a Penobscot Tribal Elder, was born in Bristol, CT, moving to Indian Island, ME in 1930, attending school in Old Town, ME. He is the grandson of Joseph Nicolar, tribal representative to the Maine Legislature and author of The Life and Traditions of the Red Man (1893).
Jason G. Snowden (1904-1965) and Edith Pickering Snowden (1914-2010) lived in Deer Isle, ME. They had six children, whom they filmed along with the landscape and community of Stonington, ME.
Thomas Archibald (Archie) Stewart (1902-1998), a member of the Amateur Cinema League, was an early adopter of amateur sound and other technologies. He lived in Newburgh, NY and operated the Broadway Garage, Buick and Pontiac Sales. Vacations included travel and hunting, in particular at Grand Lake Stream, ME.
E.B. White (1899-1985) and his wife Katharine (1892-1977) were writers who moved to Brooklin, ME in the 1930s. E.B. White was an essayist, humorist and fiction writer with a 60-year association with The New Yorker magazine. Katharine S. White, who appears in the films, was a New Yorker magazine editor and writer about subjects including gardening. Their son, Joel, (1930–1997), ) a Maine boat designer and builder, also appears.
Elizabeth Woodman Wright (1885-1961) filmed at Windy Ledge Farm in Paris, ME in the summers; lived in Cambridge, MA in the winter, in 1914 married Harvard French Professor C. H. C. Wright.