Thursday, April 27, 2006

1899 Edison Film: Yachts Columbia and Shamrock

Edison Collection, Library of Congress
As the Volvo sailors soon approach New York harbor take a look at this early Edison film from 1899 of the Yacht Columbia crossing the finish line followed closely by the Shamrock. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

This race is fascinating to all of us wired folk because the cableship "Mackay-Bennett" was the first to transmit coverage of this 1899 America's Cup yacht race off New York. To read all and more than you ever want to know about international sailing races you can go to this increddiby useful page with links to sailing sites.

From Edison films catalog: The decisive moment in the great International Yacht Races is shown in this picture. Against a background of well defined clouds, the Light Boat is seen marking the finishing line in this great aquatic struggle. As the Columbia crosses the line, followed closely by the Shamrock, we see the steam from the whistle of the Light Ship announcing the well earned victory of the American yacht.

And here's another great 1903 movie by Edison you can play online from the Library of Congress, filmed by The Edison Film Company in 1903. It's a " Panorama water front and Brooklyn Bridge from the East River ".

This film depicts the East River shoreline and the piers of lower Manhattan starting at about Pier 5 (the New York Central Pier) opposite Broad Street, and extending to the Mallory Line steamship piers just south of Fulton Street and the Brooklyn Bridge. The film begins with shots of canal boats or barges (from the Erie Canal via the Hudson River) docked at and around Coenties Slip [Frame: 0106]. As the film progresses, the New York Produce Exchange located at Bowling Green, Manhattan, with its distinct tower, comes into view in the background [0346]. Between here and the Wall Street ferry, there follows in order of appearance: steam tugs [0308 and 0422], a wooden hull barkentine [1032] with box barges alongside, a docked iron hull sailing ship, probably British [1448], an ocean steamer with yards on the foremast [1748], a derrick lighter laden with barrels docked at the end of a pier [2134], and a fruit steamer [2612]. In the Wall Street Ferry slip (between Piers 15 and 16) there is a Wall St., Manhattan-to-Montague St., Brooklyn, double-ended steam commuter boat [2896]. The ferry is visible immediately before a shot of the large advertising billboards on Pier 16. The film next shows the Ward Line piers (J.E. Ward & Co., New York and Cuba Steamship Co.) [3040], a Pennsylvania Railroad tug [3190], a derrick lighter [3320], and the Mallory Line piers [3692]. A Mallory Line steamer can be seen on the south side of one of the Mallory Piers [3736]. The camera begins panning out into the East River after passing pier 20, catching the fog bell at the end of pier 21 [3922]. A car float is visible passing under the Brooklyn Bridge [4202]. The pan follows the line of the Brooklyn Bridge eastward to Brooklyn Heights, where the Hotel Margaret (tall building in background) is visible just before the end of the film [4464]. This film continues the view begun in the film Sky Scrapers of New York City From the North River. Together they comprise a sweep around the southern tip of Manhattan, from Fulton Street on the Hudson to the Brooklyn Bridge.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The latter film is wonderful. My grandfather was Quartermaster of the Mallory Line and worked out of those dockyards until his death in 1937. My Great Aunt and Great Uncle also ran a hotel at the foot of the Pier at 91 South St which is still standing.