November 10, 2012 8:55 AM   Subscribe

The color video from back then always kind of shocks me. I love the architecture and dress from this time period; thanks for this.
posted by cooker girl at 9:27 AM on November 10, 2012

Did a biplane just lay down a wall of white phosphorus for the Hindenburg to fly through? Seriously, that was a little heavy on the paraffin oil.
posted by Pliskie at 9:28 AM on November 10, 2012

is that Gloria Swanson in full color at 5:08 in the first video there?
posted by The Whelk at 10:16 AM on November 10, 2012

I can't get over how good the film quality is.
posted by orange swan at 10:16 AM on November 10, 2012

Everyone was so much skinner back then. Maybe it's because they all walked so fast?
posted by xedrik at 10:50 AM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

So the color footage came from this

Howard Hughes Multicolor Demonstration Reel

Ever fascinated by technology, Howard Hughes bought a controlling
interest in the Multicolor process in June 1930 after he had trouble renting Technicolor
cameras for HELL'S ANGELS. This rare demonstration reel shows off
the advantages of the two-color bipack Multicolor system (which emphasized
orange and blue) using test footage filmed by Multicolor's staff cameramen.
Shots include scenes of Al Wilson flying a 1910 Curtis Pusher; and the premier
of DIRIGIBLE, attended by Edward G. Robinson and Gloria Swanson among
others. Also, the staple of every color demo reel: nature scenes and fashion

posted by The Whelk at 1:46 PM on November 10, 2012

And the movie they're at the premiere at is...

Dirigible commander Jack Braden and Navy pilot 'Frisky' Pierce fight over the glory associated with a successful expedition to the South Pole and the love of beautiful Helen, Frisky's wife. After Braden's dirigible expedition fails, Frisky tries an expedition by plane. Unfortunately he crashes and strands his party at the South Pole. Braden must decide between a risky rescue attempt by dirigible and remaining safely at home with Helen.

One of Frank Capra's first films and a huge smash at the time.
posted by The Whelk at 1:49 PM on November 10, 2012

Soooooo coool!

In the first one, those jitneys are something. That's a heck of a way to get people around..

The 1920s really blow me away. It's a time period I've seen plenty of imagery from, but I really don't understand it fully - haven't read enough about it. We've had plenty of changes in fashion and politics in US history, but honestly I don't think a single one seems as dramatic as the serious liberation of women and the raucous pop culture of the 1920s. I mean, in 1915 none of this was going on, and by 1925 all of it was going on. So sudden.
posted by Miko at 3:12 PM on November 10, 2012

Yeah, the 1920s was some serious societal change. And on the technological front, we think we're hotshots with our Internet but they birthed the aviation, telephone, and radio industries. And they bootstrapped the power grid. The power grid for Chrissakes.
posted by storybored at 6:46 PM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

I kind of like to think in the mass psychology of the 20th century the 1920s where just TOTALLY MINDFUCK TERRIFYING and we're only just now coming down off it.
posted by The Whelk at 8:02 PM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

These are fantastic! Thanks, Whelk.
posted by homunculus at 2:32 PM on November 11, 2012

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