60 Items in This Collection
1) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 70
Reel 70 contains footage that was used for Charles S. Houston’s series of talks, “Fifty Years of Going Higher,” which relates to a study on the effects of high altitude on human physiol...   more
2) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 1
Delaware River. Footage of the river. Several shots of people in canoes, alone and in pairs. A group of rowers taking a break along the side of the river. Footage of a man in the wa...   more
3) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 37
Two shots of a bookshelf filled with books on mountain climbing. A hand takes down the book Five Miles High and opens it to a picture of K2. A few shots of maps. A few shots of Peter...   more
4) [Crillon Mountain footage] Reel 3
Footage of men loading their gear onto a train. Scenes of men on a boat. Shots of the mountain landscape from the water. Footage of men carrying a canoe across a rocky path between t...   more
5) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 23
A few shots taken from a plane of craters on the tops of mountains, including a few with lakes in them. A few shots of women doing laundry in stone basins. A shot of a fountain, one o...   more
6) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 31
Footage of Houston family members, including Charles S. Houston, exiting a house and posing for the camera, including a young girl trying to control a large dog and two men playing with...   more
7) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 45
A few shots of men and women around a Christmas tree, including a young girl looking into a kaleidoscope. Footage of a man and a boy playing with toys, including a toy fort. A shot of...   more
8) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 69
Reel 69 contains footage that was used for Charles S. Houston’s series of talks, “Fifty Years of Going Higher,” which relates to a study on the effects of high altitude on human physiol...   more
9) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 34
Footage of snow covered mountains shot from within an aircraft. A shot of a man wearing extreme weather gear exiting a tent and walking through the snow. A shot of a man carrying a bo...   more
10) Operation Everest
Operation Everest is a film documenting Dr. Charles S. Houston’s study of the same name conducted in 1946 for the United States Navy that used a pressure chamber to study the process of...   more
11) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 32
A few shots of people climbing K2. A few shots of men digging ditches in the snow at a campsite. A shot of a porter crossing a rope bridge. A shot of a mountain. Porters resting and...   more
12) K2 1953 Lecture Film
K2 1953 Lecture Film contains footage that was used for a lecture given by Charles S. Houston related to an expedition to reach the summit of K2 that he led in 1953. Two shots of a boo...   more
13) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 68
Reel 68 contains footage that was used for Charles S. Houston’s series of talks, “Fifty Years of Going Higher,” which relates to a study on the effects of high altitude on human physiol...   more
14) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 51
Footage of men and women with notebooks in a room seated at desks and chairs. Donor Notes: "India: Peace Corps Doctor Training #3"   more
15) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 12
Men and women stand by as men in turbans unload luggage from a cart. Footage of a large, ornate building from several angles both inside and out. Footage of a street including men and...   more
16) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 66
Reel 66 contains footage that was used for Charles S. Houston’s series of talks, “Fifty Years of Going Higher,” which relates to a study on the effects of high altitude on human physiol...   more
17) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 11
Footage of a busy street including people walking along, pack animals pulling carts, cows standing in the street, people sitting along the side of the road, two men riding a camel and a...   more
18) The Mechanical Heart
The Mechanical Heart contains footage of a demonstration of an early artificial heart and contains lengthy title cards explaining what is being shown. Intertitle: “THE MECHANICAL HEART...   more
19) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 6
Intertitle: “CAMP 2 “THE ELYSIAN FIELDS” ON THE MORAINE OF WEST FORAKER GLACIER.” Shots of snow covered mountain peaks. Men take in the view. One man takes a picture. Intertitle: “...   more
20) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 22
A shot of a man, a boy and a dog playing on the rocks by the water. Footage of a boy sailing, including a man preparing the boat and woman and another man watching and taking pictures....   more
21) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 14
A few shots of men climbing up the side of a mountain. Footage of men using rope to get themselves and their gear across a raging river. Men hiking and climbing, including a shot of m...   more
22) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 55
Footage of a woman cooking at a stove while a young girl watches and man samples the meal. Donor Notes: "India: Peace Corps, 2 reels unlabeled"   more
23) K2 The Savage Mountain
K2 The Savage Mountain is a film about a British expedition to K2 led by Chris Bonnington in 1978 which also includes a history of previous expeditions to date. Chris Bonnington’s team...   more
24) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 56
Footage of men collecting branches and logs in the snow and throwing the branches into a fire next to a log cabin. The footage includes shots of snow covered mountains in the distance...   more
25) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 2
Bash Bish Falls State Park in Mt. Washington, MA. Footage of a waterfall. A shot of two men in the surrounding rocks. Footage of a boy climbing up a fallen tree and over some rocks....   more
26) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 35
Footage of several men rowing a boat. Footage of a large procession down a hill. The footage for both of the previous scenes is reversed, i.e. people are clearly moving backwards. A...   more
27) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 30
Reel 30 consists of footage shot in Nepal with intertitles throughout. A shot of a map of Nepal and the surrounding area followed by a few shots of Mt. Everest. Footage of men and wom...   more
28) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 8
Footage of a riverbank shot from a boat on the river including buildings, several local people washing and swimming in the river, boats passing by and shots of temples. A man sits next...   more
29) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 20
A shot of a man climbing a mountain. A shot of a man breaking down a structure made of sticks. A shot of a mountain. A shot of a man setting up a tent. A few shots of a woman in and...   more
30) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 52
Footage of men and women sitting at a long table with several microscopes. The men and women look at slides through their microscopes as men in lab coats walk around the table. A shot...   more
31) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 53
A few shots of a young boy helping a man put steaks on a small grill as another boy and a woman watch. Footage of a few adults and children hitting balls with a bat in a parking lot....   more
32) K2 The Savage Mountain (Part 2)
K2 The Savage Mountain is a film produced by the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) about the Third American Karakoram Expedition to K2 in 1953, sponsored by the American Alpine Club a...   more
33) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 54
Footage of a woman and two boys exploring a fort, including one of the boys climbing a wall. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tughlaqabad_Fort] Donor Notes: "India: Peace Corps Tuglakabad...   more
34) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 49
A few shots of a small child asleep on a blanket in a field. A few shots of a makeshift tent with several children under it. Footage of children playing on tire swings and in a large,...   more
35) [Crillon Mountain footage] Reel 4
Footage of three men hiking through the snow interspersed with shots of the surrounding mountains. Several men ski the slopes. A man sets a still camera and then rushes to join four m...   more
36) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 9
A shot of a crowd of men and a few pack animals near an automobile. A shot of several men rolling a log out of the water with poles. A local man weaves a basket. Footage of large bir...   more
37) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 17
Reel 17 contains footage of the American Alpine Club’s 1938 Expedition to K2 with extensive intertitles and a few maps throughout. Intertitle: “The American Alpine Club Expedition to M...   more
38) K2 The Savage Mountain (Part 1)
K2 The Savage Mountain is a film produced by the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) about the Third American Karakoram Expedition to K2 in 1953, sponsored by the American Alpine Club a...   more
39) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 46
A shot of clouds and water taken from a plane. Intertitle: “A glimpse of the mountains and the sea on the South Coast of Kyushu” A few shots of a garden pond and the surrounding view,...   more
40) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 15
A few shots of a valley with a man hiking. Footage of men using rope to get themselves and their gear across a raging river. A few shots of men pulling gear up a sheer rock face. Foo...   more
41) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 40
Two shots of a wooden structure on a bridge. A shot of children writing on paper outside. Footage of a pond with stones set in it forming a pathway across and people crossing the pond...   more
42) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 67
Reel 67 contains footage that was used for Charles S. Houston’s series of talks, “Fifty Years of Going Higher,” which relates to a study on the effects of high altitude on human physiol...   more
43) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 7
Footage of people in small sailboats on Honnedaga Lake, NY. Shots of people on the dock along the lakefront. A shot of a sailboat. People on the docks. Two women exit a small sailbo...   more
44) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 21
Footage of a large house and its grounds with a few shots of a man and woman posing in front of the house. A few shots of children playing outside on toy trucks and inside on a couch....   more
45) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 13
A shot of a village with men around two cars. Footage of men hiking intercut with a shot of a village. A few shots of a village on the side of a mountain and its inhabitants interacti...   more
46) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 24
Intertitle: “The Valley of Nepal 1950” A shot of a map of India and the region directly to the North, including Nepal. A shot of a local village. A few shots of the surrounding mount...   more
47) Exploring the Heights
This footage was compiled as part of a live presentation with accompanying narration given by Charles S. Houston in 2002. A few still images of mountains. A shot of a newspaper clippi...   more
48) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 42
A shot of three men holding large, dead game birds. A shot of workers and pack mules carrying large, wooden poles. Footage of ruins, including a few bridges and shots along the river...   more
49) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 50
Footage of a few men and women at desks and a baby in a crib in a very small room with a chalkboard. A few shots of seated men and women with notebooks in a small room. Donor Notes: "...   more
50) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 43
A shot of people loading a horse-drawn cart. Footage of ruins, including an amphitheater, with a shot of a cafe in between. A shot of an old building. Footage shot from a boat of bui...   more
51) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 10
Footage of a riverbank shot from the river including shots of buildings, temples, boats passing by, ferries unloading people on the shore, locals on the bank and in the river working, s...   more
52) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 44
Footage of people eating a meal at a dinner table, including shots of the centerpiece. A few shots of people socializing, drinking and eating around a small table. Footage of people e...   more
53) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 18
A shot of a man. A shot of a man reading. Footage of a man and woman playing in a garden, including playing frisbee, relaxing by a tree with a friend, the woman trying to pull the man...   more
54) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 5
Footage of men and women diving off a higher and lower diving board into a pool of water. Several shots of people playing and swimming in the pool while others sit on the edge. A shot...   more
55) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 19
Footage of a man and a woman skiing amidst snow covered trees. Footage of a man and two women having a picnic on the rocks by a lake. A few shots of the garden in front of a large whi...   more
56) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 33
Footage of a campsite, including a man packing a backpack. Footage of men hiking through the snow, including a shot of a climber adjusting the metal spikes on his boot and a man climbi...   more
57) [Charles S. Houston—home movies] Reel 16
Footage of men hiking and climbing. Footage of climbers and porters resting, cooking and setting up a tent at a campsite. Footage of men hiking and climbing, including a shot of a man...   more
58) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 25
Intertitle: “Bodnath and its Lama” A few shots of the Lama of Baudhanāth Stupa and the stupa itself. Intertitle: “Baláji and the Reincarnate Vishnu.” A few shots of a sculpture of a...   more
59) [Oscar R. Houston—home movies] Reel 41
Two shots of wreaths placed in front of a building. A shot of women carrying baskets on their back. A shot of a bridge. A shot of a statue. A few shots of a pond. Footage of the To...   more
60) Operation Everest II
"Operation Everest II" (3/4 in., CSH) NHF notes: per Jane Beal, a series of nine tapes, original footage is 3/4" videotape. Studies on the effects of high altitude on human physiology   more
Houston, Charles S. Collection
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Collection Identifier(s)
[Charles S. Houston--home movies], 1515
[Charles S. Houston--home movies] First American Karakoram Expedition, 1648
K2 1953 Lecture Film, 1723
Exploring the Heights, 1911
Credit: Charles S. Houston home movies, Charles S. Houston Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Admiring the summit while resting atop a peak on K-2, 1938.
Credit: Excerpt from Charles S. Houston home movies, Charles S. Houston Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Exploring human physiology in a high altitude simulator, 1949.
Primary Format and Extent
film (31,725 ft.) : si. and sd., b&w and col. ; 16 mm.
Collection Date Range
1925 – 1985
Summary
The Charles S. Houston Collection consists of 74 reels of film shot between 1925 and the 1980s. The bulk of the films are from 1930 to 1963 and are records of Houston’s various mountain climbing expeditions. The main four expeditions documented in this collection are Nanda Devi in India (1936), K2 in Pakistan (1938), Mount Everest in Nepal (1950), and a tragic return to K2 (1953) that would be his final expedition. There is also a significant amount of footage documenting family activities from summer vacations at Honnedaga Lake in upstate New York to Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations with friends and family. Seven reels in the collection concern Houston’s tenure as the first country director of India for the Peace Corps in 1963. Houston was also an avid traveler and the collection includes a considerable amount of footage from his family’s travels around the globe, primarily in South and Southeast Asia. The collection contains a few commercial films about Houston’s, and other, mountain climbing expeditions, a medical film about an artificial heart designed by Houston, and a film produced by the U.S. Navy to document Operation Everest, an experiment conducted by Houston to explore human physiology in a high altitude simulator.
Biographical/Historical Notes
The creator and donor Charles S. Houston was an avid mountain climber and doctor who became an authority on the effects of high altitudes on human physiology. Born in 1913 in Manhattan, New York, he attended Harvard University and was a member of the Harvard Mountaineering Club. Though he has climbed mountains from Mt. Crillon in Alaska to Mt. Everest itself, his most famous expeditions were on K-2 in Pakistan. The first was in 1938, when he was the leader of the first American expedition on the mountain. He returned to the mountain in 1953 as part of an expedition that has become legendary for both heroism and tragedy when fellow climber Art Gilkey developed blood clots and the team gave up their ascent in an unsuccessful attempt to save his life. Houston and his fellow team members from his many expeditions have written several books about their exploits. He earned his Ph.D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in 1939 and quickly became a leading expert in the effects of high altitudes on human physiology. In 1946, Houston was the head of a famous study on the subject for the U.S. Navy entitled Operation Everest. In 1980, he authored the seminal text on the subject entitled "Going High," known as "Going Higher: Oxygen, Man and Mountains" in later editions. WorldCat From 1962 to 1965, Houston was recruited to become the first Peace Corps country director for India and was instrumental in creating a Doctor’s Peace Corps. He remained active in the fields of mountaineering and medicine until his death in 2009.
Genre(s)
Amateur, Documentary
Place(s)
Repository
Northeast Historic Film
Availability
The Collection is open for research.
Condition Governing Reproduction and Use
Authorization to reuse and/or reproduce must be obtained from Northeast Historic Film. See http://www.oldfilm.org/research for more information.
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