Joan Branch Collection
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Primary Format and Extent
film (7,400 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm. reversal pos.
Collection Date Range
1923 - 1940
Collection contains [Forrest Colby--home movies], showing predominantly summer and winter activities at Pleasant Pond camp in western Maine, also summer and winter logging activities, and river trips in Maine. Other locations include England in the 1930s and China, particularly Shanghai, 1928-1935, with scenes of automobile and ferry travel, Shanghai Paper Hunt Club horse races, gardens, villages and homes.
Biographical/Historical Notes
Forrest Colby, grandfather of the donor, Joan Branch, lived in Bingham, Maine, and was Maine Forest Commissioner and a state senator in the early 1900s. Forrest Colby's daughter, Lena Mary Colby, married Joseph E.C. Swan in Shanghai, China, in 1923. The China footage was shot by Joseph E.C. Swan, the father of Joan Swan Branch, between 1928 and 1936. Joseph Swan was a founder of the Shanghai investment banking and brokerage firm Swan, Culbertson and Fritz.

Joan Swan Branch (1925-2006) was born in Shanghai, China. Branch was the granddaughter of Forrest Colby of Bingham, Maine, who was Maine Forest Commissioner. Joan Branch lived in Mt. Kisco, New York.

Forrest Colby (1869-1938) lived in Bingham, Maine, and was prominent in the lumbering industry in Maine. He served in the Maine House of Representatives from 1909 to 1912 and in the Maine Senate from 1913 to 1916. Colby was an early conservationist and was appointed Maine Forest Commissioner in 1917. He and his wife, Carrie Belle Robinson, had two daughters, Lena Mary and Florence Haddash Colby.

Joseph Edwards Corson Swan (1898-1960) was a founder of the Shanghai investment banking and brokerage firm Swan, Culbertson & Fritz. He returned to the New York to form J.E. Swan & Co., which was dissolved in 1942. He then joined E.F. Hutton as a partner. He was president of the China Society of America, and a director of the Far East-America Council of Commerce and Industry.

The film collection was donated to Northeast Historic Film by Joan Swan Branch in 1989 and 1990. She lived in Mt. Kisco, New York, and Bingham, Maine, and died in 2006.

Items in this collection: 42
Showing 1 - 10 of 42:
1) [Forrest Colby--home movies] Reel 1
Reel 5502 BRANCH COLLECTION 01:24 Mother and baby. Family on shipboard. Boy climbs ladder. Views of ship. 02:52 In China, women with baskets outside. Picking things up off gro...more
2) [Forrest Colby--home movies] Reel 2
Label on can: '#5 Leaving Shanghai 1933. Bou Dam, England, Paris, Clevelly, etc.' // 1931 and 1932 edge codes on film. // Shots of Shanghai, city from water. Shots of suburbs (England?)...more
3) [Forrest Colby--home movies] Reel 4
Label on film: 'Hangchow, Lianchi First Part Street Scenes.' // Date from edge code on film. // Fox hunt or steeple chase and other horse scenes. Children in yard. Shots of river from m...more
4) [Forrest Colby--home movies] Reel 6
Date from edge code on film. // Assembled trims of China including Shanghai house of Branch family, yard, car.more
5) [Forrest Colby--home movies] Reel 7
Label on film: 'Hangchow 2, NY '34.' // 1934 edge code on film. // China. Ferry, big car. Lakes with boats. Water buffalo plowing. Countryside, mountains. Traveling, various scenes of c...more
6) [Forrest Colby--home movies] Reel 17
Label on film: 'Ruggles Family.' // Date from edge code on film.more
7) [Forrest Colby--home movies] Summer logging
Can/box note: 'Pulpwood drive.' NHF cataloguer's notes: 00:50 Camp in summer, long pan of log buildings. Horse crosses, pulling travois-type sled with box on it. Man walks behind. Unloa...more
8) [Forrest Colby--home movies] Winter log hauling
Can/box note: 'Dead River logging. March 1, 1932.' NHF cataloguer's notes: Winter. Quick shots. Horses pull logs down snow road with snub line attached. Trees marked with cross on end....more
9) [Forrest Colby--home movies] Winter logging
Can/box note: 'Logs. Log hauler.' NHF cataloguer's notes: Winter. Pan of logs on bank at landing. Men standing on them.more
10) [Forrest Colby--home movies] Logging
Can/box note: 'Logging spruce. Logging Mitchells.' NHF cataloguer's notes: Two-horse team, one sled. Another team. Child on sled. Loading sleds. Four-horse team. Two men on sled. One us...more
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