Ernest G. Stillman Collection
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Ernest G. Stillman
Primary Format and Extent
film (4,400 ft.) : si., b&w and col. ; 16 mm. reversal
Collection Date Range
1930 - 1949
Collection contains [Ernest G. Stillman--home movies], 15 reels of summer activities around Mt. Desert Island, and Cranberry Island, Maine. The collection includes footage of the 1947 fire that destroyed much of the area. Other reels include intertitles punctuating footage of commercial fish catches going into the hold with salt, every stage in the herring seining process, yachts and fishing boats in the waters around Mt. Desert harbors, boatyards and wharves, buildings under construction, logging, a local sawmill, and shoreline scenery. One scene focuses on a schooner carrying a cargo of cord-wood on deck, another follows a barge carrying a portion of a house in a huge net. Dr. Stillman spliced cartoon scenes in several places to contrast with the scenery of Maine.
Biographical/Historical Notes
Dr. Ernest G. Stillman (1884-1949) was a summer resident of Northeast Harbor, Maine. He graduated from Harvard University in 1908 and earned an MD from Columbia University in 1913. He practiced medicine, conducted pulmonary research, and his philanthropic work included supporting the Fisher Museum at Harvard Forest in Petersham, Mass., underwriting the Harvard Forest dioramas. Portions of his collections of Japanese art and literature are at Harvard University. Harvard University Archives holds film he shot of Harvard class of 1908 20th and 25th reunions and footage of a Harvard-Yale hockey game.

The donor, John Stillman (1919-2010), was his son.
See also the Harvard Forest Collection.

John Stillman's son, Whit Stillman, is a filmmaker. Some of his films are at Harvard Film Archive.

Items in this collection: 15
Showing 1 - 10 of 15:
1) [Ernest G. Stillman--home movies] Reel 002
color. Intertitle: "A Maine hayfield" (transfer shows frameline at bottom) Panning of flowers in long grass, tilt up to lobster traps. Intertitle: "Otter Creek" View of harbor wit...more
2) [Ernest G. Stillman--home movies] Reel 003
[Note: Reel 3 is the same as Reel 12. --karan sheldon 13 Aug 2013] Intertitle: "Products of Duck Island" Seagull in water, more seagulls come to eat dead fish. CU seagull on rock....more
3) [Ernest G. Stillman--home movies] Reel 4
Reel 4 Intertitle: "Manset the fishy A famous Maine summer play ground" Interrtitle: "Manset Police Boat" b&w, passing boat at dock. Intertitle: "The Manset View" Dock pilings wit...more
4) [Ernest G. Stillman--home movies] Reel 5
Reel 5 Intertitle: "When the red cocks crow on Mt. Desert" Intertitle: "The 1947 Fire Starts" color, views of smoke and small flames, smoking landscape, burned over, pan. Intertitle...more
6) [Ernest G. Stillman--home movies] Reel 007
b&w Intertitle: "Fishing for the sacred cod in Maine" Intertitle: "Baiting traul" Some deterioration in title and footage that follows CU man's torso, hands, line being baited into b...more
7) [Ernest G. Stillman--home movies] Reel 008
Purchased film, transferred without sound, although title indicates RCA sound. Title card: The State of Maine: A Carl Dudley Production photographed by Edwin E. Olsen. color, roadwa...more
8) [Ernest G. Stillman--home movies] Reel 9
b&w Intertitle: "When the herring swarm" Intertitle: "The seiner" b&w, fishing vessel with hill behind, another shot of sail-powered fishing vessels. Intertitle: "The sein [sic] st...more
9) [Ernest G. Stillman--home movies] Reel 010
Can notes as follows; reel numbers are donor-assigned. Reel 10: Building a building. Berrycliff. [Not transferred to DVD, could not view in 2013. Karan Sheldon]more
10) [Ernest G. Stillman--home movies] Reel 011
color Intertitle: "Seal Harbor" Overexposed view of sandy beach with people and trash cans. [may not be Seal Harbor; pier, lifeguard, length of beach indicate it is another location...more
1 comment on "Stillman, Ernest G. Collection"
This collection is full of amazing footage of the fishing industry. Stillman was an interesting character, though very private, he was a great amateur filmmaker, as seen in the quality of the footage he shot in this collection, and in the Harvard Forest Collection - which also contains films shot by Stillman.
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