Cyrus Pinkham Collection
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Collection Identifier(s)
Cyrus Pinkham Collection, 2463
Creator(s)
Cyrus Pinkham
Donor
Ned Reiner
image
Credit: Cyrus Pinkham Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Cyrus Pinkham at his 16 mm. projector.
Credit: Cyrus Pinkham home movies. "Opening night at theater in cellar, 1938." 16 mm. film. From the Cyrus Pinkham Collection at Northeast Historic Film, Bucksport, ME. MP4 video, 1:05.
Primary Format and Extent
18 film reels
Collection Date Range
1937 to 1940
Summary
The Cyrus Pinkham Collection contains 18 reels of amateur 16 mm. shot primarily by Cyrus Pinkham between 1937 and 1940. The films record a transitional period in Pinkham’s life; he began these years in residence with his parents in Long Island, moved to New York City, and then relocated to Maine. Throughout these years, Pinkham documented many family events in New York and Maine, including the wedding of his sister, Margaret, and visits to a family house in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. To these family records, Pinkham brought a filmmaker’s attention to aesthetic and technical detail, and in many cases carefully planned the action with his subjects in advance. Pinkham also recorded his family as performers in comic and dramatic narrative shorts. His documentary essays of the 1939 New York World’s Fair and of Rockefeller Center, where he worked as a tour guide, are of interest as much for their form as their subjects. The collection also includes footage of notable figures: Arctic explorer Donald MacMillan, Lowell Thomas, Mary Pickford and Buddy Rogers.
Biographical/Historical Notes
Cyrus Pinkham was born in 1915 in Rockland, Maine. He died in 1989, at the age of 74. He went to high school in Catonsville, Maryland, where he was part of the Vagabond Players, the longest continuously running Little Theater group. There he was involved in stage productions and did make-up and lighting. He built a stage in his parents' basement, which gets referred to and used as a set in the films, and had a screen for showing his films there as well. He moved to New York in the late 1930s, where he held a number of jobs from personal assistant to the president of a cigar company, to Rockefeller Center tour guide, and finally with Dobbs Hats. Around this time, his sister Margaret started The Maine Bag Company, back in Maine. It became a quick success and so to help, Cyrus and his friend Bill Waters would regularly travel up to Maine on the weekends to assist Margaret. Eventually they both moved to Maine and worked for the company full-time. Cyrus did this until his death, having taken over the business after Margaret died young from cancer. The films in the Cyrus Pinkham Collection date from this transitional period between living at home, moving to New York and then leaving the city to relocate to Maine. He didn’t make films again until the 1970s, when he bought another Bell and Howell camera and began to make films of his travels with his partner, Ned Reiner.
People and Organizations
Cyrus Pinkham, Donald MacMillan
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://oldfilm.org/content/stock-footage-licensing for more information.
Encoded archival description
Items in this collection: 18
Showing 1 - 10 of 18:
1) Family and friends in Maine, 1937-1938--Cyrus Pinkham--home movies. Reel 1
Young woman picking flower from garden, playing with cat, smoking in repose. Intertitle: "Cyrus" Cyrus seen smoking, diving and swimming, in stage makeup as an older man, and adjustin...more
2) Margaret and Clinton Smith wedding, 1937--Cyrus Pinkham--home movies. Reel 2
Reel begins with several inserts from the wedding announcement: "Mr. and Mrs. Cyrus S. Pinkham announce the marriage of their daughter Margaret to Mr. Clifton Smith on Thursday, the twe...more
3) Smiths and Pinkhams, 1939-1940--Cyrus Pinkham--home movies. Reel 3
Continues with footage of young Carolyn at the picnic seen at the end of Reel 2. Margaret and Carolyn leaving the Handy Shop with tricycle, Carolyn rides it on downtown sidewalks....more
4) A family outing and Christmas, 1937; scenes from 1939--Cyrus Pinkham--home movies. Reel 4
Title: "A Family Outing/Aug. 1937" Title: "Cast/THE PINKHAMS/and/THE STEWARTS" Family packs up the car with picnic baskets and blankets, arrives to meet Peggy, then Charles, pulling u...more
5) Rockefeller Center, 1937-1938--Cyrus Pinkham--home movies. Reel 5
Sign: "ROCKEFELLER CENTER MCMXXXII" Title: "Photographed and edited by Cyrus Pinkham" Intertitle: "Rockefeller Center is the largest building project ever undertaken by private capita...more
7) A day in a young boy's life, 1937--Cyrus Pinkham--home movies. Reel 7
Theatre in the Cellar presents A Day in A Young Boy's Life starring Charles Stewart, Jr.more
8) Be beautiful, Boothbay Harbor, Donald MacMillan 1937-1938--Cyrus Pinkham--home movies. Reel 8
Title: "Cyrus Pinkham Presents" Title: "Peggy Smith in Be Beautiful?" Title: "Screenplay/Cyrus Pinkham/David Houck/Peggy Smith/Titles/Peter Schuman" Dramatic short of a frumpy woman'...more
9) Maine snowstorm, Portland flight, Boothbay Harbor, 1937-1939--Cyrus Pinkham--home movies. Reel 9
Portland Press Herald headline reads "Snowfall of 20 Inches And Higher Engulfs Maine." Scenes of woman walking plowed streets, past people digging out. -- Intertitle: "Flying home fr...more
10) Florida travel, 1940--Cyrus Pinkham--home movies. Reel 10
Intertitle: "Sail Fishing off the coast of Florida 1/40" Motoring out, dropping lines, marlin catch, ocean liner in distance. Sign: "Clyde Beatty's Zoo" Scenes of animal shows, inclu...more
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