38 Items in This Collection
1) Happy Days
Period piece of 1920's starring Roger Clapp and Dorothy Stebbins;Reel 1 – Happy days pt. 1 “The Clappian Studios Present”, “A Greater Discrepancy entitled…..”, “Happy Days”, “or The Pi...   more
2) The Great Discrepancy
Amateur stage play directed by Roger Clapp and starring Dorothy Stebbins;“Infamous Players Present The Great Discrepancy”, “Or Roaming on the Foaming”, “Under the Patronage of”, shot of...   more
3) Japan & China, 1927--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 1
1927 Dorothy Stebbins - Round the World trip Japan and China #1 / "Empress of Asia";Vancouver B.C. Harbor aboard the S.S. Empress of India: Gangplank of ship being withdrawn. People th...   more
4) Indo-China, 1927--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 2
1927 Dorothy Stebbins - Round the World Trip - Indo-China (Thailand, Cambodia) / Indo-China, 1927 - Angkor, [Phnom] Penh, Ream, Ream to Bankok on S.S. Bhanunangsi, Bankok;A western woma...   more
5) India, 1928--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 3
1927 Dorothy Stebbins - Round the World Trip - India / Calcutta, Darjeeling, Benares, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Delhi;Calcutta: Temple. Footage shot from a train. Store fronts and street...   more
6) India to Cairo, 1928--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 4
1927 Dorothy Stebbins - Round the World Trip - India to Cairo #4 India 1927: Peshawar, Khyber Abb'd, Kashmir, Jaipur, "Raiualpindi" Cairo;Peshwar: Busy street. Men in turbans. Army pos...   more
7) Morocco, circa 1932--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 5
(Original reel out of order and splices backwards to forwards to backwards to forwards. Where splices were evident put together and tried to figure out original order. Original film l...   more
8) Italy, Austria & Switzerland, 1928--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 6
1927 Dorothy Stebbins - Round the World Trip - Italy, Austria, & Switzerland #6 Italy, Austria, & Switzerland "Carmania";A woman in 1920’s dress on a tree lined dirt road. Wome...   more
9) Stebbins Family and Friends, 1930--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 7
Stebbins Family (Ada, Harry, Frannie, Dorothy, and Grandma Hunt and Oohlah) and friends, 1930 Homes in Newton and Duxbury, Mass; Pop and Denny Green; Steb's movie-making gang: Steb and...   more
10) Sailing Trips, 1934-1937--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 8
Sailing, 1934-1937: Mañana, Nordly - Newfoundland, Cape Breton, weekend sails, Bermuda; Steb, Chet, Charlie Young, Jim Rogers, Semaphore, sextant.;Rough water in the harbor. Man bailin...   more
11) Sailing Trips, 1935-1938--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 9
Sailing Trip to Cape Breton/Nordlys, 1935 Steb, Chet, Charlie Young, Jim and Marvel Adams Ct. River: mouth of river, Saybrook light houses and railroad bridge 2-3 masted schooners, fish...   more
12) Family in Saybrook, 1936--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 10
1936 - Saybrook: B & Ches sledding, skating, railroad station, Nana Papa; pond at Essex?;A spaniel plays fetch in a snowy yard. Chet in a long fur coat stands with another couple a...   more
13) Family in Saybrook, 1936--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 11
Saybrook, 1936 Ches and B, Steb, Chet Baby Cynnie Nordlys/sailing Saybrook beach/light house George Stevenson Hamburg Fair? Grmummy Bowles, Nana, Papa;[Reel has heavy vinegar syndrome a...   more
14) Saybrook family activities and sailing, 1934-1937--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 12
Film 10B: 1934 - B and Ches 1936 - Saybrook: Topsy, George, Ches rowing 1937 - Saybrook: Ches birthday, swimming, fishing, beginning of sailing trip with Lunds, Devil's Hopyard, Cox fi...   more
15) Saybrook family activities, 1937-1938--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 13
1937-1938 Saybrook: B, Ches, Cynnie, Sally Cyn's 1st birthday (Frannie, Grmummy Bowles, Uncle Allen) Swim Meet Hadlyme ferry Skiing, sledding, playing football River at Saybrook, Nordly...   more
16) Clearing land and building house in Essex, 1939--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 15
1939 - Clearing land and building house in Essex #13 Work horses; Tom Grines, Tom McWhinney, C.P. Burdick; Architect: James G. Rogers Sr.; Uncle Allen's birthday: baby Sam, Sally, Cynni...   more
17) Saybrook, 1938-1939--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 14
Mainly Seabrook, 1938-1939 Hurricane: Saybrook and Esex (Dyke's, Dauntless Shipyard, Steamboat Dock) Cynnie, Sally, B, Ches on stilts, Ches playing ball with Chet Woods at Hayden's poin...   more
18) Sailing trips to Bermuda and Nova Scotia, 1938-1940--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 16
Sailing/Nordlys 1940 - To Bermuda and return: Steb, Chet, Al and Dorothy Stanford, Van Van Slyke, Charlie Young, Irving Adams, Bermuda street scenes, Hurricane (?) on return trip: hove...   more
19) Sailing trip and family activities in Essex, 1940--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 17
1940 - Essex and Sailing #15 Cynnie, Sally, Sam Ox up-rooting bush, goat Nurse Ellen Clearing Pond Putting up flag pole Making tennis court and playing B, Ches, Nana, Papa, Frannie hayi...   more
20) Sailing trip and family activities in Essex, 1940-1941--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 18
1940-1941 - Essex and sailing B, Ches, Cynnie, Sally, Sam Chet and B playing football Rock at Selden's Creek Ches, Jim, and Honey Lou Rogers building dam across marsh Charlie Young Calf...   more
21) Washington D.C. and Essex, CT, 1945-1950--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 19
Washington D.C. and Essex, 1945-1950 1945: Ball Game (OPA families) at Washington monument Essex: St. Bernards (Jimmy), skating, bringing in Christmas tree, skiing, Doug Bennet and kids...   more
22) Essex, CT and India, 1951-1952--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 20
1951-1952: Essex/India/Essex Elsie Jackman, Ches, Holly, Tim Leaving for India Trip to India - Chamonix - Mt. Blanc Over India - Taj Mahal First party House, servants and families, serv...   more
23) India, 1951-1952--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 21
India, 1951-1952 Village Development Project - Stahwah, UP: pump, village, carpenter shop, meeting Taj Mahal Kerala: bullock cart, wild baby elephant in trap, work elephants Kerala: vil...   more
24) India, Bangkok and Bagnio, 1952--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 22
1952 - India, Bangkok, Bagnio North India Fair Spinning Steb, Chet, Sally, Sam - vacation in Kashmir, houseboat, shikara Shalimar gardens Trip to Bangkok - life on and around the river...   more
25) India, 1952--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 23
1952 - India Picnic/Hauz Khaz (old city outside Delhi) Jean Joyce Delhi Public School - games Sally Sevagram (Gandhi's village) -spinning, irrigation, plowing, Leper Hospital, Mr. Aryan...   more
26) India, 1952--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 24
1952 - India Embassy reception - Nehru, movie stars, students, Pres. Rajendra Prasad, Nehru and sister (Vijayalakshmi Pandit) Lodhi Park (behind our house) Our house - 17 Ratendon Rd.,...   more
27) Trip to Nepal, 1952--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 25
Trips to Nepal - 1952, 1953 (3 reels) #1 1952 overland trip to Khatmandu for formal presentation of Chet to King Delhi train station passing villages (N. India) trail through mountains...   more
28) Trip to Nepal, 1952--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 26
Nepal #2, 1952 Nepalis/Tibetans;Bowles party continues its overland trip to Katmandu. Camp. Someone hands a cigarette to a Nepali man cooking. Men tend to the horses. A man sits on...   more
29) Trip to Nepal, 1952-1953--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 27
Nepal #3, 1952-1953 Black and white section at end of reel 3 is 1953, isolated Pokhara Valley, a wedding party;Color: Presentation to the king: Chet and some men come out of a building...   more
30) India, 1953-1957--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 28
India, 19523-1957 1953: Delhi school Olympics (Sal) Chet with servants' children Party at our house for servants and their families Delhi public school - playing cricket, classroom tent...   more
31) Trip to Southeast Asia, 1953--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 29
1953 - Steb, Chet, Sally, Sam Trip to Java and Bali (rice/fish) Saigon (street/bicycles) Hong Kong (harbor) Taiwan;Chet in a large brimmed hat sitting in a small boat. Deck of a large...   more
32) Trip to Africa, 1955--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 30
Steb and Chet trip to Africa, 1955 Victoria Falls Lake Victoria Tororo Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Lambarene Kenya - game reserve, village near Nyeri Ghana;Waterfall (Victoria Falls). Long h...   more
33) India Republic Day Parade, 1955--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 31
1955? - India Republic Day Parade, New Delhi: Nehru, Indira Gandhi Military Floats from states: regional dancing, music, crafts, stories, resources;Children. Nehru talking to some men....   more
34) Family, 1953-1957--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 32
Family 1953-1957 1953: Roque Island 195?: May 30th Baseball 1954: Essex - skating, Sam, Steb, Coolidges; Symes, Debbie 1956: North Haven- Coolidges, Panteleonies, Sally's friends, Val...   more
35) Family, 1956--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 33
Probably 1956 Many gatherings at Essex May 30th Steb after brain tumor op. Frannie's new house/old Lyme B and H and Holly and Ches and John, Linda, Nat and Tim Bennet Kids Builing Belto...   more
36) Trip to Pakistan, Russia, and Germany, 1957--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 34
1957 - Steb and Chet trip: Pakistan to Germany Peshawar to Kabul Kabul: grain elevator, Russian housing project, Pouladas Tashkent, Samarkhand: school, Tanelaine's Tomb, marketplace Mos...   more
37) Family, 1958-1965--Dorothy Stebbins Bowles--home movies. Reel 35
Family: 1958-1965 1958, Essex: skating on pond - Coolidges, Sam, Steb, Bennets, Symes Christmas - Coolidges, Frannie, Aunt Dot, Harry, Faith, Elaine 1959: Sally, Smith - Washington D.C....   more
38) [India, Republic Day Parade 1953]
India - 1953 - Sound Film Republic Day parade, New Delhi Rashtrapati Bhavan President's house Chet + Steb Bowles Rajaji and family (Rajendra?) Prasad - president of India Rajghat (Gandh...   more
Bowles, Dorothy Stebbins Collection
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Credit: Dorothy Stebbins Bowles Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Dorothy Stebbins Bowles and her daughter Sally celebrating the Holi Festival, India 1952
Primary Format and Extent
film (15,140 ft.) ; si.; 16mm reversal positive
Collection Date Range
1927 – 1965
The collection consists of a total of 15,140 feet of 16mm film from the 1920's-1960's. These consist mostly of home movies shot by Dorothy Stebbins Bowles in India and Connecticut, including family activities, sailing, and travel through Asia, Europe, and Africa. Also included are two stageplays made in the 1930's, "Happy Days" and "The Great Discrepancy" and a sound film shot in India in 1953. Footage associated with well-known political figures includes Eleanor Roosevelt, Helenka Adamowska Pantaleoni (silent film actress and founding director of UNICEF), Indira Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru (first prime minister of India), Rajendra Prasad (first president of India), and King Tribhuvan of Nepal. Coverage of family recreation includes the sailing trips on the family Yacht around Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, Bermuda, Maine, and Long Island Sound.
Biographical/Historical Notes
Dorothy Stebbins Bowles, nicknamed Steb, was born in Newton, Massachusetts, in 1903 and died in Essex, Connecticut, in 1989. She traveled around the world in the 1920s and lived in India for many years during the 1950s and 1960s. Her father, Harry Stebbins, owned a lumber business in Boston. Her mother, Ada Eloise Stebbins, was an accomplished pianist, composer, and music teacher. She also had an older sister, Frances or Frannie Stebbins Pond.

Dorothy graduated from Vassar College in 1925 and from Smith School of Social Work in 1926. In 1927 she took a trip with a friend, Kay Wharton, around the world, which she documented with her 16mm film camera. Along with a group of friends, including Roger Clapp as director, she starred in two amateur stage plays, "Happy Days" and "The Great Discrepancy" during the early 1930s. Some of these friends along with her family appear in her early films. She worked as a social worker with the Junior League in Boston until her marriage to Chester "Chet" Bowles in 1934.

Chet worked in advertising in New York and had two children from a previous marriage, Barbara and Chester Jr., when he met Dorothy. They lived in Saybrook, Connecticut, until 1939 when their new house in Essex, Connecticut, was completed. They had three children, Cynthia (born 1936), Sally (born 1937), and Sam (born 1939). Chet continued in the advertising business until the United States entered WWII. He took a job with the state of Connecticut in the Wartime Rationing Office until he was appointed head of the Office of Price Administration by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The family lived in Washington, D.C., from 1943-1947 while Chet was director of the OPA and films from this period include many of his co-workers and their families.

In 1947 the family returned to Connecticut where Chet was elected Governor in 1948, and served one term. Chet, Dorothy, Cynthia, Sally, and Sam relocated to India in 1951 when Chet was appointed the Ambassador to India and Nepal. In 1953 they returned to their home in Essex, Connecticut. Dorothy and Chet continued to travel around the world and her films document their trips to Southeast Asia, Pakistan, Africa, Russia, and Europe through the late 1950s. Chet won a seat in the House of Representatives and served from 1959-1960. In 1960 he was selected as a foreign policy advisor to Senator John F. Kennedy and become Under Secretary of State in 1961 after Kennedy was elected President. He was once again appointed Ambassador to India and returned to the country with Dorothy in 1963. In 1968 they returned to Essex, Connecticut, where they remained until their deaths in 1986 (Chet) and 1989 (Dorothy).

Sailing was a passion of both Dorothy and Chet and many films show the couple sailing from Connecticut to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, Bermuda, Maine, and Long Island Sound.
People and Organizations
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
Northeast Historic Film
Access is restricted; consult repository for detail.
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.
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