76 Items in This Collection
1) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 1, Accession 1902
Box notes: "Bethel, ME, Feb. 1929";People skiing on snowy hill, passing camera as they go down a slope one by one. The hill is not groomed, so some cross-country ski, and some downhill...   more
2) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 2, Accession 1902
Can notes: "St. Jovite & Bethel, Feb. 1930. Skiing" ;Views of people cross-country skiing in open, flat, snowy area, then in a wooded area. A group of dogs are attached to a dog-sl...   more
3) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 3, Accession 1902
Box label: "Air Meet, 1932" Biplanes and planes lined up on a flight line, and a trio of planes flying overhead. Spectators on the ground watch planes circling. Plane takes off...   more
4) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 4, Accession 1902
Box label: "Quaboag River, May 1935 Kayaking and canoeing, rapids." The Quaboag River is a whitewater Class III and features several named rapids. Views of fast-running Quaboag Riv...   more
5) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 5, Accession 1902
Can label: "Westfield River, April 1936. Kayaking scenes" The Westfield River has been designated a National Wild & Scenic River, and has Class I-III rapids along its length. Alexande...   more
6) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 6, Accession 1902
Notes from titles: "Boston Skating Club Carnival 1937 and 1938" Intertitle: "Boston Skating Club Carnival 1937" Choreographed dance of young women in pink tulle costumes dancing through...   more
7) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 7, Accession 1902
Can note (and on title): "Boston Skating Club Carnival, 1939" Intertitle: "Boston Skating Club Carnival 1939" Skaters dressed as toy soldiers, toreros, majorettes, and horses skate to...   more
8) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 8, Accession 1902
Can note: "Lake Placid, Feb. 1932" The Winter Olympics took place in Lake Placid, NY, February 4-15, 1932, with 14 events in 8 sports. Views of skaters in an outdoor rink, especially o...   more
9) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 9, Accession 1902
Can notes: "December 1934, Elmwood Feb. 1935, Franconia" Cross country skiers in forested area. Views from top of hill as skiers start down toward open farmland below (underexposed)....   more
10) Busting Bubbles
Donald Duck in "Busting Bubbles"   more
11) Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life
Kodak Cinegraph version of directors, Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, documentary feature.   more
12) Hindenburg Explodes!
Pathegram film on the Hindenburg crash in 1937   more
13) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 13, Accession 1902
Can note: "Surf, Cranberry, Dart, Jericho Bay, Black Duck" Extended coverage of waves crashing against rocky Maine shoreline which looks similar to that on Mt. Desert. POV from stern...   more
14) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 14, Accession 1902
Can note: "Westfield River, 1915"   more
15) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 15, Accession 1902
"Kayak in [?], Cohasset, and in Surf, Blue Hill, Mt. Desert" Date on can: June 20 & Aug. 26, 1915   more
16) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 16, Accession 1902
"Family, Milton" Notes: "October 1915, Family members" Views of a car parked at the edge of a road, and another car with its convertible top down driving down a dirt driveway toward...   more
17) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 17, Accession 1902
"Katharine" Dates on can: Sept. & Dec. 1915 and 1919   more
18) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 19, Accession 1902
Janet & Florry, Milton, Seal Harbor (KF, JF, FEF & Yeddy), Milton See-Saw. Dates on can: 'June & Sept. 1915.';DEC. 1920   more
20) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 21, Accession 1902
Quaboag River, April 30, 1922   more
21) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 22, Accession 1902
Irving Forbes, with KF, JF, & FEF and ball. Katharine and Florence skiing; FEFdance; KF & JFdance. Dates on can: 1924, 1925, Dec. 1926, April 1928.   more
23) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 24, Accession 1902
Surf on Mount Desert Is. Maine    more
24) France's Famous Gun the 75
Description from "Descriptive list of Pathefilms Classified" found at Archive.org "483 France's Famous Gun the 75, C. M. Pathe Coming into position at a quick gallop ; quick fi...   more
25) The Otter; The Marten
Description from "Descriptive list of Pathefilms Classified" found at Archive.org "230-a The Otter Pathe An instructive reel descriptive of the otter and teaching many of it...   more
26) Round Przemysl
Description from "Descriptive list of Pathefilms Classified" found at Archive.org "477 Round Przemysl Pathe Life of the Russian soldier in the trenches ; a bombardment ; signal...   more
27) The Heart and the Circulation of the Blood
Description from "Descriptive list of Pathefilms Classified" found at Archive.org "405. The Heart and Circulation of the Blood, Pathe An excellent scientific subject showing th...   more
28) The Water Beetle (Dytiscus) and its Larva
Description from "Descriptive list of Pathefilms Classified" found at Archive.org "225. The Water Beetle (Dytiscus) and its Larva, Pathe A scientific reel giving a detailed des...   more
33) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 34, Accession 1902
First shot: waves crashing on rocks - holds this shot for a long time, with the tide coming and going. Different shots of waves, then moves closer in. More angles of rocks and waves.   more
36) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 37, Accession 1902
Videotape made during screening of Forbes collection 28mm films. // Filmed off of screen in Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, during AMIA Conference in November 2002. // Projection by Sandra Jo...   more
38) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 39, Accession 1902
"Surf on Great Hd. Mt. Desert Maine Aug. 6, 1915"   more
39) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 18, Accession 1902
Notes: Dates on can: "June & Sept. 1915" POV from boat as it comes into a landing, including a boathouse. Hadley Harbor, Naushon Island, with view of a Herreshoff 121/2 under sail...   more
40) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 40, Accession 1902
"Surf Mt. Desert Maine July 1915 off Anchorage & Ingraham Pt."   more
41) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 41, Accession 1902
"Surf Mt. Desert Maine Blue Head Aug. 5, Otter Cliffs Aug 28, 1915."   more
42) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 1 Accession 2241
Box notes: "1929--June--Lossie; Irving & express wagon; children dancing, etc., Milton & Naushon" View of woman in a garden with her garden tools. A young child scoots a child...   more
43) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 2,  Accession 2241
Box notes: "1929 Naushon-- Family Beech Tree Climb; Florry aquaplaning; Mangasteen; nice harbor scenes." Four children swing on three rope swings handing from one branch of a large be...   more
44) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 3,  Accession 2241
Box notes: "1930 - Black Duck; 4-masted schooner passing Naushon; Florry, Kitty & friends dancing with scarves; more Black Duck." Kitty (Alexander's daughter Katherine) and three gi...   more
45) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 4,  Accession 2241
Box notes: "1930- Wyoming- Ranch #1- Haystacking; airplane" In a large open field on a Wyoming ranch, a man driv...   more
46) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 5,  Accession 2241
Box notes: " 1930 - Wyoming- Ranch #2- rodeo, etc., Beckton Stock Farm" Views of people on horseback riding out of barn. Two young girls ride bareback on a white horse in a ro...   more
47) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 6,  Accession 2241
Box notes: "1932, Milton, 3 girls dancing on lawn in garden; short bit of 2 riders on horseback" Two young girls wearing gossamer dresses dance in the garden at Milton, leaping, and d...   more
48) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 7,  Accession 2241
Box notes: " 1934-Jan- canoeing white water; Model T Ford" Pans of a rushing river after a good storm. A boy and girl in raincoats stand on the bank and throw rocks into the water....   more
49) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 8,  Accession 2241
Box notes: "1934- Dec- Florry on Parachute". Florry (Alexander's daughter Florence) rides horse Parachute around the field behind the Milton house. Late fall or early winter as there...   more
50) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 9,  Accession 2241
Box notes: "1935- Bob & Isabel Grinnell in Falk Boats; First Bridge; Monohansett; air shot of Gay Head. A young toddler wanders around on an outdoor porch, and plays with a ball as ad...   more
51) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 10,  Accession 2241
Box notes: " 1935 - good Naushon scenes; Black Duck; Little Warrior" View of children swinging on beech tree at Naushon. A young boy aquaplaning on a board behind a motorboat in the h...   more
52) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 11,  Accession 2241
Box notes: "1936- 1st 4 minutes - Milton- Florry & siblings tabogganing behind Parachute" Florry (Alexander's daughter Florence) tries skiing behind the horse Parachute as the hors...   more
53) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 12,  Accession 2241
Box notes: "(large reel) 1935- 610 Harland St.; Kitty's reception 1936; bridges, view from Field House" Aerial views over islands near Naushon Island, MA. HAS of footbridge, with m...   more
54) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 12A,  Accession 2241
Box notes: "Dec. 1936 - Jan/Feb 1937 - 1/30/37 flight over Mt. Washington; good shots of Tuckerman's Ravine without snow (Irving flying plane); 12/36-1/37 Intervale; 2/37 Skating party...   more
55) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 13,  Accession 2241
Box notes: " (large reel) 1937- Wyoming summer- packing horses- air view of canyons- rodeo- ends with 1 min. of Naushon." Aerial views among clouds of open land below, mostly flat,...   more
56) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 14,  Accession 2241
"1937- Milton- garden; horses loaded onto truck; Fred tedding hay" Woman walking among the blooming shrubbery in a garden. She then kneels and plants a few small plants in a...   more
57) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 15,  Accession 2241
Box notes: "1937- South Shore Bathing Beach floats & bath houses" A party of young women arrives at a sandy beach with their swimming gear, then gathers around a bath house to chang...   more
58) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 16,  Accession 2241
Box notes: " 1937- Black Duck; horses; Naushon; Stone House" Views of two young women and a young man taking turns swinging in the bosun's chair off the leeward side of Black Duck as...   more
59) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 17,  Accession 2241
Box notes: " Milton - horses- Irving on bike" Group of young people skiing together amid rolling hills. A man exits a dormer window on a house, and throws a tire off toward the ca...   more
60) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 17A,  Accession 2241
Box notes: " Nov. 1938-July 1939 - Milton skiing- all 4 kids & 3 dogs; Fred plowing snow with team of horses". Forbes family members cross country ski on the property in Milton. Thr...   more
61) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 18,  Accession 2241
Box notes: "(large reel) - undated (1939?) - air shots; Japanese children's pageant; Hadley Harbor sailing; last quarter = Veckatimest & Monohansett" B&W, 4-masted schooner under...   more
62) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 19,  Accession 2241
Box notes: " 1940-Apr- dogs & lamb- Milton - Nat" Dogs gather around as woman put down the top of a convertible car. A man throws items for dogs to fetch. Views of one of the do...   more
63) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 20,  Accession 2241
Box notes: "1941 - N. Goodhue - Milton & Darwins" Views of a baby on a blanket on the floor. Then the baby is held high in the air by a man. Views of baby on blanket outside, crawl...   more
64) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 21,  Accession 2241
Box notes: " 1952- Charlotte & dog in Milton; pond in woods; Naushon; people at Upper Wharf; big Fisherman's Island picnic - blown down trees." Charlotte plays with dog in the garden...   more
65) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 22,  Accession 2241
Box notes: "1930- Yellowstone Geysers, Wyo. for Nat." Steam rises from Old Faithful Geyser at Yellowstone National Park. Visitors walk by and watch.   more
66) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 24,  Accession 2241
Can notes: " Harbor Island 1929. JFP cutting grass Sea Pigeon in action. Visits to Scray Id. " A group of children and adults quickly move furniture in and out of an old house, and...   more
67) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 25,  Accession 2241
Can notes: "Harbor Island 1935 Forbes" Views aboard Black Duck as people sit in the stern on a rough day. POV toward the bow as it crashes through waves sailing upwind. Views from a...   more
68) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 1, Accession 2533
Can notes: "Cruise of Ramah 1931" Ramah was a 97 ft. schooner owned by Alexander Forbes. He sailed it to Labrador in 1931, and took an all-male amateur crew, including his brothe...   more
69) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 2, Accession 2533
Can notes: "On Board Ramah 1933 Hyannis to Naples #1" Subjects: Yachts and yachting, Sailboats, Sailing, Ramah was a 97 ft. schooner owned by Alexander Forbes. He sailed it to La...   more
70) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 4, Accession 2533
Can notes: "Ramah 1933 #2" Ramah was a 97 ft. schooner owned by Alexander Forbes. He sailed it to Labrador in 1931, and took an all-male amateur crew, including his brother Edward...   more
71) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 6, Accession 2533
Can notes: " Aegean Cruise Reel 1 Naples-Delphi" Ramah was a 97 ft. schooner owned by Alexander Forbes. He sailed it to Labrador in 1931, and took an all-male amateur crew, including h...   more
72) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 7, Accession 2533
Can notes: "Aegean Cruise - Corinth Canal- Delphi" Intertitle: "Through the Corinth Canal. Caikes in the Gulf of Athens." Views of mountainous and rocky coastline from Ramah. Vie...   more
73) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 8, Accession 2533
Can notes: "Aegean Cruise Patmos-Melos Kodacolor reel 3" Intertitle: "PORT SKALA, PATMOS, and thence through the DODECANESE TO COS and CAPE KRIO, ASIA MINOR." A dory full of men...   more
74) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 9, Accession 2533
Can notes "Aegean Cruise Corinth Reel 4 b&w" Intertitle: "Homeward bound via Patras, where a diver goes down to stop a leak in the hull." Views of passengers sitting on the rear...   more
75) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 10, Accession 2533
Can notes: "Labrador 1935 Reel 1" In 1935, Alexander Forbes returned to Labrador by plane, as a relief pilot and photographer, with only a pilot-mechanic as a companion. After 11 day...   more
76) [Alexander Forbes—home movies] Reel 11, Accession 2533
Can notes: "Labrador 1935 Reel 2 Dr. Forbes" Intertitle: "LABRADOR, 1935- PART 11[sic]" Intertitle: From the camp at Nachvak Lake. Late afternoon sunlight." Views of very tall ro...   more
Forbes, Irving Collection
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Collection Identifier(s)
[Alexander Forbes--home movies], 2241
[Alexander Forbes--home movies], 1902
[Alexander Forbes--home movies], 2533
Alexander Forbes
Credit: Irving Forbes Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Sheepherding on Naushon Island, MA, 1915.
Credit: Irving Forbes Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Sheepherding on Naushon Island, MA, 1915.
Primary Format and Extent
film (8,300 ft.) : si., b&w and col. ; 16 mm.
Secondary Format and Extent
film (840 ft.) : si., b&w and col. ; 28 mm.
Collection Date Range
1915 – 1953
The Irving Forbes Collection contains of 49 reels of 16 mm. film, 12 reels of 28 mm. film, a Pathé Kok 28 mm. motorized projector, and a Bell & Howell Filmo 57 16 mm. projector. Forbes family scenes include views of gardening, boating, daughters dancing, horses and horseback riding, and trips to the family ranch in Wyoming and to family-owned Naushon Island, Massachusetts. Other activities found in the collection include: figure skating, skiing, camping, and flying (including aerial shots of New England). Footage depicts the 1931 and 1933 cruises of the schooner Ramah, in which Forbes and crew sail to Labrador, Canada, from Dorchester, Massachusetts (1931), and from Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts to Naples, Italy, including a tour of the Aegean (1933). Ramah cruise footage depicts views of land and seascapes and crewmembers aboard the ship. Other significant footage includes: herding and shearing sheep on Naushon Island in 1915; 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York; and documentation of Forbes’ 11-day trip as a relief pilot to photograph the northern tip of Labrador (near Cape Chidley) for the first aerial map survey of that area.
Biographical/Historical Notes
Alexander Forbes (1882-1965) was born and died in Milton, Massachusetts. His great grandfather, John Murray Forbes, was a diplomat and businessman in China who was responsible for establishing the Forbes family on Naushon Island, a private enclave off Woods Hole, MA, where various members of the family still live in the summer. His son, William Hathaway Forbes, was a Civil War hero who became president of the Bell Telephone Company, and married Edith Emerson, the daughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Their eighth and last child was Alexander Forbes. Alexander Forbes graduated from Milton Academy, and then spent a year living on a Forbes family cattle ranch in Wyoming, working in a chemical mill in Maine, and traveling. He attended Harvard College and graduated in 1905 (his classmate was Franklin D. Roosevelt). He spent another year mostly in Wyoming, and then the next four years at Harvard Medical School, receiving an MD in 1910. He devoted his career to the study of the physiology of the nervous system by the use of physical techniques, and became an instructor in the Department of Physiology at Harvard Medical School, and the first laboratory scientist in the US to concentrate on the emerging science of neurophysiology. More information about his scientific work and publications can be found in Alexander Forbes, 1882-1965, a biographical memoir by Wallace O. Fenn, published in 1969 by the National Academy of Sciences, a copy of which is in the donor file. The Grass Foundation, which supports research and education in neurosciences, sponsors a lectureship and residency program honoring and named for Alexander Forbes. Information about the program and a biography of Forbes can be found at Grass Foundation. In addition to his scientific work, Forbes was a skilled navigator. He published "Offshore Navigation in Its Simplest Form" in 1935. WorldCat In the summer of 1931, Forbes planned a recreational sailing cruise to Labrador, but, by chance, Dr. Wilfred Grenfell suggested that the coast of Labrador needed better charts. Forbes consulted with the American Geographical Society and made contact with O.M. Miller, who was developing a new technique for making charts by oblique photography from the air. The cruise became a scientific expedition aboard the 97-foot schooner Ramah, owned by Forbes. Photographs of this survey are available at the Archives, Gray Herbarium Library, Harvard University Herbaria, and were a gift to Harvard from the American Geographical Society. Photographs from survey of Labrador coast, 1931: A Guide. Forbes returned to Labrador in 1935 to continue the aerial mapping. Forbes Sound, Nunavut, was named in his honor. Forbes authored "Northernmost Labrador Mapped from the Air," published by the American Geographical Society in 1938. At the end of World War II, Forbes was sent to Bikini Island to apply his techniques to mapping and measuring the waves generated by the atomic explosion. Additional papers of Alexander Forbes can be found at the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine Harvard University. This collection was donated by Alexander Irving Forbes (1922-2008), the son of Alexander Forbes.
People and Organizations
Forbes Family
Northeast Historic Film
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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