The first few decades of the twentieth century brought many exciting advances in technology to the world, including the widespread use of electricity, nickelodeons (of course!), and silent movies. Movies were produced by the hundreds using a nitrate base that was very flammable and not designed to have longevity. For those and other reasons, many movies from the silent era do not exist today, although evidence of their production do remain. One of these movies is A Sainted Devil.
Rudolph Valentino was easily one of the most popular actors of the silent era, along with other notables including Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin. An Italian by birth, he moved to New York City at the age of eighteen and then went to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting. In a movie career that lasted only twelve years total, he performed in well over twenty-five movies before dying quite unexpectedly at the age of 31, from complications associated with appendicitis and gastric ulcers in 1926. Mass hysteria occurred with news of his passing, and suicides by avid fans were reported. A Sainted Devil was released in 1924, and no known prints of it remain in existence. The movie poster adorns the walls of the American Treasure Tour's Music Room (big surprise, I know), but the film itself is either lost or hidden in some long-forgotten vault, waiting to be rediscovered. We can hope it's the latter scenario.
Rudolph Valentino was an early superstar during the age of silent film. Without dialogue or a natural soundtrack included in the movie, theaters used any of a number of different techniques to bring sound to the movies, including accompaniment by live musicians or professional organists. What mechanical music machine was created specifically for theater owners to bring in to compliment the action in films?
b) Music Boxes
c) Band Organs
e) Player Pianos
Today in History
It was September 6th, 1620, when a group of 102 English Pilgrims departed from Plymouth, England for a journey across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World. They were headed for the colony of Virginia, which had been settled eleven years earlier, but necessity compelled them to set down on the first land they saw, sixty-five days after their departure. They remained at Provincetown Harbor on Cape Cod for some time prior to settling in at New Plymouth, on the Massachusetts mainland.
Today we celebrate the 1860 birth of Jane Addams, the humanitarian and progressive social worker responsible for the establishment of Chicago's Hull House. Hull House proved an invaluable resource to poor and uneducated, often immigrant, families that used it as a resource.
In 1931, Addams became the first American woman to receive a Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts. She became an inspiration for many American women who strove to emulate her good works in their own communities at the time.
Twenty-eight years her junior, Joseph Kennedy was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Kennedy made his fortune in alcohol and politics, becoming the patriarch for a family of politicians, most notably his sons John and Robert, who became President of the United States and Attorney General, respectively.
The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. -- Jane Addams