Train crossing Brooklyn Bridge: Thomas Edison film, 1899


9 Responses to “Train crossing Brooklyn Bridge: Thomas Edison film, 1899”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Amazing coincidence! I just watched this film last week while I was researching what films we might be showing at next year’s PDX Bridge Festival. And while I can’t say much for the captivation level of this particular piece, Edison, the Lumiere Bros and a few others do make use of bridges in early film — a motif that has continued for more than a century. There’s a really great (and really exhaustively long) essay on bridges in films (including this Edison transfer). Good mining for our film schedule, even though we tend to be a little less literal and more tongue-in-cheek with our choices. (say, a Tron double feature with Jeff BRIDGES!)

    Here’s the essay:
    And for what it’s worth, the festival (where you might be able to check out this and other films on a sunny Portland rooftop next summer!):

  2. jebblue says:

    This lady, still alive, Eunice Sanborn of Jacksonville, Texas, was a 4 year old girl most likely playing in the yard while this film was being made.

  3. ColHapablap says:

    I think this was actually stolen from a French filmmaker, originally titled Le Voyage dans la Brooklyn Bridge.

  4. Sagodjur says:

    It is loathsome that posting this video isn’t a copyright violation. How will Edison be incentivized to posthumously ripoff more intellectual property if we don’t retroactively extend copyright for works from the 19th Century? Won’t someone think of the “inventors?”

    His estate needs to collect fees for the use of his works and patents in order to fund a lawsuit mill that seeks out violators of his intellectual property rights and garners millions in judgments and licensing fees. The lawyers of dead men need to eat too!

    Christ, what an asshole.

  5. cjp says:

    That’s my nomination for the most boring chase scene ever filmed.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Just a weird, slightly OT thought: the people on the left-hand side of the tracks… if they were, say, 20 when this video was shot and had a baby at home, and that baby had a baby when they were 20, that baby would likely be dead really old right now. Crazy!

  7. voiceinthedistance says:

    I had to stop it before the elephant stopped shuddering and presumably hit the ground. Seeing the acrid smoke rising from his body was enough for me. I sincerely hope to never smell burning elephant flesh in my lifetime.

  8. CliffStoll says:

    Just 6 years later, a real increase in quality in the San Francisco Trip Down Market Street (from 1905).

  9. Dan Mac says:

    Interestingly, filmmakers ran out to Los Angeles to set up their pirate operations and avoid Edisons “Film Trust” goons.

    Innovation and wealth followed.

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