This blog post and its video are interesting on two different fronts. Not only is it interesting in our continuing efforts to spread the word about old photographic processes (and this is some of the earliest color movie film ever, it comes from experiments by Kodak in color movie film’s earliest stages), but also gives you an idea about what women really looked like in the 1920s, not in black and white, not in computer aided modern colors added, but in the colors that they themselves picked. (Frankly if this is a typical sample, I think maybe our opinion of the 1920s clothes and decorating choices might be higher than in should be, black and white has a lot more elegance than this and hid a lot of sins, although I have to say the colorful clothes fit a colorful era.) This film’s existence doesn’t mean that they had yet perfected true color values by any means, I think it’s fair to say that the red end of the spectrum is overly heavy, I think things are looking redder than they should and that red is showing better than the other colors, but it’s still fascinating to see. Also, it seems like from both the film itself and the accompanying post, the women might have been actresses in the early film industry or copying the poses they were familiar with seeing actresses on the screen use and so follow patterns we’re not familiar with today and so they seem stilted and a little strange to our eyes where they probably wouldn’t have seemed so to the contemporary audience they were filmed for. One more proviso, they hadn’t yet fixed the bane of early films the tendency of the light on the screen to seem to flicker, hence the slang name flicks. So to steal a phrase from television’s golden age, it’s The Jazz Age IN COLOR!
Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library. View all posts by trundlebedtales