Edna Purviance's bio

Currently working on Edna Purviance's family biography. Draft is done. Photo: Leading Ladies © used by ednapurviance.org

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

First Flight across the Atlantic

With Edna's husband Jack Squire, being an early day pilot for Pan America (and other airlines), we have been spending lots of time researching early day flight. So when History Detectives had their program featuring stories about flying this week, it made it even more interesting.

While Charles Lindbergh gets the correct for being the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic, he wasn't the first to cross the Atlantic by plane. In May 1919, three Navy men flew across the Atlantic in a 'flying boat' called the NC-4.

With a cockpit open to the elements, three men made the trip and were celebrated for making it, but their fame was short lived and their story nearly forgotten.

Check your PBS listing for the time History Detectives plays in your area. Also, some stations do repeat the same program on the weekends. (On the program they mention pilot Roscoe Turner, who Jack Squire knew personally and has photos of in the collection.)

The History Detectives website does have an extended interview about the flight, as Elyse sits in the cockpit of the actual NC-4. more>

Monday, July 30, 2007

Charlie Chaplin Keystone Film Update

In case you haven't been following this, BFI has a list of the Keystone Films that have been restored and films still needing work. Click this link for the list. (This list has been last updated in Sept. 2006)

And if by chance you missed the ABC report about the restoring of these films (over a year ago), you can watch again at this link.

Once these films are restored the report plan is to create a DVD collection.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Grand View Faces Brand New Lawsuit

July 26, 2007 - The Grand View case just got longer as 100 new families decided to file their own lawsuit against the cemetery.

"Another personal-injury lawsuit has been filed against Grand View Memorial Park, adding 100 people to the list of those seeking compensation from the cemetery for allegedly mishandling their loved ones' remains.

Aroustamian & Associates filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court last week. It is the third personal-injury lawsuit against the cemetery since its legal troubles began in October 2005, said Mary Der-Parseghian, an attorney with the law firm.

The lawsuit claims that those named in the suit suffered emotional distress due to the cemetery's breach of contract and mishandling and mistreatment of the remains of people buried there, Der-Parseghian said.

The amount they are suing for has not been determined, she said." - Glendale News

Link to Glendale News Article (on the web for 14 days from today's date) - more>

This suit is for 'emotional distress', but the longer these suits go the worst the cemetery conditions are going to get. It will be interesting to see if as one of the lawyer's said, that this cemetery can be run in the future.

As for the tree issue, that is still being sorted out. Like everything involved with this, could be sometime. Until sorted, the cemetery will remain closed. Watch for more news.

August 1st - Grand View is considered an 'Extreme Fire Hazard Area'.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

No bidders for Charlie Chaplin's Camera

July 25, 2007 - Charlie Chaplin's Bell and Howell camera failed to get any bidders today at the auction at Christie's in London.

"A movie camera used by Charlie Chaplin in the making of classic films such as The Gold Rush and The Kid has failed to sell at auction.

The Bell and Howell camera was expected to fetch up to £90,000 when it went under the hammer at Christie's in South Kensington, London but it failed to find a buyer."

"The camera was bought on February 23, 1918, just a month after Chaplin and his brother set up Chaplin Studios to allow themselves greater creative control over their film-making.

Christie's said they believed the camera was used to shoot classics such as A Dog's Life and Shoulder Arms.

The auctioneers said it was possible that the Bell and Howell camera was also used for Chaplin's "silent" productions of the 1930s such as the acclaimed City Lights and Modern Times." - Press Association

Update July 27th, 2007 - America is usually a strong bidder in the market for film industry items, but with the dollar at a 26 year low against the sterling, it makes for a very expensive buy, no matter how you look at it. Of course, no one else made a bid for the camera, either.

(Roughly, the street rate to buy one Britain's pound is about $2.25, depending on the place purchased. Bank to bank rate is $2.06 for one pound)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Paulette Goddard - Striking Blonde Chairwoman

From the file...

Charlie Chaplin fans know Paulette Goddard as the beautiful brunette leading lady in ‘Modern Times’ and ‘The Great Dictator.’ But when Chaplin met Paulette, she was the beautiful blond the press was rumoring about in Hollywood.

In 1926 (before Chaplin), Paulette was a dancer in the Ziegfeld Chorus, but a comment by Mr. Ziegfeld lead her to Chairwoman and spoke person of the Striking Blonde Committee.
___________

Peeved Blonds to Strike
Ziegfeld Chorus Members Angry at Producer for His Statement Lauding Brunettes

New York - July 23, 1926 - The blond members of the chorus of Ziegfeld’s revue have organized and voted to strike next Wednesday unless Mr. Ziegfeld retracts his utterance that men prefer brunettes and titians.

The committee women, who were appointed today to represent the blonde organization, declare that the disparaging remarks of the producer threatened to decrease the earning power of every blonde actress and chorus girl on the stage. Mr. Ziegfeld is declared to have said, “a few blondes are enough.”

Besides taking a position on the brunette side is the current controversy the committee asserted that Mr. Ziegfeld has proceeded to enlist an all-brunette chorus for his next production.

“If anyone thinks this is a joke or a publicity stunt, he is in error,” said Paulette Goddard, chairwoman of the striking blonde committee.

“When Mr. Ziegfeld denies that blondes are popular and when he seeks to exclude them from his next show the effect on us is extremely serious. Our blonde complexion is our capital, and when Mr. Ziegfeld rates us below brunettes and titians he hurts our standing.

If his views are followed by other producers, as they are likely to be, it may become hard for blondes to obtain positions. Mr. Ziegfeld’s attempt to influence the public against blondes not only has hurt our feelings but caused us to be worried about our future.

At our meeting, which was attended by more than twenty blond members of the chorus we voted unanimously to go on strike unless Mr. Ziegfeld retracted and raised the salaries of all blonds in his chorus 50 per cent. We want the extra salary as compensation for the injury done us but what we are most concerned about is vindication.

There is no doubt at all the blonds are more popular than brunettes. Everybody knows that. Mr. Ziegfeld has no right to say anything different.”
_________________

A few years later in Hollywood, Paulette would find her name connected to the same topic again, as a Hollywood actor has his say on the matter of blondes vs. brunettes.
_______________

September 18, 1933 - Los Angeles - Grace Kingsley
Brunettes are coming back into favor with men!”

So says Douglass Montgomery, who, by the way, is going away to Lake Arrowhead on location today, playing the lead in Paramount’s “Eight Girls in a Boat.”

And he will be the only man in that “rosebud garden of girls.” More than eight, too - in fact, there will be no fewer than twenty! But chaperoned, oh, dear, yes.

So we can see from Douglass’s remarks that the blondes are going to fare badly at his hands, so far as attention goes.

“Blondes all look alike, for one thing,” said Montgomery. “When I leave one I have just met, I never can remember how she looks! But brunettes - ah, they are different. They give the impression of genuineness and therefore of sincerity.

“Notice how all the synthetic blondes are turning brunette again? Lola Lane, Paulette Goddard, Bebe Daniels, Joan Crawford. And the brunettes who are staying married? Kay Francis, Irene Dunne, Mary Astor, Bebe Daniels, Florence Eldridge, Arline Judge, Claudette Colbert and a lot of others...
_________________

Follow-up: Paulette Goddard met Charlie Chaplin in July 1932, after Chaplin returned from his world tour. She was a blond when they first met, but Charlie convinced Paulette to change back to her natural brunette hair for his lead role in his new film.

She made a successful career as a brunette and almost played one of the most famous roles as a brunette, Scarlett O’Hara in ‘Gone with the Wind.'

As for Chaplin, Hetty Ketty was the brunette he could never get out of his mind. Many of his leading ladies were brunettes.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Movies of the 20s and Early Cinema


Taschen Publications has a new book release called "Movies of the 20s and Early Cinema." The book is available in Europe, UK, USA and Japan. See this link for more details.




"
From the first moving pictures (the Lumière brothers’ 1895 “L’arrivé d’un train”), early westerns, fantastic pictures, and nickelodeons all the way through the golden age of silent film in the 1920s, this book covers the first three decades of the moving picture around the world.

In America, we witness the birth of Hollywood, circa 1910, where film quickly became a powerful industry and D. W. Griffith put American cinema on the map; later, Charli
e Chaplin and Buster Keaton developed a new language of visual comedy while eccentrics like Erich von Stroheim and Cecil B. DeMille turned cinema into a high art form and show biz respectively, and sex symbols like Rudolph Valentino and Greta Garbo heated up the screens. " - Taschen


Note to Our UK Visitors in the Flood Zones
Very sad news to read about the record flooding in many areas in the UK (places where we visited and stayed). Locations that people would know like Royal Shakespeare Theatre, whose basement was flooded. For many it is the second round of it in the last two months. We send our best to all touched by this event.

The Floods at a Glance >


Sunday, July 22, 2007

September 1933 Report on Modern Times

From the File...
Grace Kingsley Report - September 30, 1933

"Charlie Chaplin will play the role of a factory hand in his forthcoming comedy, which has a large industrial section of a big city as its background!

And though nobody in the great comedian’s troupe will speak a word, sound effects and music will be used more extensively than ever before. A new stage of the old-fashioned silent type is being build at the Chaplin English village studio.

Also Charlie will keep his traditional mustache. This, says his manage, Alfred Reeves. came in face of the newspaper comment alleging that Chaplin is opposed to Hitler, Germany’s dictator, who wears an upper-lip adornment somewhat like Charlie’s, and that the comedian would, therefore, discard it! The Berlin Film-Kurier became very excited about it, indeed!

Chaplin’s staff is gradually gathering itself together, including those old standbys, Henry Bergman and Albert Austin, and a new head carpenter, William Bogandoff, and chief electrician Frank Teatera, while Jack Wilson will assist Manager Reeves.

Carter De Haven, in addition to acting as Chaplin’s assistant, will also play a big part in the picture.

And, of course, as announced many times, Pauline (how it was spelled) Goddard will be Chaplin’s leading lady. The comedian tells me he has written for her the most important role any leading lady of his has had."

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Granddaughter Suzanne Lloyd interview about Harold Lloyd

July 19, 2007 - Interview with Suzanne Lloyd about her grandfather, silent film star Harold Lloyd and the new DVD collection release. more>

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

'Sunnyside' nymphs in 'How to Make Movies'?

I have read in Glenn Mitchell's book 'The Chaplin Encyclopedia' about Edna Purviance being one of the gals who 'instantly' changed from her day clothes to a bathing suit in this scene from 'How to Make Movies.' Frankly, I never believed it, because the only blond in the group does not look like Edna.

I have been studying images from Edna's personal collection and from other sources and found this gal, believed to be Edna, is actually one of the dancing nymphs in the film 'Sunnyside.'

See our new Brief Glimpse for more>>>

NOTE: Sea Gull fans, I do have something planned, just have to wait a bit more...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cinecon 43 - Photos from Edna event






















Cinecon 43 is getting ready for their Labor Day event starting the end of August. Presently, they have the photos from last years Cinecon 42 event, which includes our special Edna Purviance event, with Lita Hill as special guest.

"Since many of our members are avid silent film fans there was quite a turn out for the show. By time the program started it was standing room only." - Cinecon

We like to thank Cinecon for the report. Check their site for the coming schedule for Cinecon 43. more>


UPDATE July 18th: I had this question today about the documentary from a fan in Canada:
"I would like to know if it will be possible for fans far from Hollywood (Québec, Canada) to see the film?"

I had many others asked this question too. We nearly had two showing on the east coast this year, but the events didn't work out. I do have others very interested, but nothing is set yet. It does take the right event, but interest has been high, so we thank you for that. I will have more about the film in the future.

Right now, we are trying to finish The Sea Gull, which will be the very first book to feature Edna Purviance. Due to new material since the first planned book, it had stretched out the time on the current project, but we all feel for the better! I am also working on the second book, which is the biography on Edna.

The discovery of the private films of Edna has opened the door to much more research, and that all takes time. At the moment, along with Sea Gull, I am working on cataloging all of Edna's personal items. This is helping with both books, but also takes a great deal of time. Thanks again for everyones patience and support...

Silent Summer Film Festival in Chicago

July 20 - August 24, 2007 - Each Friday Night
at the Portage Theater in Chicago


Scheduled:
July 20th - Seven Chances - Buster Keaton
July 27th - Wings - Clara Bow
August 3rd - Battleship Potemkin - Vladimir Barski
August 10th - Welcome Danger - Harold Lloyd
August 17th - Beggars of Life - Louise Brooks
August 24th - Suds - Mary Pickford

Single tickets or passes are available. more>

Monday, July 16, 2007

Grand View - Special Meeting Planned

The attorneys for the Grand View Cemetery lawsuit have scheduled a special meeting to gather stories from nearly 140 people involved in the lawsuit. The plan is to decided the amount of money to sue for. The meeting is Tuesday, July 17th, at the Pacific Community Center.

This July 15th, 2007 article will be up on the Glendale site for 14 days. LINK

"About 140 people suing the owners of the cemetery are invited to come to the Pacific Community Center Tuesday, said attorney Mary Der-Parseghian, whose firm Aroustamian & Associates filed the lawsuit." - Glendale News

Sunday, July 15, 2007

New York Digital Gallery - Online

The New York Public Library has a Digital Gallery with over 550,000 images available to view online. Check these sampling of links or do a search of your own... more>

Charlie Chaplin | Silent Films | Buster Keaton
Mabel Normand | Edna Purviance
Valentino | Hollywood

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Edna Purviance's First New York Trip

It was December 1917, when Edna Purviance made her very first trip to New York City.

Until 1917, Edna's travels were to California and visiting friends in Nevada, but her first trip outside of the United States was in August 1917, when she sailed to Hawaii. Hawaii was not a state at that time, and had not been totally changed by tourist.

She traveled with Charlie Chaplin and Rob Wagner. She made many friends on that trip and loved every moment of it. In fact, she didn't want to come home after her six week stay, but Charlie was antsy to get back to California and start building his studio.

The studio took a few months to build, so the stock company had time for leisure. Getting the traveling bug, Edna decided to make her first to New York City. While in New York, she had many invitations for dinners, toured the city, had fun shopping, and also answered requests for interviews.

Following is an article about her arrive in the city...
________________

Edna Purviance's First New York Visit - Girl of the West
Charlie Chaplin's Leading Woman Here on Shopping Trip While New Studio Goes Up - December 1917

Edna Purviance, Charlie Chaplin's leading woman, had her first glimpse of New York this week when she arrived from California to do her shopping in the metropolis. The trip was made possible by the fact that the new Chaplin studios are not yet ready for occupancy, and until they are completed the players are taking their leisure.

Miss Purviance finds her every minute occupied with invitations to dinners, interviews and the selection of frocks for forthcoming Chaplin comedies. The comedienne is a western girl and has expressed herself delighted with the hospitality she has enjoyed at the hands of Gotham's theatrical and screen folk, although she came cast unannounced.

She visited the headquarters of the First National Exhibitors' Circuit and there talked of publicity plans for the Chaplin releases. She declared that some of the best comedy work of Chaplin's career will be disclosed on forthcoming productions.

--------------------------

According to tax documents still available, Edna did buy clothes that were used in her films.

The studio opened in January 1918. The collection has a couple of photos that appear to be on that opening day, with one being Edna's mother, Louise, taken with Edna in front of the studio.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Few bites...

Hope you are enjoying your summer, or at least staying cool, if in one of the hot areas. For our Buenos Aires visitors, read about you enjoying snow for the first time since 1918? Some of our England and Texas visitors have been nearly flooded out, and areas Edna knew well in Nevada have suffered wildfires lately.

Anyway, sorry for the lack of Sea Gull news, but working on the book. We have had new jobs in our business that takes time away from the project, but also waiting for a few things, as well. Thinking of a new Brief Glimpse that might touch on Sea Gull again.

If you haven't heard, charliechaplin.com is running a Charlie Chaplin dress up contest. Follow this link, for more details.

Coming this weekend is the San Francisco Silent Film Festival.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support and for breaking some new records in visits!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Grand View Gets Court Order to Clean-up

JULY 16th UPDATE: Special meeting planned for July 17th. See Link

"The city of Glendale received court approval Monday to do much-needed maintenance work at Grand View Memorial Park — clearing the way for the cemetery's eventual reopening."


The judge had handed down the court order allowing the city of Glendale the right to clean up the dying trees and limbs on the Grand View property. It is a band aid to a much bigger problem, until the court cases for finished.

As soon as the work is scheduled and completed a new date will be arranged for the reopening of the cemetery as agreed at the June 26th city hall meeting.

This article will be available for the next 14 days. more>

Made to fit

"Boeing airplanes have parts that are "bashed to fit" and unsafe to fly" - HDNET Reports

I thought I pass on a program that is airing tonight that has nothing to do with silent films, but everything to do with people who love to fly to silent film events.

Tonight, HDNET will air Dan Rather's report on interviews with Boeing employees who are 'blowing the whistle' about outsourcing of parts on their planes. Apparently, as the report will reveal these parts don't even fit and are forced on to make them fit.

If you do get HDNET, you may want to take a listen.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Anita King's Nevada adventure

While I found several stories of Edna's sister Bessie out driving in northern Nevada to California (usually with her young son, Morgan) I never found her to have any problems, but she knew the Nevada desert well. Here is a story about a young Paramount star who tried to travel northern Nevada, by herself in 1915.

Anita King was known as a race car driver and actress who set off to become the first woman to drive across the United States by herself. This event was sponsored by Firestone Tires and KisselKar.

The following from the LA Times shares a telegram about her problems in Nevada. King sent the telegram from Elko, Nevada. She originally planned to travel through Nevada by Reno, Fallon, Austin and Ely. Ely is south of Lovelock about 200 miles 'as the crow flies', but she made the wrong turn.

September 15, 1915 - as reported to the Los Angeles Times.
Nervy Girl
Anita King, the plucky "Paramount Girl" who has undertaken the nervy adventure of crossing the continent alone in a KisselKar, is having some thrilling experiences and breathless adventures, according to telegrams received at the Lasky studio during the past few days. The record of her trip reads like a pioneer story of 1849, plus the automobile.

Miss King lost the road leading from Fallon to Austin, Nevada, and when, after three days' hard traveling, she fainted from exposure and lack of food, and was picked up at Lovelock (Nevada) by prospectors, and carried to Elko. She was 300 miles north of her course.

Here is the record of the mishap secured by wire: (Anita's original wire from Nevada)

Elko, Nevada - Sept. 6, 1915 - Have been lost in distress since Saturday. Was stuck in mud up to my waist on Salt Lake Flats, trying to cross Fallon. Worked eleven hours to dig out. Had no food and fell exhausted. Was picked up by three prospectors at 2 a.m. and taken to Lovelock. Started out the next day and have not had a place to sleep or found a town until this. Will leave for Salt Lake at once and if all is well should be there Wednesday. If not, at least I am not a coward. I say I held out to the last breath. - Anita

Miss King made the record trip for solitary driving to San Francisco when she arrived in that city from Los Angeles in seventeen hours and fifty-five minutes.

Providing no further accidents have befallen Miss King, that gritty young woman in now well on her way to Salt Lake (City).

As for her note as being struck in the Salt Lake Flats, she is most likely talking about one of the many dried alkali lakes scattered about northern Nevada that can become muddy after a downpour.

Being "carried to Elko" doesn't make sense, but probably noted because the wire was sent from Elko, instead of Lovelock.

If she stayed on the main road across northern Nevada she would have gone through Winnemucca and dozen other places (with hotels) along the main east/west rail line before reaching Elko.

About two weeks later, there is another version of this story that she reported to the New York Times. It mentions about her run in with a mad coyote and struggling with it for three hours before being pick up. (Something she didn't mention in this telegram.) This is a highly unlikely event, and if like she said, she wouldn't have been continuing on her drive the next day.

Rabid coyotes were not uncommon in the desert. There was a Lovelock report of one 'attacking' a couple of miners at a mining site, but neither of the men were injured and they easily scared it away.

As for her trip, Anita apparently made it to New York in 49 days.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

News from July 7th, 1907

With all the talk about today being July 7, 2007, I went back to July 7, 1907 to see some of the news stories from that era. One thing I didn't see was any articles about it being 7/7/07, in 1907.

Most of the following stories are from California. July 7, 1907 came on a Sunday.

I didn't find any big articles about films, for live stage productions were still king of entertainment in 1907. The top feature in the LA area was the live play 'Peter Pan'.

There was still unrest in the Philippines, as the US was involved with a war in that area for several years.

The heat was on everyones mind in Southern California, as Los Angeles hit the 100 degree mark on July 6, 1907. The fisherman were blaming the 'unprecedented heat and absence of trade winds' for the current 'red water' (an epidemic of Peredinium), that was killing the local fish and shell fish off the coast.

The heat also helped cause a 10,000 acre wildfire in the Las Cruces area in Santa Barbara County. It started the afternoon of July 6th and raged into the hills very quickly.

In Bakersfield, California an oil refinery was being repaired after fire nearly destroyed it. The property had no insurance and the article said:

"...it is being almost impossible to place any (insurance) on refineries like this. It can never be done except under the very exacting conditions, and than only at exorbitant rates."

Hollywood has 'quarter of a million dollars' spent on new buildings in the area, with $200,000 on 55 new homes and the rest for the new Mountain Inn ($22,000), The Penman building ($12,000) and Central Block ($9,000). Many of the homes were for sell in the $3500 to $15,000, with the bulk of the two-story homes in the $3500 to $5000 range.

Prices were soaring for navel oranges, lemons and grapefruit, as demand was exceeding supply.

A move was on to 'push' the push-cart salesmen off the city streets of New York. The city was starting a licensing fee for anyone to sell anything off the streets. The fee was high enough to place many out of business.

And as people talk about climate today, so were the people in Los Angeles in 1907.

SAVE THE CLIMATE! was the headline, as the State Medical Society and the board of Health started a campaign to stop the pollution of the air in the LA area.

"It cost more to make smoke than to burn fuel properly, but it is futile to attempt to arouse the owners of smoking stacks from their solid indifference to their own interest. The only way to pound sense into their head is to fine them for being stupid" , the LA Times reported.

And that is just a bit of news for July 7, 1907...

Friday, July 06, 2007

City Lights week engagement at Castro Theatre

July 6th - 12th, 2007 - Charlie Chaplin's City Lights week engagement starts today at the Castro Theatre, followed by opening of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival.
Times for City Lights at this link.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Record Heat...

Like so many places, we are getting our record heat now, with over 100 degree temperatures. We never needed air conditioning, because it always cooled off into the 30s and 40s at night. I hope those days are not gone. It does mean switching hours to work, because the office hits 90 degrees by noon, and I have to shutdown.

That means it may slow up Sea Gull, as business has to be done first, but a lot of Sea Gull work has been done recently. Just into my least favorite time of the year.

Hope you are staying cool and have some refreshing rain (not too much), where ever you are! Thanks for visiting during the hot summer days or wintertime if you are far south!

Note: I have looked up the forecast for Lovelock, Nevada: averaging 103-105 degrees for the foreseeable future, record breaking heat. With thunderstorms (which means dry lightning storms included.)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Family Flickers - New Silent Film Creations

"Learning to laugh again. Enjoying a thrill instead of gruesome images. Having a ‘good guy’ to root for again. That’s what Family Flickers was created to help people to do. The creative team at Family Flickers noticed some time ago that the works of classic film comedians like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Laurel and Hardy have created laughter in audiences of all ages, long after the cameras had stopped rolling." - Family Flickers

Family Flickers - Silent Films Anew
Tired of all the sex and violence in so much entertainment today, Mark Margulies, the founder of Family Flickers are recreating the art of silent films for a modern day audience.

"Any of the images, any of the action that is going to take place is all built with the idea of action, adventure, thrills and laughter, no gratuitous sex, no unnecessary violence, no graphic violence, no graphic images of any type," Margulies said.

The films can be viewed at their website i-flick.com. The film I watched was a bit jumpy and wasn't totally in time with the music (this is watching it with a cable modem, but problems maybe worked out overtime. Good to see someone creating new silent films for a modern era. more>

Edna's First 4th of July in Lovelock

On July 4th, 1899, Edna Purviance was three years old and enjoying her first Fourth of July in Lovelock, Nevada. The family moved to Lovelock in November of 1898, where her parents leased The Singer Hotel.

By July 4th, the family were very settled in their new town and were part of the Fourth of July celebration, as Edna’s sister Bessie and mother Louise, sang at the special day long event. Being three years old, she wouldn’t remember much about it, but she met her uncle William Purviance for the first time, who was the oldest brother of Edna’s father Madison.






















The day was filled with events everyone in the Big Meadow Valley shared in from parades, horse races, a series of fun races for young and old (tug a wars, egg races, slippery pole climbs, etc.) followed in the evening and well into the morning of July 5th - a grand ball (dance with live music) and dinner.

Below is just a ‘taste’ of some events held on Edna’s first 4th of July in Lovelock, Nevada.

The Fourth of July in Lovelock - 1899
Lovelock Nevada - Lovelock Tribune

“The Fourth was a gala day in Lovelock. It was one long round of pleasure from the first firecrackers in the early morning till the last strains of the music in the ball room died away in the dawn of another day.

Grand Marshal of the Day Grannis with appropriate sash and decorated horse was on hand to lead the parade and a respectable turnout followed.”

“It was high noon when the crowd was assembled under the big trees in the Ruddell Grove. It was the enjoyment itself to sit in the shade with the cool wind blowing through the leafy boughs. Mr. Ruddell had carefully laid fresh-cut alfalfa over the bare places left by the burning of the old houses and one walked as on a carpet. Strong planks gave ample seat room. The children romped in a big awing nearby. The lemonade and ice cream stand offered refreshments to all. It was a regulation picnic ground and a more suitable place would be hard to find in the valley.”

“In the absence of the president of the day, Hon. W.C. Pitt and C.H. McIntosh took his place and introduced Rev. Bott, who delivered the invocation. In the choir were Mrs. Stautts, Mrs. (Louise) Purviance, Mrs. J.A. McIntosh, Mrs. Williams’, Mrs. White, Miss Stroke, Miss (Bessie) Purviance, Miss Marshall, Prof. Lynips, C.H. McIntosh and Rev. Bott.

The choir sang the Star Spangled Banner. Miss Marshall gave an instrumental selection.”

“A pleasing interlude at the picnic was the singing of the “Lost Ship Maine” by Mrs. (Louise) Purviance and Miss Bessie Purviance.”

“C.H. McIntosh as orator of the day, spoke against expansion. He contrasted the glories of the flag in the past with the war now going on in the Philippines.”

Well, some things don’t change...

As an added note, Charlie Chaplin was on tour with the Eight Lancashire Lads in 1899. By July 1899, he was on his seventh month with the group that begin touring in late December, 1898.

Footnote: In the ad, it mentions 'purses will also be offered'. In case you didn't know, a 'purse' was award money given in the form of usually gold dollar coins, presented in a leather pouch. In the case of pole climbing, a $3 purse was placed on the top of the pole. The first person to reach the top of the pole won the price. Today, $3 might buy a cup of coffee and a newspaper. In 1899, it represented two days worth of wages, working a good 10 or more hours each day in the haying fields.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Le Cafe - French Tribute to Chaplin

With it being sort of a holiday week for me, using most of the free time from normal business to work on The Sea Gull and cataloging of the Edna Purviance Collection. I like to thank again everyone who has entered the Sea Gull drawing from around the world. Right now, we are in the middle of production just before the first full book test printing.

Thought I share this French tribute film to Charlie Chaplin. The film is called 'Le Cafe' created in 2006. The film sort of gets it idea from The Immigrant and a few other Chaplin films. You can see it at this link at Internet Archives.

Also, to our state side visitors, Happy Fourth of July!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

TCM has Chaplin films in July






















Can't make it to Bologna, Italy or London for special Chaplin events? Turner Classic Movies has a few films this summer starting on July 9th, with Modern Times and A Dog's Life. Later, on July 23, they will show A King of New York.

Check this link for more Chaplin films this summer...