Edna Purviance's bio

June 6, 2018 - Re-editing Edna Purviance's family biography 2nd Draft. Photo: Leading Ladies © used by ednapurviance.org

Monday, September 28, 2009

Niles Essanay October 2009 Events

Saturday October 3 - 7:30 PM
Suggested donation $5
Jon Mirsalis (piano)
Filmed in Pleasanton
The Home Stretch (1921, Ince) Douglas MacLean came to San Francisco for some scenes in the film, but it was the Pleasanton racetrack that was the main reason for his traveling all the way from the Thomas Ince studio in Culver City.
With shorts:
Seeing Stars (1923) Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin
The Grocery Clerk (1919) Larry Semon

Saturday October 10 - 7:30 PM
Suggested donation $5
Frederick Hodges (piano)
Filmed in Pleasanton
A Woman of the World (1925, Famous Players-Lasky)
Pola Negri plays a countess who visits her American cousin in a small midwestern town, and causes the local gossips to speculate about her reason for being there.
With shorts:
Lizzies of the Field (1924, Sennett) Billy Bevan
Slipping Wives (1927, Roach) Priscilla Dean, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy

Sunday October 11 - 4:00 PM
Suggested donation $5
Laurel & Hardy Matinee
The Midnight Patrol Tent of the “Sons of the
Desert”, the International Laurel & Hardy vintage comedy film appreciation society, will once again be meeting at the Edison Theater at 3:00 pm prior to the films. The public is welcome to attend their friendly, informal and very informative meeting.
The Laurel and Hardy Murder Case (1930, Roach)
Laurel and Hardy go to a haunted mansion hoping to inherit the estate of Stan’s Uncle Ebenezer.
Moan and Groan, Inc. (1929, Roach) Our Gang investigates a haunted house.
Hide and Shriek (1938, Roach) Our Gang detectives Alfalfa, Buckwheat and Porky try to solve a missing candy case.
The Live Ghost (1934, Roach) Laurel and Hardy are recruited to shanghai a crew for a haunted ship.

Saturday October 17 7:30 PM
Suggested donation $5
Judy Rosenberg (piano)
Filmed in Pleasanton
Gigolo (1926, DeMille) Rod La Rocque, a former Chicago Essanay star, shines in the title role of a small town boy who winds up dancing in Paris.
With shorts:
Ring Up the Curtain (1919, Rolin) Harold Lloyd
With Love and Hisses (1927, Roach) Laurel & Hardy

Sunday October 18 - 4:00 PM Free
Transcontinental Connections
Join us for this quarterly “open mike” history/cultural arts forum to share and discover connections among the communities of Southern Alameda County and their contributions to the greater Bay Area, moderated by Niles architect Paul Welschmeyer.

Saturday October 24 7:30 PM
Suggested donation $5
Greg Pane (piano)
Short Subjects Night
He Did and He Didn’t (1915, Keystone) Roscoe
“Fatty” Arbuckle, Mabel Normand
Haunted Spooks (1920, Rolin) Harold Lloyd
The Haunted House (1921, Comique) Buster Keaton
Habeas Corpus (1928) Laurel and Hardy

Sunday, October 25 4:00 PM
Suggested donation $5
Filmed in the Bay Area & KTVU!
Watch Horror Films – Keep America Strong! – A Journey into Creature Features
With short:
Hardware Wars – this classic parody of Star Wars is a local cult favorite
Meet in Person – John Stanley, author and Creature Features host, and Ernie Fosselius, creator of Hardware Wars!


If you live in the bay area or traveling by there, check it out and help support silent film history. Information from the desk of Michael Bonham. Contact the Niles Essanay Museum for more information and/or to get on their mailing list. Thanks, Michael! (Image from Niles Essanay.)

Ken Burn's National Park Series this week!

Part One started on Sunday, but Part Two is TONIGHT. Here is a link to a preview with thoughts from Rudyard Kipling's first impressions of Yellowstone and how he was slowly won over by the beauty. LINK

Update: Just watched Part Two and I found it excellent! Part three Tuesday night.

Update Sept. 29: The National Park Series will be available online each day, until Oct. 9th. Link to Episode One.

Update: Watched Part Three - It included the addition of the volcano national park in Hawaii in 1916, just about one year before Edna and Charlie visited it in 1917.

And, it should be noted, Edna DID visit some of the great national parks during the 1920s! She loved natural areas. In fact, she did a full summer tour, by car with family members, right after filming 'The Woman of the Sea' (The Sea Gull) in 1926. I will double check my notes, but one of her trips went through Yellowstone, I believe, while spending part of her summer on a ranch. She loved it!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Rainbow Orchid available at Springfield Oregon Library

Once your book gets released into the world, you never know who might be checking it out.

Today, Springfield librarian Rita Eberle, has listed Garen Ewing's The Rainbow Orchid into the Springfield City Library collection in Springfield, Oregon. Garen's book is available to check out or to get through interlibrary loan, through the Springfield City Library.

With the help of my EdnaPurviance.org guide section, I purchased a copy and donated the book to the Springfield Library this week. I plan to donate Rainbow Orchid Volumes 2 and 3, when available (Volume 2 is scheduled for release in July 2010).

In time, I hope The Rainbow Orchid will find a new base of fans, who will like to add the book to their collections. Special thanks to Rita for adding The Rainbow Orchid to their library collection today!

List of known libraries The Rainbow Orchid is located:
• Springfield City Library - Springfield, Oregon USA (available for inter-library loan)
• British Library - Wetherby, West Yorkshire, UK
• University of Reading Library - Reading, United Kingdom
• National Library - Singapore

Extra Notes!
For USA buyer, The Rainbow Orchid is available for purchase in the USA from Amazon. Also like to note for USA buyer, it is a good time, at the moment, to check out Garen's shop and get those signed copy editions, T-shirts or special posters.

The exchange rate has drop to $1.59 to buy one £1, which is the best it has been in several months. But exchange rates change often, so do check out The Rainbow Orchid Shop!

Learn more about The Rainbow Orchid by Garen Ewing at this link.

Drawing of Lisa by L. Wada (copyrighted M. Groening character)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Actress Edna May

New website about
Stage Actress and Singer
Edna May

While on a trip, Charles Pascoe came across a postcard with a stamp he liked for his stamp collection. But in time, the picture on the front of the card grabbed his attention even more. With research he learned it was stage actress Edna May.

Edna May was born in Syracuse, New York. She started her stage career in her hometown, before moving to New York City in the mid-1890s.

After a while, she landed a role in the Broadway production of "The Belle of New York" which in time, would send her to London with the same play production.

In London, the show became a hit and made Edna May a star.

Her career continued into the 1910s on stage and she even played in a few silent films before retiring.

Edna May is Charles Pascoe's first website about the star and he plans to add to his site overtime. His research into Edna May is for the love of doing it (the same as Edna Purviance.org began). So we thank Charles for letting us know about his site and we hope you enjoy watching his site grow in the coming years. Link to Edna May

Image from Charles site.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Little update on the Chaplin Keystone films...

September 24, 2009 - I received a message from a loyal fan Edna about the Chaplin Keystone Films. Still looks to be sometime in 2010 (maybe early in the year) and the films will be in one complete set, which is great news for us fans liking to have all the films at once. Will post more, as we know it...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cure for Depression? Charlie Chaplin

NPR with Philip Reeves - An Indian Doctor's Cure-All: "He hands out free DVDs of Charlie Chaplin movies to patients as a cure for depression."

Ashok Awani not only dresses up like Charlie, but sends Chaplin films home with patients feeling depressed. : "...makes them feel better" he says. "Aswani, 59, practices ayurveda, the traditional medical system widely used in India for thousands of years."

Listen to the audio of this story at this NPR link.

The Rainbow Orchid in library soon!

Today, I handed over (in person) one of my copies of The Rainbow Orchid to become part of a library collection soon. More on that soon!

It is very exciting to be able to do this, and I am hoping to photograph Orchid at its new library home in the coming weeks. This will be a USA Library and will be available for inter-library loan. But like I said, more soon!

Update: Just saw someone in the UK offering the 2003 black and white edition of The Rainbow Orchid for £100.00!

Update Sept. 23rd: And thanks again to all the new listeners to The Rainbow Orchid interview with Garen Ewing, as it passes 2500!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Charlie Chaplin and more in Balloon Land

A fun cartoon from 1935, with Charlie Chaplin and more, in Balloon Land. And all in colour.

The family home of Courtland Dines

In the summer of 1923, Edna Purviance met Courtland Dines in Los Angeles. He was the son of a wealthy pioneering lawyer family from Denver, Colorado. Dines was at the end of his first marriage, and was looking to start a new business in oil, when he met Edna.

The couple were rumored to marry, but this affair was all very quiet and private, until the driver for Mabel Normand, a friend of the couple, shot Dines at his Los Angeles home on New Year's Day, 1924, while Edna and Mabel were in the house.

Dines didn't die, but Edna, especially Mabel, took a hit from the press, as news of the shooting screamed into headlines around the world. Edna's film, 'A Woman in Paris' was doing good box office at the time, and even greatly better, in cities, after the shooting, as curious people wanted to see Edna (my finding has disagreed somewhat, with published works over the years about the box office of Paris). But the shooting cause some theatres to ban Mabel films and suspend Edna's 'A Woman of Paris' film in a few states in the US. (Edna's earlier films fared better in part, because Edna's earlier work with Chaplin was hugely popular, and theatres were not ones to lose Chaplin and the money it created.)

After about five months of hearings, the shooter, Greer, was not charged after the very short lived trial started in June 1924, as everyone involved wanted the matter to be placed behind them. But during the trial, Dines didn't show up, as he was called home to be with his father, who was seriously ill, just as the trial start.

So where did Dines go home too? It was his family home in Denver, Colorado, in the Capitol Hill district of Denver.

Dines lived only about a block away from the famous Molly Brown. (If you see the movie with Debbie Reynolds, you hear 'Molly' talking about her neighbors, well in real life, the Dines WAS one of Molly Brown's real neighbors.)

What happened to the family home of Courtland Dines?

I recently had a chance to see his family home on a quick business trip that passed through Denver. I only got to see the outside, but noticed the sign in front called Starkey Institute.

Seeing the name Starkey I thought hearing aids, but later, looking the name up on the web, I found something totally different.

Starkey Institute is the home of what is called the only household management institute in America for the jet set (I don't know if that is fully true, but that is what people report).

In its hey-day (before the bubble popped), the institute sent students to jobs around the world.

While the jobs are fewer now, the rich still are looking for the best trained staffs to run their homes, so Starkey Boot Camp is the place students have a chance to train for this special field.

Just find it interesting to learn Dine's family home, where he knew up, still exists today and serving the wealthy. Their on site video shows scenes of inside Dines home (of course different, somewhat, from Dine's day), but the outside basically the same (brick and stone were very popular building material in Denver).
I have an earlier photo of the home showing few changes.

I doubt Edna ever visited this home, since Dine's parents were not keen on their son having an actress as a girlfriend, but interesting to see a bit of the past associated with Edna, still existing and in use.

A CNBC report about the Starkey Butler Institute:

Here is Starkey's website for a full array of videos about the training at the center (nearly all done in the Dine's former home). Very interesting to see the 'high powered' training students get here.

I don't know how Starkey is doing now in placements, as the high flying days of the growing household manager field is on the decline, as the wealth bubble has deflated. The luxury of having butlers, maids, even full-time gardeners are on the decline, as this 2008 WSJ reports.

But if you are interested in the field, certainly a place to check out.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

SP 4449 returns back to Portland!

October 13 - 20th, 2009
Southern Pacific 4449 Returns back to Portland, Oregon
Get your tickets for the journey back from Minneapolis!

Travel back through the fall colour of the Rockies!
A rare trip on the Daylight along the American railways!
See this special SP 4449 web page for more details and tickets.

Thierry G. Mathieu's Keystone 20 is available!

Issue 20 of the Mathieu's Keystone series is now available to order.
Also available at Paris cinema bookshops (including back issues).

N° 20 : 176 pages; 132 illustrations
Size : 5.6 x 8.1 inches
Price : 15 euros

Airmail Priority fees : 7 euros
Airmail Economic fees : 5 euros

For ordering, contact Thierry at his website:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Granville Redmond's Oaks, Poppies and Lupine

John Moran Auctioneers will have a Granville Redmond landscape painting up for auction October 13, 2009. The painting of oaks, poppies and lupines, has been in a private collection for decades, and now being offered for sell. You can learn more at John Moran's website.

"Leading the selections from top California plein air painters is one of the most important works by the celebrated Granville Redmond (1871-1935) to arrive on the market in recent years, a magnificent 30" x 40" landscape with oaks, poppies & lupine. In this classic, exquisitely composed example of Redmond’s exuberant Impressionist style, the artist’s mastery of color and technique are fully evident, as is the pure joy inspired by nature. This painting has remained in the same family since about 1930, when the original owner, who worked in the film industry and became acquainted with Redmond during visits to Charlie Chaplin’s studio, purchased it directly from the artist." - John Moran Auctioneers

PRICE it sold for:
*Price Realized: $517,500.00

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Interview with Lon Davis

Phil Hall from Film Threat has an interview with Lon Davis, co-author of Francis X. Bushman.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Bits and Pieces Sept. 2009

Well, after a summer filled with heat and record temperatures, which shutdown the office several times this summer, snow is forecast to fall in the mountains. As we wait to see if the mountains have turned white, time for a bit of a catch-up.

Edna's second book
Work continued steadily, but slowly, this summer, as new information has shown up. My main focus has been Edna's husband Jack Squire and his family background. While some great information has been added and his notebook is finally growing, it is only a start, so more research to do.

In this research on Jack, I am tracking down any clues on where Edna and Jack could have met. Found some interesting leads, but need more research.

Also have done some more research into Courtland Dines. In the process, I found out my husband actually lived only a few blocks from Dines family home once, many years ago. Plan to look up Dines family home, at some point.

When I have more information together, that is when I can start some more serious writing again, on the later years of Edna's life. Jack's life was not as fully documented as needed, so that is why I am taking the time to research it more. But the more I have uncovered, the more interesting it has become.

The Sea Gull
Again, we thank all the new fans who bought books recently. I have a new supply of second edition books in stock, ready to send. Always check your emails for updated information on your current orders. And do check your email addresses when ordering. We had a few emails that have not worked, and it can be a challenge to find you, if it doesn't work. But again, thanks for the orders, and glad to hear, you are enjoying your books.

Thanks, for the listeners...
Special thanks to all the listeners to Garen Ewing's interview this summer! The podcast has gone over 2100 2400 2600 listeners, so far! And best of all, looks like The Rainbow Orchid is off to a great start. I like to send an extra thanks to the silent film fans who said they have bought books. Very nice, indeed!

All our very best to Garen, and his continued work on his book, as he is working on Volumes 2 and 3, of the three part The Rainbow Orchid story. We really hope to see more Julius Chancer adventures in the future, so all those sales help toward that goal. So check out Garen's site to learn more, if you don't know about it, already. It is available at many fine bookshops in the UK and online, worldwide, as well as at Garen's home Rainbow Orchid site.

Future new Table Chat podcast?
I have been 'speaking' with another author about doing a podcast later this year. We still need to arrange things, but watch for more information as that one develops.

Don't forget to sign up for Edna's October 21st Birthday give away. I am giving one lucky winner one of our special 12x18 inch photo posters. All you have to do is answer three simple questions and fill out the form. See this link for full details. The winner will be drawn on Edna's birthday October 21st. So sign up today!

And for an added birthday event, I will post a surprise event just on Edna's birthday. It will be only be one day or even a few hours, but you will need to visit to see what it will be.

FDR's Secret Air Force
Jack Squire's film footage is all edited into the film now, as we await more news on the project. At this time, the polishing work is being done on the documentary, as producer and creator, John Schwally, has previewed the film for the Producers Guild. In September, it will be showing at Cornell and Rutgers Universities at a special event. All of this is preparing for a future broadcast on PBS or one of the other national networks. More reports as we know more.

New Links - Niles Museum and more
I have been placing new picture links to the right, including one for the on going events at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum in Niles, California. If you live in the area, or passing by, check out the link for coming events. Also, here is a list of events for September 2009:

Saturday September 12 7:30 PM Suggested donation $5 - Bruce Loeb (piano)
Short Subjects Night
The Vagabond (1916, Lone Star)
Captain Kidd’s Kids (1919, Rolin)
The Love Nest (1923, Schenck)
Sailors, Beware! (1927, Roach)

Sunday September 13 4:00 PM Suggested donation $5
A Talkie Afternoon with The Boys
A Chump at Oxford (1940)
With shorts:
A Day at the Studio (1937, Roach)
Teacher’s Pet (1930, Roach)
Bored of Education (1936, Roach)

Saturday September 19 7:30 PM Suggested donation $5
Frederick Hodges (piano)

Filmed in Pleasanton
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917, Artcraft)
With shorts:
Mabel, Fatty and the Law (1915, Keystone)
The Perils of Pauline: The Deadly Turning (1914,
Pathe) Pearl White

Friday September 25 8:00 PM Suggested donation $10
Filmed in Niles
Weekend King (2007, Pumpjam)

Saturday September 26 7:30 PM Suggested donation $5
Frederick Hodges (piano)
Filmed in Pleasanton
Peck’s Bad Boy (1921, Lesser)
With shorts:
I’m On My Way (1919, Rolin)
45 Minutes from Hollywood (1926)

Hope to make it down there some time again, but for now, if you can, do take a visit! Thanks to Michael Bonham (Niles Museum) for the information.

Stolen Moments
Donna Hill's Stolen Moments looks to be coming back online with more podcasts starting this fall. Keep an eye on this link.

Reading at the moment...
Well, besides the wonderful The Rainbow Orchid, I have started reading Lon Davis's new book about Francis Bushman. It is available now and I have more at this link.

That is all for now. Thanks very much reading and come by again! - L

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

King of the Movies: Francis X. Bushman by Lon & Debra Davis

Lon Davis, and his wife Debra, have been busy the last year. After release of 'Silent Lives' and 'Stooges Among Us' in 2008, their latest book is now available. 'King of the Movies: Francis X. Bushman' has been recently released through BearManor.

Lon and Debra actually started working on this book in the early 1980s. But after being turned down from publishers in the 1980s, it took the more 'silent film friendly' audience of today to take a real interest in publishing.

With channels like TCM and silent film festivals, the invention of DVDs and video tape, and great documentaries like David Gill and Kevin Brownlow silent film work, silent films have been re-introduced to a whole new generation around the world. And thankfully they have!

I have not read this book yet, but look forward to. It has two photo sections, with stills from Bushman's private life and from his films. Also, Mrs. Bushman helped in creating this book about her husband, so it has her personal insight into Francis Bushman's life.

It is available now to add to your collection, and looks like a great edition. For Chaplin fans, Bushman met Chaplin during the time Charlie worked for Essanay.

For more on Lon, here is a 2008 video interview about his book 'Silent Lives.'