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100-year-old 16mm reels


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I recently inherited a few boxes of B&W 16mm film reels from the 20’s and 30’s that belonged to my great-grandfather. I don’t really have the room for them, but I don’t want to just toss them out. Is there a market for these things? If not, any advice on what to do with them? They’re mostly educational, including nature films and travelogues, but there are a few stag films and a couple narratives. I’ve done my best to try to catalog them. In case this info is helpful to anyone, here’s what I’ve got:


1 - Novelty Film Co Inc presents:
    Ken Maynard in Sagebrush, Tom Mix in A Gambler’s Price, Wm Sffart(?) in Sure Shot Bill
        3 short Westerns on 1 reel

2 - (missing title) It looks like a dramatization on the posthumous success of Carmen after the death of Georges Bizet, its composer


3 - The Plumber Does a Little Plumbing
    Master Arts Picture Co, 1925
        This one’s pretty much hard-core porn

4 - Candid Cinema Presents:
    Dream Away a Day featuring Adrienne, Boudoir Buccaneer featuring Marta, Sleepy Head featuring Belle, Try Anything Once featuring Cecile, Intimate Interlude featuring Nancy and Colleen
        I didn’t look that far into this one but it looks like it’s several vignettes of stripping/naked women with all the titles at the head of the reel

5 - Sensational Dances, Artistic Strip Dance, Ladies in Lingerie, etc.
        Again, vignettes of ladies stripping

6 - (missing title) A strip dance


7 - William M Pizor presents:
    Port O’ Call series
    Temple of Heaven, China
    by Deane H. Dickason, 1931

8 - Hawaiin Islands
    Eastman Teaching Films, Inc, 1931

9 - Hawaii the Beautiful, Where East Meets West
    Pathe Exchange Inc, 1927

10 - Albert E. Suess presents:
    The Land of the Pharaohs
    a Screen Classic Production, 1932

11 - The World and Its People: England, reel iv
    Pathe News Inc, 1929, 1934

12 - Brazil - People of the Plantations
    Earl K. James
    Erpi Classroom Films, 1940

(several more that look like travelogues but are missing the main title)


13 - The Intelligence of White Rats
    Experiments by NRF Maier
    Institute of the University of Berlin, 1927, 1928

14 - Hummingbird Home Life
    Guy D. Haselton
    Guy D. Haselton Travelettes, 1936

15 - Ants - Nature’s Craftsmen
    Pathe Screen Studies

16 - Natural History Studies number 4: Toads
    Society for Visual Education Inc, 1921

17- The Green Plant
    Eastman Classroom Films

18 - The Work of Rivers
    Erpi Classroom Films Inc
    in collaboration with Carey Croneis PhD
    The National Park Service
    The University of Chicago Physical Science Series, 1935

19 - Adventures of Bunny Rabbit
    Erpi Classroom Films
    Arthur I Gates PhD and Celeste C Peardon MA, 1937

(several more that look like nature films but are missing the main title)


20 - Old Ironsides
    Guy D Haselton Travelettes, 1937

21 - We the People
    LM Bailey

22 - A Century of Progress Exposition - Around the Fair
    Burton Holmes Films Inc, 1933

23 - Choosing Your Vocation, Talking Pictures for the Classroom Vocation Guidance Series
    by Harry D Kitson
    Erpi Picture Consultants Inc, 1930

24 - Getting Your Money’s Worth No. 3
    A Consumer Film by
    Julian Hoffman, Robert Del Duca, Victor Kandel

25 - Navajo Children
    Erpi Classroom Films Inc, 1938

26 - French Film Exchange presents:
    Trip to the Sky
    AP Dufour
    Institut de Cinématographie Scientifique

27 - One Match Can Do It!
    The Santa Monica Mountains Fire Prevention Association

28 - The Earth’s Rocky Crust
    Kirtley F Mather
    Harvard Film Service

29 - A People of the Congo
    Erpi Classroom Films

30 - Here Comes the Circus
    Educational Film Service


31 - String Choir
32 - Jalopy Racing
33 - Zephering South
    JP Rowland

Thanks for any help!

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1 hour ago, Swithin said:

Take care, if they're nitrate prints they're extremely and dangerously flammable.


16 mm regardless of age have never been made of nitrocellulose.




Nitrate film stocks were used to produce 75mm, 70mm and 35mm gauges. If your collection or archive contains 16mm, 8mm, 9,5 mm or other small and amateur formats, they are not nitrate films. Apart from 35mm, only old formats from the beginning of the cinema such as 70mm and 75mm used nitrate base film stocks.


Be surprised how old 8mm home movies are - 1930's.


Vintage 1936 CINE-KODAK Advertisement.


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I have an old book "Photography" by C.E. Kenneth Mees published 1937. A photo of a Cine Kodak Special 16 mm amateur camera is in it.  Remarkable it looks so modern.

How RICH one had to been to afford that!!! :o

It's like this one with a large capacity film magazine ...76c3c52b380afb38e5ffc0c075417a4f.jpg

..but is more elegant like this (all the beautiful features on front of the camera).  Sorry can't find an EXACT image on the internet.


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There are magazines for collectors you can advertise 16mm film for sale:  FILMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE/CLASSIC IMAGES. Most film collectors & dealers subscribe and a classified print ad doesn't cost much. Be aware these films may be unprojectable and a buyer won't know this sight-unseen.

Also AVGEEKS.com is in business transferring this type of movie to digital, although most likely are filled to capacity at this point.

You have the added bonus to send them via low cost USPS "media" mail by just taping the edge & slapping an address right on the can! No packaging! They were originally sent through the mail that way.

I'd be interested in the #30- Circus & #22- World's Fair films, PM me if you'd like.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/18/2021 at 2:32 PM, Polly of the Precodes said:

Try Nitrateville.com--there's a big collector and preservationist presence there. The regulars on Collecting and Preservation and The Exchange subboards may be able to help you assess these. And we don't bite--unless you've been extraordinarily obnoxious and ignored fair warnings.

Thanks for the tip. Any chance you know any of the admins? New users require admin approval to sign up, and my account has been pending for 10 days.

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