Silent Film Reel
A Kentucky man was searching his grandfather’s Ohio attic when he stumbled upon a reel of 35mm nitrate film in a canister marked “Dangerous Hour - Eddie Polo.”
Could this snippet of film be an actual copy of an Eddie Polo silent film? Eddie Polo was a legendary stuntman in the 1920s silent film world, but very few of his films remain.
In its early days, silent film was seen as a transitory production, and movie companies such as Paramount and Universal dumped entire archives into the Pacific Ocean, melted nitrate prints to extract the silver, or used the flammable stock for special effects on their back-lot sets.
History Detectives ventures to Kentucky and Ohio to determine whether this reel could be one of thousands of silent films once thought to have been lost forever to film history.
- Also with Gwen Wright Witch's House Could this house have once belonged to a woman executed during the Salem Witch trials?
- Related Investigation King Kong Camera Was this old movie camera used to film the original version of King Kong?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Tiffany Window What can this watercolor reveal about the unexpected world of one of America’s great artists?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Red Hand Flag Is this peculiar flag one that African-American soldiers marched under in the war to end all wars?
- Also with Gwen Wright Monroe Letter Does this letter link America's President to the high seas piracy of U.S. merchant ships in the early 1800s?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Black Tom Shell Is this shell from a devastating act of foreign sabotage on American soil?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.