Singleton – New York – 16mm Home Movies

This week I have a little something different.

I check auction sites often, and impulsively may buy or bid on something that catches my eye at the moment.

I have not purchased a single Home Movie up to this point online.  If you read my about Me on my blog I write more about how I worked at a film archive years ago documenting film footage and that is where I got my small taste of old home movies I used to play with back then. But the films were not mine, I just had the privilege of watching and documenting them for the archive records.

My only other Personal home movie purchase came out of a shop, and I came home with 3 reels. I have not looked at them in sometime, but I happened across a seller online selling 3 reels from the 1930’s and I just had to have them. Also with the listing was a photo of the film box which had a name and address, Yippee!!!

So this will be my first blog feature using an actual Home Movie.

These are Silent Films on 16mm film.

This is how they arrived…

Luckily I have oodles of 16mm Projectors and Various Equipment. I have been collecting Cartoons to watch in the meantime.

So I brought out my projector and plopped on the living room floor and sat and watched the 3 reels of film, I just sat there and smiled. There is some humor in these. Poking fun and teasing on them. Men, women, elders, children, snow and sleds, bicycles, dogs, baby stroller, House, gardening, pulling items off the clothes line. And some family shots being posed for as a group and the ladies alone, most are all decked out in fur coats and one that looks like a younger girl walking in around as if to model the coat playfully.

Mind you this is an experiment, I sat with my digital camera and filmed the projected image, you have to get up close otherwise it is all white and you cant see a thing.  Snippet from one of the films, The woman is holding a baby in white hooded type outfit so the baby is washed out but you can see it a little bit, hes not a happy camper and is crying. But on my end the images are  much better but I still dont think it came out too badly considering I just held up the digital camera to film.

Click the link below to watch. This is footage of what was probably taken at home on the front porch, and then of Mom pushing a fancy baby buggy, the little boy on a shiny tricycle, Dad walking also in some of the scenes.

This other one did not come out too clear so be patient as it becomes better part way in, when the family is posing, mind you these films are much more clear in person as the quality to film isnt the best. I love when the little boys break out in a mock boxing fight.

The clues we have to work with so far is what is contained on the boxes. You sent in your film and the address of the person’s sending the film are as follows.

I.C. Singleton – 109 Church Ave., Islip, L.I.

and L.C. Singleton – 30 Lincoln St. Babylon, N.Y.

One is marked 1937 Babylon on the box also

The seller had another reel of film that already sold and that is where I got the L.C. from, but both my boxes have I.C. on them and 2 different addresses. That other reel was color footage from the 1930s of Washington D.C. and a horse farm it said in the description, sigh, wish I got that one too!

Some history on Babylon and Islip



Filed under 16mm Home Movies

6 responses to “Singleton – New York – 16mm Home Movies

  1. My broadband speed make it very difficult to watch a video as the stops for buffering are too frequent but The boy on the three wheeler bike reminded me of one I had 65 years ago. You are obviously enjoying working with these films from so long ago.

  2. Ahhh…Babylon and Islip…reminds me of my old hometown nearby. These are towns on Long Island, east of New York City. I’m thinking that, back in the 1930s, the population there would be rather small. Here’s hoping some Singletons show up in the 1930 and 1940 census records! Best wishes with this new project!

  3. Those were fun to watch. The faceless part was very funny (the part where the faces were totally white).

  4. Tattered and Lost

    A few years ago I was at an estate sale where there were old home movies shot in Alaska in the 1930s. People from Hollywood had made the trip hoping to get their hands on it. It was way beyond anything I could have paid, but I’ve often wondered what became of it.

    Unfortunately I too cannot watch your footage because of crummy bandwidth at my end.

  5. Fascinating media! Unlike the photograph’s frozen moment, these home movies capture whole those animated minutes of a life. My father collects cameras and has an early cine-camera that is quite compact and powered by a wind-up spring. I look forward to more!

  6. Pingback: A Window into the Past: Ancestors’ Letters as Genealogical Records | Forgotten New England

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