Category Archives: Movies

The Censor Bird, by Rollin Kirby

DescriptionEnglish: “The Censor Bird,” by Rollin Kirby, from a 1926 movie magazine
SourcePhotoplay (
AuthorRollin Kirby

Excerpt from the article this cartoon accompanied: This is the Censor Bird, skunkus avis, a native of the United States. It is a creature of devastating habits and flourishes in Kansas and Pennsylvania. Just now it is trying to make its nest in Washington. The Censor Bird is a destructive vulture that lays waste the land it inhabits. Its ways are most peculiar. The sound of laughter or merriment throws it into an unreasonable rage. The mention of sex sends it shrieking through the land. Although near-sighted, it is able to see filth that is invisible to the ordinary human eye.

The House of a Thousand Candles

DescriptionEnglish: Image from an advertisement for the silent mystery The House of a Thousand Candles (1915), with the text removed
SourceAdvertisement in Moving Picture World (

The original text is below. This version is reconstructed in Inkscape from an imperfectly scanned original.

The Romantic History of the Motion Picture, Part 2

In London, Paris, Washington and New York inventors were trying to wed the films to the magic lantern
All of the experiments toward the projection machine started with films from the Edison peep show device
Edison’s studio put James Corbett into a knockout feature that was nearly fifty feet long
Naturally the first girl pictured was a “vamp” but in those days they called her a “music hall favorite”
Latham’s first screen showing started a controversy in letters to the papers that continues today
It was on Broadway, the world’s greatest show street, that the public first came to see “living pictures”
DescriptionEnglish: Illustrations from a 1922 article on the history of motion pictures
SourcePhotoplay (

The Romantic History of the Motion Picture, Part 1

“It isn’t worth it,” Edison decided when his lawyer wanted to make application for patents on the motion picture abroad

“Room Five” at the Edison research laboratories in West Orange housed a mystery that was guarded by lock and key

A young man from Virginia went to the World’s Fair at Chicago and saw opportunity in the “living pictures”
George Eastman was trying to improve the kodak when he hit on celluloid film, the thing Edison was seeking
In 1892 Edison built the first motion picture studio in the world, the “Black Maria,” at a total cost of $637.67

“You can project anything on a screen that you can see with the eye or that can be photographed.”—Woodville Latham
DescriptionEnglish: Illustrations from a 1922 article on “The Romantic History of the Motion Picture”
SourcePhotoplay (