Monday, May 23, 2011

ON HISTORY: Snowball fight, 1895.

I love this old original footage of some kids having a snowball fight in France in 1895.  It was shot by the Lumiere Brothers, Auguste and Louis, probably near their factory in Lyon, one of the very first films in the world (shot around the same time that Thomas Edison was creating early Kinetoscope images in the USA).  The primitive technology required the film to be hand-cranked through camera and projector, giving it a jerky quality.
 
Instead of differences, though, what shows through this unvarnished window into the past is a wonderful common thread of humanity: people laughing, joking, having fun, playing in the snow, enjoying their friends and lives on a crisp winter day.  They are the age of our great-great-grandparents facing a future of multiple world wars and strife -- but that's no concern right now.  They are no better than us, no worse than us, not very different from us.  To me, that's one of the amazing constant re-discoveries of history.   Enjoy-- 


1 comment:

sallieparker said...

Very nice. "Our great-great-grandparents"? My great-great-grandmother died in 1895, age seventy-plus. I don't think she had a chance to appreciate Lumiere.