Wednesday, August 19, 2015

First Moving Pictures Jacobs and Addams Discovered

World War I cinematographer Wilbur H. Durborough recently made national headlines in Holland, when it was discovered that in his film On the Firing Line with the Germans (1915) there is a short historical scene showing suffragette leaders Aletta Jacobs and Jane Addams. This discovery made it to prime time news on Dutch TV and radio. Here's a link to this scene.

Durborough meets suffragette leaders Addams, Hamilton and Jacobs. Frame from his war film 

Historic Scene taken in Berlin

The film fragment, which was also described in our latest book shows the peace movement leaders Aletta Jacobs from Holland and Jane Addams (US) in front of the Brandenburger Tor in Berlin on May 21, 1915, on their way to visit the German Secretary of State and the Reichskanzler with a peace mediation proposal. In this scene Durborough can be seen talking with these ladies. The movie has the only known extant film of Jacobs who was a leading suffragette in the Netherlands. The film also shows Jane Addams who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. The discovery of this historical footage as well as the support of the International Network of Museums for Peace (INMP) has contributed to the reconstruction of Durborough's film by the Library of Congress. The reconstructed Durborough World War I film is set for screening at the upcoming Pordenone Film Festival in October 2015. The Dutch Film Museum EYE has also expressed its interest in showing the Durborough film in Holland.

We will keep you posted on this special screening at Pordenone!


In November 2016, the Library of Congress released the restored Durborough film online.

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