Thursday, April 27, 2017

Nelson Edwards and the Newsreels: An American Life

In 2012, authors Cooper Graham and Ron van Dopperen published an article on newsreel pioneer Nelson E. Edwards. Edwards (1887–1954) was among the first newsreel cameramen in American film history. From 1914 he filmed for Hearst International News Service and covered the Mexican Revolution. In 1916 he filmed the Turkish and the German side of the World War. He was also chief cameraman for Fox Newsreel during the year of its birth, and thereafter a longtime stringer for Paramount News.

Christmas postcard from the Edwards' family, 1938

The essay describes Edwards's life and work, as well as some of the background of Hearst's first attempts to get into the newsreel business, based on research in Edwards's personal documents, reports in the press and interviews with his family. Nelson Edwards's film work during World War I also featured in our book American Cinematographers in the Great War (2014).

Family Collection

During our research on Nelson Edwards we were very fortunate in having contacted Nelson Edwards' s family who were most helpful and provided us with invaluable information from Nelson's personal scrapbooks.

Nelson Edwards was raised in Kansas and many of his relatives are still living in the area. The family background is interesting. He was buried in 1954 at Arlington National Cemetery.

More can be found in this weblog on the Edwards family.

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