In addition to his pioneering
work in the technology of film making, Thomas Edison was a film maker himself.
He made many films about a wide variety of topics, including American youth.
Three Edison films dealing with this topic are linked to this web site.
Download and view each of these films. What do they tell you about
the experience of growing up in America at the beginning of the twentieth
century? What can we learn from them about schooling and work?
What can we learn from them about gender, race and social class?
What can they tell us about the place and role of teenagers in city life
and American life?
Street Arabs (1898)
For a nineteenth century treatise on the "newsboy" see Didley Dumps or John Ellard: The Newsboy (Philadelphia, Alfred Martein, 1873), chapter one, pp. 9-19.
Graduation Day (1914)
Seminary Girls (1897)
CAUTION: TO VIEW THESE FILMS YOU WILL NEED TO HAVE A PROGRAM LIKE QUICK TIME PLAYER ON YOUR COMPUTER AND A HIGH SPEED CONNECTION SUCH AS A DSL OR A CABLE MODEM. I ALSO RECOMMEND THAT YOU AVOID USING NETSCAPE AS YOUR BROWSER. INTERNET EXPLORER IS A MORE STABLE PLATFORM FOR FILES LIKE THESE.