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December 28, 2023

National Short Film Day

Held on December 28, National Short Film Day commemorates the day the motion picture industry was born, when the Lumière brothers projected a program of short films to a public audience for the first time in 1895. Read on to learn about some of the short films in the California Historical Society Collection.

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National Short Film Day



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Scenes from the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire

The CHS collection contains significant materials that depict the destruction and reconstruction of San Francisco resulting from the 1906 earthquake and fire, including personal diaries, journals, postcards, and letters; collections of manuscripts; scrapbooks; prints, drawings, and paintings; found objects; and thousands of individual photographic images, including this rare footage documenting the aftermath. Watch the film




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Alice Burr, Trip to Mt. Rainier

Alice Burr was a California photographer associated with the Pictorialist movement. Born and based in San Francisco, Burr primarily made portraits and images of nature and scenes around San Francisco and during her many travels abroad. One such trip was to Mt. Rainier in Washington, circa 1930. Watch the film



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San Francisco, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge Under Construction

Much of the CHS collection documents California’s rapid growth and urbanization. Photographs, maps, and other media speak to the development of San Francisco as a global gateway city, including this footage of downtown from 1933. Watch the film



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Albert Armor, Christmas at La Quinta Resort & Club

Albert Armor was a farmer from Corcoran, California, who filmed his family participating in holiday and birthday celebrations and family vacations. Other films depict cotton and grain harvesting, cattle ranching, and irrigation in the San Joaquin Valley. One such film was the family trip to the historic La Quinta Resort & Club in Riverside County, known for its Hollywood celebrities. Watch the film



To learn about other short films in the California Historical Society Collection, visit California Historical Society | California Revealed.

Thank you to California Revealed for making these films accessible.