1912 Silent Film: The New York Hat

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, January 15, 1912: Decided to take up spelling just for fun, and three others followed my example. To my dismay I missed a word. Then a lot of the Freshies wanted to know what that word was. Were I to mention it here, you might think I was an awful dummy, so I won’t.

Scene from The New York Hat (Photo Source: Wikipedia)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

I wish Grandma would have told us the word she missed. The previous Friday, she’d misspelled ‘nihilism’.

An aside—I just discovered an awesome 1912 silent film short called The New York Hat with Mary Pickford and Lionel Barrymore on YouTube. It’s a delightful 10-minute film that will take you back in time. I’d like to thank Kristin who writes a wonderful family history blog called Finding Eliza for finding this film.

Addendum in response to comments–I believe that several films were typically shown during each show. In a post last year I included an May 5, 1911 advertisement for the Bijou Dream Theatre in nearby Milton. It described the four silent films that were being shown on that date.

4 Responses

  1. Thank you for the mention Sheryl! I enjoyed that film too. I wonder if many silent films were so short and if they showed several of them at a time.

  2. Now I’m curious, too, and wonder what the word was. It’s fun to wonder if your grandmother got a chance to see *The New York Hat,* and what she might have thought of it. My grandmother was six years old in 1912…

  3. Based upon a 1911 advertisement for a theater in a nearby town I believe that they showed several films at a time. I’d posted that advertisement last spring–and just now updated the post to add the link. Thanks for the great questions that reminded of that old post.

    I Googled 1912 silent films and found another 10 minute film called Algie the Miner on You Tube. Just type the film name in to find it.

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