master 2 videoreels (1 hour 47 minutes) silent b&w one inch
archival original 4 reels (2,776 feet) silent b&w 16mm
Motion pictures (visual works)
title supplied by HSFA staff (unpublished work) --archival collection
Supplementary materials: notes written by Bowers and possibly Burton Holmes; Holmes, Burton. "The Burton Holmes Lectures." 10 vols. Battle Creek: Little-Preston Company, Ltd., 1901; Holmes, Burton. "The World is Mine: An Autobiography." Culver City: Murray and Gee, 1953; Caldwell, Genoa, ed. "The Man Who Photographed the World: Burton Holmes Travelogues, 1892-1938." New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1977.
Cataloging supported by Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee
Transferred by the National Center for Film and Video Preservation at the American Film Institute in 1997
Footage documents travel in Italy, Egypt, Burma, India, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong and Japan. Scenes recorded in Italy include ruins of Pompei and a parade (possibly a funeral) in an unidentified Italian city. Scenes recorded in Egypt include rooftop panorama of street activities in Cairo, riding camels to the pyramids and the Sphinx, camel drivers, groups of people at a train station (probably Ismailia), view of the Suez Canal from train with barges and dhow, view of larger harbor which is probably Port Said and view of Egypt from deck of ship. Scenes recorded in Burma include elephants moving teak logs and the Shwe Dogon Temple in Rangoon with attendant monks, praying people and vendors in temple compound. Scenes recorded in India include group of men around an ashy fire (possibly a body being cremated); beggars and general pedestrian traffic in a city (possibly Calcutta); waterfront activity from moving ship on Ganges (people bathing, praying, washing clothes, bringing body to funeral pyre and lighting pyre); gathering for a large <mela> (people practicing self mortification by blinding themselves with sand and hanging upside down over bed of coals); holy men with begging bowls and a group of tourists riding an elephant and traveling in mule-drawn covered carts near Allahabad; possibly Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India (possibly Ghandi working a spinning wheel known as a charkha with a Dr. Silkey) small village with cowherds and activity around the village well in countryside; street activity with wedding procession (heavily decorated elephant, man playing sitar and man spinning cotton) in, possibly, Jaipur; Fatehpur Sikri, a large city/palace complex near Agra and the Taj Mahal. Included in the Indian images is "purchased" footage produced by Ufa depicting a fight between a mongoose and a cobra in a "staged" setting, perhaps a zoo. Scenes recorded in Cambodia include Angkor Wat (pans of relief sculptures, buildings covered with trees and vines, men digging among ruins, man practicing shooting with a crossbow, closeup shots of Buddha sculptures and <nagras> and general views of ruined city from outside the walls) and countryside (rice paddies, water buffalo, villages on stilts, people mixing a sticky "porridge" and activity along an unidentified river. Scenes recorded in China include activities and places in and around Beijing (Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and the Great Wall, bicycle traffic, street vendors, a wrestling match, pedestrian traffic w/ families and heavily ladened carts and a pack train with mules); stone ceremonial gate of Shih-San-Ling and sculpted animals along avenue to Ming tombs. Scenes recorded in what is probably Hong Kong include general harbor activity (ships, junks and sampans and children playing along shore), boats in a canal and street activity with an Indian traffic "policeman." Scenes recorded in Japan include visits to various unidentified temples, palaces and a giant statue of Buddha; school children and their "games day" or "field day" competitions; small back streets and shops of an unidentified town; well-to-do Japanese couple descending from a train (he is in western dress and she is in traditional Japanese dress); Japanese soldiers marching on parade; trolley cars; fields and women harvesting grain along rural roadside; men bundling sheaves of grain and Japanese troops lined up along roadside filmed from moving vehicle. Footage also includes extraneous travel footage from Asia including elephants being scrubbed, a snake zoo and tapping rubber and what is believed to be personal scenes from Mr. Bowers' life such as father and son posing for camera, boys playing football and what may be a birthday party with several children.
Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, MD