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Child Welfare Exhibit

June 19, 2011


“Hey Chimme, come an’ see your movin’ pictures!”

An excited throng of Hull house urchins, doing the “Children Welfare Exhibit” in the Coliseum at Chicago, grabbed the latest tousle-haired arrival and hustled him off to the big exhibiting rom at the end of the building and, finding a seat for him well down in front, waiting excitedly for the ‘show’ to begin.

‘I’m in it, too,’ another little fellow piped glee fully nudging his neighbor, ‘an’ so is Willie.’

A moment later the lights were turned out and the youngsters sat for a moment in mute and awed silence as they watched themselves and their cronies in the parade of the ‘boy scouts’ and Hull House boys band marching across the flickering screen, on the background of Halsted street stores and tenement buildings. Then they began to point out familiar buildings, faces and figures, and commented upon the various scenes shown in the film. They saw part of the laundry class ‘studying,’ boys learning to repair shoes, and the library, crowded with seekers after knowledge.

The film shown at the Coliseum shows actual scenes in and about the Hull house and was made especially for the Child Welfare exhibit to show the work that the Hull house is doing for Chicago. Strangers in the city visiting the exhibit and not having time to personally visit the famous west-side settlement will see in the living pictures, on exhibition there, every department and the work in the various clubs.

In this film drama the dramatis personae are composed of hundreds of children, and men and women on whose lives the famous settlement has touched with a quickening influence and modeling them into useful and good American citizens.

In the Boys’ club are shown views in the departments of technical training where the youngsters are taught various trades, such as cobbling, carpentering, metalworking, modeling and drawing. there are also views in the gymnasium and in the Girls’ club are shown the various classes in cooking, sewing, dressmaking, etc.

The Boy Scouts and Hull House Boys’ band are shown parading up Halsted Street and drilling in the quadrangle. There are scenes in the labor museum, where the old ladies of the neighborhood work at looms and weaving machines of the style and patterns familiar to them in the old country. The kindergarten and day nurseries, also the open-air tuberculosis school, are pictured in the film.

The moving pictures were made by the Essanay company of Chicago. and later will be on exhibition in the various theaters here and all over the United States.

— “Children See Themselves in Films” MOTOGRAPHY 5, No. 6. June 1911, 122.


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