Selections from the Turconi Collection

I have been following the blog, 50 Watts for years because of Will Schofield’s dedication to showcasing beautiful historical books, design and illustration from around the world. A visual journey, his blog is well worth the visit. Twice they have featured scans of nitrate film frame clippings selected by Joshua Yumibe from the Turconi Collection.

The first collection features dozens of movie stills in groups of two to three frames, many of which are tinted or hand colored. It's a true glimpse into the history of film.

Clip #06835: When the Devil Drives (Charles Urban, 1907): tinted

Clip #06835: When the Devil Drives (Charles Urban, 1907): tinted

Clip #06032: L’écrin du rajah (di. Gaston Velle, Pathé Frères, 1908): stenciled or hand-colored

Clip #06032: L’écrin du rajah (di. Gaston Velle, Pathé Frères, 1908): stenciled or hand-colored

Clip #06026: L’écrin du rajah (di. Gaston Velle, Pathé Frères, 1908): stenciled

Clip #06026: L’écrin du rajah (di. Gaston Velle, Pathé Frères, 1908): stenciled

Clip #00888: Seemannsleben (original US title unidentified, Selig): tinted & faded

Clip #00888: Seemannsleben (original US title unidentified, Selig): tinted & faded

 

But I found the decomposing frames some of the most beautiful.

Clip #00762: Dämonit (Neue Film Gesellschaft, 1914): toned & decomposing

Clip #00762: Dämonit (Neue Film Gesellschaft, 1914): toned & decomposing

Clip #04599: Jeptha's Daughter (Vitagraph, 1909): toned & disintegrating

Clip #04599: Jeptha's Daughter (Vitagraph, 1909): toned & disintegrating

 

Clearly I wasn't the only one entranced with the degrading images, and a new collection of clips has been uploaded. Some have remnants of their original imagery...

Clip #23403: Unidentified (Gaumont)

Clip #23403: Unidentified (Gaumont)

Clip #18088: Barbe bleu (Pathé, 1907)

Clip #18088: Barbe bleu (Pathé, 1907)

Clip #11147: La lampada della nonna (di. Luigi Maggi, Ambrosio, 1913)

Clip #11147: La lampada della nonna (di. Luigi Maggi, Ambrosio, 1913)

 

...while others have morphed into colorful, organic swirls that look more like satellite maps or scientific slides.

Clip #23279: Le Chien du volontaire (Lux, 1909)

Clip #23279: Le Chien du volontaire (Lux, 1909)

Clip #21726: Des Kindes bester Freund (unid.)

Clip #21726: Des Kindes bester Freund (unid.)

Clip #21277: Des Kindes bester Freund (unid.)

Clip #21277: Des Kindes bester Freund (unid.)

Clip #21907: La Mort de Mozart (di. Louis Feuillade, Gaumont, 1909)

Clip #21907: La Mort de Mozart (di. Louis Feuillade, Gaumont, 1909)

This is just a fraction of the well selected images over at 50 Watts and the Turconi database is an invaluable resource.

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