Melissa’s Obsession: Work Parties

Co-founder, Melissa, has begun collecting films which depict work parties be they retirement or holiday parties, the odd summer picnic. It has become a bit of an obsession perhaps because they are a bit hard to find! The captions in [brackets] include labels from the original item in “quotation marks.” We add estimated dates and other details.

#140. [Dobeckmun’s 7th Annual company Picnic — “1937 Picnic Film”.] 16mm. b/w. Home movie shot on August 7th, 1937 during Dobeckmun’s 7th Annual company Picnic at Schluter’s Tavern in Westlake, Ohio. Dobeckmun was a manufacturer of cellophane bags, and after 1957, a division of the Dow Chemical Company based in Cleveland, Ohio.
#144. [“People Dancing, Dance Party, Band, ca. 1965.”] 8mm. Color.
#143. [“1964” — Work Party.] 8mm. Color.
“GSM Company Picnic Home Movie,” 1958. 16mm. Color. Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company was an African American-owned insurance company that insured its under-served community in the Los Angeles area. Courtesy of UCLA, Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library. Collection: Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company records; Calisphere permalink: To read more.

“Amateur Film — [Carnegie-Illinois Steel Corporation, Homestead District Works] Supervisors Picnic,” June 11, 1949. Courtesy of Prelinger Archives via Internet Archive.

Coming Attractions

Below is a list of films we will be digitizing in the coming months.

  • #180. [“Baba’s Retire(ment) + Shop,” 1950s.] 8mm. Color. Footage of a large banquet with attendees in fancy dress, a speech, clapping and goofing, and images of what looks like a machine shop.
  • #280. [“Store Party, SBHS Cafeteria, Nov. 5, 1940.”] 16mm. Color. San Bernardino’s Harris Company Department Store employees at a Thanksgiving dinner party held in their honor in San Bernardino High School’s cafeteria. The camera scans around the room to attendees, a band, a talent routine, and rests for a bit on a man who is likely a member of the Harris family and his wife. A few glimpses at the end of the historic department store in its heyday at the corners of Third and E Streets.
Possibly a Harris and wife?
The band
The exterior