16 July 2012

Noel's video illustrations

I don't have any original letters written by Noel during the time period of George's letters, but I do have a different treasure. Among the family papers I inherited were several reels of 8mm film dating back to 1936 when Noel acquired a camera. These films are up to 75 years old, so they have deteriorated.

I have sent many of them out to ScanDigital to be digitized, and hope to do the rest as money allows.

Among the films are some great illustrations of things that Noel (via George) is describing now, such as the Push Ball contest mentioned in Letter No. 22. It's a crazy affair and the video is quite entertaining to watch, I think.

Here is Noel's video of the Push Ball contest from what appears to be 1936 (five years after the one described in letter No. 22).

Also, here is Noel's footage of the Drexel Avenue campus of the Chicago YMCA College, which is soon renamed to George Williams College, where Noel is attending school.

These two clips were part of a longer video that isn't really relevant to the letters right now, but you can view it in its entirety here, if you want.

You'll notice that in Letter No. 22, George mentions that Noel has been doing presentations about Australia while in Chicago, so I think it's safe to make the leap that the video about the college above and the one below are meant to be for presentations about Chicago and George Williams College on Noel's return to Australia after graduation. (Spoiler: Noel stays in the United States and does not move back to Australia.)

Here is that other film I mentioned, a video tour of Chicago in 1936/37. This helps set the scene for where Noel is living and what he is experiencing.

You will probably see me link to these videos again in the future. I can't help it. I think they are fun. And I hope you enjoy them, too.