UW News

April 15, 2010

Marching in kilts, floating in the pond: Help identify this film

Editor’s Note: The UW Audio Visual Services Materials Library has more than 1,200 reels of film from the late 1940s through the early 1970s, documenting life at the University through telecourses, commercial films and original productions. Some of the short films are easily identifiable, but many more remain mysteries. Who shot these films and why? Can you help answer those questions? Faculty and staff can use the comments field at the end of the story to send ideas. Those outside the University can e-mail filmarc@u.washington.edu.

Sailing on Frosh Pond and marching through campus wearing makeshift kilts are among the activities depicted in this week’s Lost and Found film, ASUW Elections. The two and a half minute, 1951 film is just a jumble of images, but from what we can see, student elections in those days were livelier than they are today. Costumes seem to have been popular — the men in kilts were supporting a candidate named Piper — and later there’s a woman in some sort of generic animal costume. (A dog? A mouse? We’re not sure.) Later a boat of some sort maneuvers around Frosh Pond with a sail reading “Wendy.” They’d never get away with that today.

Film Archivist Hannah Palin says there is evidence that some of this film might have been sent to Coronet Films for use in an educational film titled Campus Scenes; however, cursory searches haven’t turned up much information about this film, if it ever existed. According to Archive.org, Coronet Instructional Films were shown in American schools starting in about 1941. The company was an offshoot of Coronet Magazine, a digest-sized magazine that itself was owned by Esquire, Inc.

Information about student elections in this period would be most welcome, as would any information about how this film was used or where it was shown.

Palin received a bit of information about last week’s film, Opening Day Regatta. Members of the Seattle Yacht Club recognized some of the names and activities, but no one knew why the film is in the UW collection. If you have any information, be sure to post it.