28 Nov

100 Years Ago … A Picture House Shareholder Becomes a Hero !

Archive, Norman Mowatt

Our attention was recently drawn to the “From Our Files” Feature in the Campbeltown Courier of 28thJuly 2017. After reading the article we visited Aquilibrium and consulted the microfilm records of the Campbeltown Courier to see the original newspaper. The article from 100 years ago which can be seen transcribed here, being of interest to the Raiders of the Lost Archive group because the hero of the day, Mr Archibald Revie who was the Chemist and Druggist in Campbeltown, was one of the original shareholders in The Picture House. The research and the writing of the biography (http://picturehousearchive.org.uk/archibald-armour-revie/) of Mr Revie was of particular interest to Helen Mowatt, herself a Pharmacist and currently working in Campbeltown. At the time of the article Mr Revie would have been resident at Tweedale House, High Street.

Narrow Escape from Drowning

While Bathing on the Askomil Shore, beyond Trench Point, on Wednesday afternoon, Miss Jean Robertson, daughter of Mr David Robertson, fish salesman, Strathaird Place, had a narrow escape from drowning. It seems she was endeavouring to swim when owing to her bathing cap coming off and hair getting about her face, she got into difficulties and floated beyond her depth. The attention of Mr Archd. Revie, chemist, who was walking in the vicinity, was attracted, and he promptly entered the water and took Miss Robertson ashore. The young lady was almost unconscious when Mr Revie took hold of her by the shoulder, and she swooned away on the beach. She soon recovered, however, and we are glad to say is not the worse of her trying experience. But for Mr Revie’s promptitude she would in all probability have drowned.

On the very same page of the newspaper there was an article which mentions the continuing popularity of The Picture House and the current favourite serial. Both articles are shown below as images.

Also on the page, in its usual top left position, was The Picture House advert for the week.

We couldn’t have an advert and not find out about the films, so here is what we found out online:

Truth Crushed to Earth

A short drama

Release Date:19 June 1916 (USA)


Tom Moore as Tom Blake

Anna Q. Nilsson as Tom’s Sweetheart


Black and White

The Haunted Canvas – episode ten of the laughing mask

I couldn’t find a serial called The Haunted Canvas mentioned online.

There is a serial called The Iron Claw, a 1916 American silent adventure 20 episode film serial starring Pearl White, directed by George B. Seitz and Edward José, and released by Pathé Exchange. A print of the seventh episode exists in the UCLA Film and Television Archive. Episode 12 of thie serial is called The Haunted Canvas and there is a character in it called The Laughing Mask. Whether this is another name for The Haunted Canvas serial I don’t know.

Scars and Stripes Forever

Short comedy, silent black and white

Release Date: 22 March 1916 (USA)

Produced by Henry Lehrman

Production Companie L-KO

Distributors Universal Film Manufacturing Company (1916) (USA) (theatrical)

Cast (in credits order)

Billie Ritchie … Chief of the Blackhanders

Jerome Ash … The Warden

Peggy Pearce … The Warden’s Daughter

Gene Rogers

Joe Murphy

Beans and Bullets

2 reel comedy short, silent black and white

21 October 1916 (USA)

Production Co: Universal Film Manufacturing Company


Heinie Conklin … The President

Lillian Peacock … The President’s Daughter

Milburn Morante … The Major – the Daughter’s Suitor (as Milburn Moranti)

Jack Francis … The General – the Major’s Rival

Billy Franey … Pedro – a Peon (as William Franey)

Gale Henry … Pedro’s Wife

A Conflicting Conscience

Short, Drama, silent black and white

12 July 1916 (USA)


Wadsworth Harris … Frank Allen

Maude Emory … Marie Allen

Bertram Grassby … Van Dusen

Frank Allen, a man of wealth, is happily married, and he and his wife, Marie, and their little baby are living in the same city as Van Dusen, an artist of unsavory reputation. Marie has always kept from Frank the knowledge that before she met him, she posed for Van Dusen, and was compelled to leave his studio on account of his advances to her. One evening at a mutual friend’s house they meet Van Dusen and Frank is introduced to him. While alone with Marie, Van Dusen attempts to force his attentions upon her, but she repulses him. This angers him and he suggests to her that possibly she would be willing to listen to him, rather than have Frank find out that she once posed for him. Marie, terrified, nevertheless repels his advances and Van Dusen resolves to inform Frank in some manner of her former position. He invites the party to visit his studio the following evening. While Marie was his model she had posed for a painting entitled “The Grieving Dryad,” a picture showing a scantily clad girl weeping over a withered rose. Van Dusen returns to his studio, and, taking the painting from its place of storage, places it in a prominent place and covers it with a tapestry. The next evening Marie tells Frank that she does not feel well enough to accompany him and the others to the studio, and he goes alone. Marie, in fear and terror of what may happen, gathers the baby in her arms and falls asleep in a chair. At the studio, Van Dusen unveils the painting at a dramatic moment; and at Frank’s confusion, tells him that it was merely a surprise for him, as he supposed that everyone knew that Marie was once his model. Frank’s anger and jealousy is aroused to such a pitch that he tears the painting from its place and rushes home to confront Marie. He finds her asleep, and as he hesitates to wake her, his imagination sees her as having friendly relations with Van Dusen. His better nature conquers, however, and he returns to the studio to force the truth from the artist. Van Dusen, conscious-stricken, has just finished a letter to Frank, clearing Marie and acknowledging that his motive was revenge for her repulse. After a scene between them, he gives Frank the letter and apologizes and offers him the painting. Frank forgives Van Dusen and hurries home, where Marie has just awakened. She sees the painting and is filled with terror. Frank enters and calms her fears by explaining that he knows all, and that there is nothing for her to be alarmed about. The dark cloud rolls away and all is happiness again.

– Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

The Perils of a Plumber

Short, Comedy, silent black and white

27 December 1916 (USA)


Dan Russell … The Plumber

This knockabout number features Dan Russell as a plumber with flirtatious proclivities. He and his assistant create considerable humor in repairing a hotel bath room. A gay wife and an angry husband keep the plot moving. The slapstick work brings numerous laughs and is generally inoffensive.

– Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

Trouble Enough

comedy short, silent black and white

1 May 1916 (USA)


Jimmy Aubrey … Heinie (as James Aubrey)

Elmer E. Redmond … Louie

Production Companies Mittenthal Film Company (as Starlight Comedies)

Distributors Pathé Exchange (1916) (USA) (theatrical)

Hapless Happenings

Short, Comedy, silent black and white

7 February 1916 (USA)


Jimmy Aubrey … Heinie (as James Aubrey)

Elmer E. Redmond … Louie

Production Companies Mittenthal Film Company (as Starlight Comedies)

Distributors Pathé Exchange (1916) (USA) (theatrical)

Pass the Prunes

Comedy, Short, silent black and white

4 December 1916 (USA)

Production Co: Nestor Film Company


Eddie Lyons … Jack Crarrymore

Lee Moran … Culdoon

Priscilla Dean … Mary

Fred Gamble … Mary’s Father

The House of Horror

Short, Drama, silent black and white

16 January 1915 (USA)

Production Co: Biograph Company


Charles Hill Mailes … The husband (as Charles H. Mailes)

Louise Ducey … The wife

Jack Drumier … The money lender

Herbert Barrington … His clerk

W.C. Robinson … Crook

Sidney D’Albrook … Crook

Little Boy Blue

10min Short, Drama, silent black and white

14 July 1916 (USA)

Filming Locations: Universal Studios – 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, California, USA

Production Co: Victor Film Company


Rupert Julian … Cyril

Elsie Jane Wilson … Clara

Baby Clements … Little Boy Blue

Cyril, an author, and his wife, have lately drifted apart. The difference between them, slight at first, has grown with time, and the little child is the only link that held them together. In his indifferent way, Cyril is very fond of the child and often rebukes his wife for the scrapes the youngster gets into, which helps to widen the breach between them. The constant companions of the child are a little tin soldier and a tin dog. Cyril receives notice from a newspaper syndicate stating that his children’s poems are proving very popular and requesting more of his work. That night a tropical rain storm is raging outside and Cyril is busy working on his poems. Little Boy Blue, awakened by the rain, remembers leaving his two playmates, the soldier and the dog, outside, and slipping out into the storm, rescues them. He wipes the rain from them and places them in the closet. Just as he slips into bed the father finds him and sees he is wringing wet. He again rebukes the mother for not watching the child more closely. The trip into the night air is too much for the little fellow, and he contracts a deadly ailment. The doctors are unable to save him. With the death of the child, Cyril and his wife become definitely separated. She returns to her parents, while he remains in the house. The years pass. The little soldier and tin dog wonder what has become of their little playmate, and one night Cyril, rummaging around in the closet, brings the child’s little playmates back to light. At the sight of them his indifference breaks down and he is filled with remorse and regret over the attitude he has taken against his wife. On the spur of the moment he composes a verse telling the pathetic story of the deserted soldier and dog. The wife later reads the verse in a paper and her old love returns. She hurries to the house and finds her husband preparing his own meal. She notes the rages time has made upon him, and rushes towards him. With a glad cry he takes her in his arms, and the little toy soldier and the little tin dog are placed in a conspicuous place to remind them that nothing shall ever come between them again.

– Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

The Scar

Short, Drama, silent black and white

3 August 1915 (USA)

Production Co: Vitagraph Company of America


Harry T. Morey … Clifford Stanley – a Morphine Addict

Estelle Mardo … Mary Arnold – an Heiress

Mary Maurice … Mary’s Mother

Gladden James … Mary’s Fiance

Denton Vane … Red Learson – a Vagabond

By Helen and Norman Mowatt

Image credits

1.) Narrow Escape from Drowning article, (28th July1917, © Campbeltown Courier)

2.) The Picture House article, (28th July1917, © Campbeltown Courier)

3.) ‘Picture House – Weekly Listings Advert’, (28th July1917, © Campbeltown Courier)

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