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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Message From Mars: 1913

Message From Mars: 1913

Marquette, Michigan, circa 1913. "Washington Street, showing opera house." Now playing at the picture show: "Message From Mars" and "Flaming Arrrow." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Man From Mars

The British poster.

Another Flaming Arrow

The Flaming Arrow film mentioned previously was released in 1911. A film with the same title was made and released in 1913 by the Bison Picture Company. The latter film is most likely the one we see the advertisement for.


I think this is a Salvation Army band marching; I found a couple of pictures with a similar cap.

The Fate of the Opera House

Like seemingly many old theaters, it's fate was to burn down. But, this being the UP of Michigan, naturally it happened during a blizzard.

Like any good opera story, there may have been some skullduggery going on behind the scenes!

Read more about it here:

There is a sign for The Mining Journal newspaper in the background, which is today still publishing.

Mar's Man

With a plot similar to Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Richard Ganthoney's A Message from Mars was a hugely successful satirical play. It was made into a four-reel picture in 1913 in the U.K.

A Martian is sentenced to visit earth to cure a selfish man.

Horace Parker, "the most selfish man on earth" is such a snob that even his fiancee turns her back on him. But on Christmas Eve, a messenger from Mars (in a bizarre, scaly costume) comes to Earth to show Parker the error of his ways. The two of them become invisible and eavesdrop on all the terrible -and true -- things Parker's friends and family are saying about him. etc.

The Flaming Arrow


"At the age of 13 Joris Ivens was fond of cowboy and Indian stories, so he decided to invent one himself. He wrote a script and used a camera from his father’s shop. This became his first film Wigwam, with his own family as the cast. Black Eagle, a bad Indian, kidnaps the daughter of a farmer’s family. Flaming Arrow, played by the young Joris Ivens, saves the child from the kidnapper and brings her back to her family."

Joris Ivens (18 November 1898, Nijmegen – 28 June 1989, Paris) was a Dutch documentary filmmaker.


Anyone know what the parade was for? Doesn't seem to be attracting a whole lot of attention, aside from the gaggle of boys following along with them.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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