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Hats Off for Cal: 1926

Hats Off for Cal: 1926

May 1, 1926. President Coolidge and Boy Scouts on the South Lawn of the White House. View full size. 4x5 glass negative, National Photo Company Collection.


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sound on film

>>recording it on film, there had to be some sort of motor drive.

Doesn't the camera also need to be electrically powered, for the reason that the sound recording works by using the sound to modulate a light source... so you need to power the light bulb and associated circuitry.

RE: Security

I believe the gentleman directly behind the President's right shoulder is the principal Secret Service Agent, Colonel Edmund W. Starling. As a footnote, Cool Cal was afraid of squirrels and rarely went into the park across the street from the White House.

Hand cranked camera

1926 is a couple of years early for sound on film to be common. There had been experiments of course but they tended to be studio bound. "The Jazz Singer" made the sound popular, but it actually used synchronized records rather than actually recording the sound onto a track on the film. As I understand it too, you couldn't use a hand cranked camera such as the one this man is using to record sound film of any sort but particularly recording it on film, there had to be some sort of motor drive. While most cameramen were pretty good about maintaining a precise number of frames per second rate in their cranking it was never perfect. To get proper sound reproduction the film had to be projected at the same rate at which it was shot - 24 fps was eventually decided upon as the standard. The guy in the hat is probably shooting for a newsreel company.

Any idea

who is taking the movie footage? Would this be a talky or a silent film in 26? It seems that politicians even back then were looking for a photo op.


Just imagine, the President standing all alone in a huge crowd like that. It'd be unheard of nowadays.

Friends of Cal

Wonder who the other older gentlemen are around and behind Cal? The fellow with the beard is about old enough to be a Civil War Vet--his hat is different than the others'--also fascinating to see so many different faces in such a small space.

[The oldster with the beard is the appropriately named Daniel ("Uncle Dan") Beard, an early figure in the history of the Boy Scouts. The man in the uniform looks like BSA treasurer George D. Pratt. - Dave]

Snappy Dresser

Gotta hand it to Cal, that's a sharp suit.

This is a very rare photo of Coolidge...

He's actually smiling.

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