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A Connecticut Skunk Farm

A Connecticut Skunk Farm (A Long Island Skunk Farm) (US 1914)    
Production company: Kalem Company

Release date: 21 February 1914
Sound: silent
Color: b/w
Length (in feet): 97 ft.
Length (in reels): 1
Running time: 2 min.
Frame rate: 16 fps

Restored from a 28mm print to 35mm at Colorlab
Digitized by Film Preservation Services
Funded by the National Film Preservation Foundation

Released on one reel with a western An Indian’s Honor (1914, Frank Montgomery), now considered lost.

Why breed skunks in Connecticut—or for that matter, why breed skunks at all? The terrain, climate, and proximity to New York City made the location ideal for the transport of these gentle creatures to furriers that supplied the fashion industry. Just prior to World War I, skunks were a source of basic black and white fur for coats, stoles, muffs, shoes, hats, and other popular apparel. This particular fashion statement was rendered moot in a few short years with ever-changing styles and the impact of the American wartime economy of 1917–18. It is noted in this brief film that if treated humanely, skunks are docile, friendly creatures. It is also clear that their survival instincts were on full alert as they gather in a corner of their pen in a vain attempt to dig their way to safety. There is still some mystery around this film. In the majority of the trade press, it is announced as A Long Island Skunk Farm, whereas the opening credits and intertitles clearly indicate Connecticut. Thus, we cannot be sure where the actual filming (and farming) took place.