Douglass Crockwell collection, 1897–1976

Douglass Crockwell Collection, 1897–1976, bulk 1934–1968

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Finding aid prepared by Ken Fox, Project Archivist, George Eastman Museum, Moving Image Department, April 2015.

 

Contents

Descriptive Summary
Biographical Note
Scope and Content Note
Arrangement of the Collection and Series List
Access Terms
Preferred Citation
Related Collections 
Container List Arranged by Series
Box Inventory

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Crockwell, Spencer Douglass, 1904–1968

Title: Douglass Crockwell collection

Dates: 1897–1976, bulk 1934–1968

Physical Extent: 30.1 cubic feet (1 document box, 1 oversize box, and 96 Mutoscope boxes)

Repository:
Moving Image Department
George Eastman Museum
900 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607
Phone: 585-327-4800
Email: stills@eastman.org
URL: www.eastman.org

Content Abstract: Spencer Douglass Crockwell was a commercial illustrator, experimental filmmaker, inventor, Mutoscope collector, amateur scientist, and Glens Falls, New York, resident. The Douglass Crockwell Collection contains Mr. Crockwell's personal papers, professional documents, films, Mutoscope reels, flip books, drawings, and photographs documenting his professional, civic, and personal life.

Language: Collection materials are in English

Location: Collection materials are located onsite.

Access Restrictions: Collection is open to research upon request.

Copyright: George Eastman Museum holds the rights to the physical materials but not intellectual property rights.

Acquisition Information: The earliest acquisition of collection materials occurred on August 20, 1973, when one table Mutoscope and three Mutoscope reels were received by the George Eastman Museum as an unrestricted gift from Mr. Crockwell's widow. On March 22, 1974, Mrs. Crockwell transferred most of the Douglass Crockwell Collection to Eastman Museum with the understanding that one third of the collection would be received as an immediate gift. The remaining balance of the collection -- which included the films -- would be received as a loan for study purposes with the understanding it would be accessioned into the permanent collection as a gift within the next two years. On December 6, 1978, an unconditional gift of one 16mm film print of Glens Falls Sequence was made to the Eastman Museum by Mr. Crockwell's son, Douglass Crockwell Jr. Mrs. Douglass Crockwell made an additional gift of Mr. Crockwell's Pan-Stereo cameras and viewers on October 15, 1980.

Custodial Information: Collection materials were created or collected by Mr. Crockwell and maintained by him during his lifetime. Upon his death the collection was donated to the George Eastman Museum by his widow, Mrs. Douglass Crockwell, and son, Douglass Crockwell Jr.

Funding for this finding aid was provided by a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources’ Hidden Collections Program.

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Biographical Note

Experimental animator, commercial illustrator, inventor, and amateur physicist Spencer Douglass Crockwell was born in Columbus, Ohio, on April, 29, 1904. His father, Charles Roland Crockwell, was a mining engineer with the Crockwell Mine & Mill Supply Company; his mother, Cora Amelia Crockwell (née Smith), was the daughter of an Iowa attorney. In 1907 the Crockwell family moved to St. Louis, Missouri where, after graduating public high school in 1922, Crockwell entered Washington University. Originally intending to study engineering, Crockwell soon switched to the university's business college, graduating with a B.S. in 1926.  While still an undergraduate, however, Crockwell had begun taking courses at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts and would later claim he knew even before commencement that he "wanted to be an artist."1 After graduation Crockwell continued to study at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts until 1929; the following year he relocated to Chicago where he continued his studies at the American Academy of Art. Crockwell received fellowships to travel to Europe during the summers of 1930 and 1931, and in 1932 Crockwell relocated to Glens Falls, NY. The following year he married painter and Glens Falls native Margaret J. Braman, whom Crockwell had first met while they were both studying art in St. Louis. Settling permanently in Glens Falls, the Crockwells soon became part of a small circle of fellow upstate-New York artists which included the sculptor David Smith (whose work the Crockwells collected), Smith's then-wife Dorothy Dehner, and John Graham.2 In 1937 their son Douglass Jr. was born, followed by daughters Johanna (b. 1941) and Margaret ("Magsie," b. 1945).

Crockwell's successful career as a freelance illustrative painter began in the early 1930s and would continue until two years before his death in 1968. In addition to providing cover and story illustrations for such magazines as Colliers, Country Gentleman, and The Saturday Evening Post (which first hired Crockwell for a cover in 1933), Crockwell received advertising commissions from a wide variety of companies. Prominent among these were General Electric, Welch's, General Motors, Brown & Bigelow (best-known for their illustrated calendars), the drug manufacturers Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and Lederle Laboratories, Republic Steel, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, for which Crockwell created the poster art for the 1946 feature film The Yearling. Illustrations were also commissioned by the United Service Organizations (USO) and the U.S. Army, Marines and the Nurse Corps. In 1947 Crockwell was hired by the United States Brewers Foundation (USBF) to provide paintings for their influential "Beer Belongs" ad campaign. Launched in 1946, the campaign rebranded beer as "America's Beverage of Moderation" and attempted to convince post-Prohibition Americans of beer's centrality to wholesome American living -- the kind often depicted by Crockwell in his magazine work. Of the 136 advertisements produced before the campaign came to a close in 1956, 120 were numbered and considered to comprise a subseries titled "Home Life in America." The exact number of ads featuring Crockwell's work is uncertain: According to brochures and biographical notes found among his papers, Crockwell provided illustrations for 110 different ads. More recent research into the "Beer Belongs" campaign, however, estimates the actual number to be closer to 70, roughly half the total number of ads produced.

In addition to private commissions, during the 1930s and early 40s Crockwell received federal funds from New Deal agencies to create several important public works. In 1934 he painted Paper Workers, Finch Pruyn & Co. for the Works Progress Administration. The canvas, which depicts workers at a Glens Falls paper manufacturing plant, currently belongs to the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. A second version painted that same year was later donated to the Hyde Collection, the Glens Falls art museum of which Crockwell was a founding trustee and where he served as director from 1964-1968. Crockwell also created three U.S. Post Office murals on commission from the Treasury Section of Fine Arts, formerly the Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture. The first was "Vermont Industries" (1937) for the U.S. Post Office in White River Junction, Vermont, followed by "Endicott, 1901 -- Excavation for the Ideal Factory" (1938) in Endicott, NY, and the "Signing of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek on September 27, 1830," (1941) in Macon, Mississippi.

Concurrent with his work as a commercial illustrator, Crockwell also created short animated motion-pictures, many of which employed techniques and devices of his own invention. The earliest of these largely abstract films date from the mid- to late-1930s and bear titles such as Flower Landscape, Parade, Frustration, the series Fantasmagoria I, II, III (1938, 1939, 1940), and The Chase (1940). Screenings of these films took place at venues such as the Museum of Modern Art (where, according to a 1940 letter from Dana Bennett, one film was exhibited via a "continuous projection machine"3) and cinema clubs. As part of the 1946 Art in Cinema program at the San Francisco Museum of Art, Crockwell compiled several of these early films under the title Glens Falls Sequence. Many sections of this 10-minute 16mm film (which Crockwell intended to be projected at "silent speed" of 16 frames per second) were created using his own patented paint-on-glass apparatus that enabled Crockwell to photograph images one frame at a time as he applied slow-drying plastic paint to the reverse side of a sheet of glass. Crockwell would then manipulate the paint using razor blades, brushes or his fingers, adding and removing color at will. Crockwell described this device as "an animation easel with the camera mounted overhead and the work area arranged much as a draftsman desk, except that the working area consisted of several movable layers of glass slightly separated."4 Crockwell filed papers for this painting-on-glass apparatus with a patent attorney in 1937; the patent on this "Method of Producing Animated Pictures" was granted in 1940. In 1947 Crockwell compiled a second film titled The Long Bodies which included old as well as new material. Nearly all the new footage was produced using Crockwell's wax-slicing machine, patented in July 1948. This device used a rotating meat-slicing blade to shave thin slices from the "long body" of a varicolored block of wax; with each slice, a slightly different shape and color arrangement was revealed. Newly exposed cross-sections were then photographed at a rate of one frame per slice. According to Crockwell's own description, the aim of the device was to produce a "precise and fluid transition between the separate frames of a simple animated sequence" by reducing "the variation between the shapes to almost a mathematical formula."5 (While Crockwell's wax-slicing machine bore a remarkable resemblance to a similar device constructed in 1919 by the German-American abstract animator Oskar Fischinger, there is no evidence that Crockwell had ever seen Fischinger's films or was aware of his techniques.)

A third animation machine used by Crockwell in his non-commercial work was the Mutoscope, a coin-operated, moving-image peep-show device patented by the American inventor Herman Casler in 1894. Designed for single-user viewing the Mutoscope traditionally used sequential stiff-backed photographs radially mounted onto a circular core. This reel was then turned by a viewer-operated hand crank, the manipulation of which "animated" the images in the manner of a flip-book. Each reel contained approximately 850 cards and lasted about one minute, although the running time depended on the speed at which the spectator turned the crank. Fascinated by the device and its ability to present "sequential art" (Crockwell was less interested in the moving-image aspect of the mechanism), Crockwell became one of the foremost collectors of Mutoscope reels and machines in the U.S. Beginning in the late 1930s Crockwell created many reels of his own, including the Color Wheels series, A Long Body, Random Glow, Stripes, Ode to David, Around the Valley, Duopusses, Animation #1, and Playboy and Dancer Reel. One of these was printed by the International Mutoscope Reel Company and exhibited in a Mutoscope machine in the offices of the Museum of Modern Art in 1946.6 In addition to reels using sequences from his own abstract films, Crockwell also created Mutoscope reels from non-sequential "found" images appropriated from advertisements, "girlie magazines," and other media.

The culmination of Crockwell's interest in this pre-cinematic device was the exhibition "Mutoscopes," mounted by the Museum of Modern Art from August 2 through October 1, 1967. In addition to four old "Iron Horses" from Crockwell's collection the exhibit included six Plexiglas-enclosed Mutoscope viewers designed by Crockwell and containing reels he created through a variety of techniques, including painting, photography, printing, lettering, and found imagery. (The use of Plexiglas rather than the cast iron, sheet metal, or oak used in the older machines permitted more than a single person to view the reels at one time). Posters and stills from Crockwell's personal collection were also on display alongside the continuous projection of The Classic American Mutoscope, a film compilation of nine early Mutoscope reels organized by Crockwell.

In 1967 Crockwell also produced several "Thumb Prints," small flip-books featuring his own artwork.

In addition to experimental animation, Crockwell also maintained a great interest in the sciences, particularly atomic physics. He wrote and illustrated several unpublished papers on the subject, including "A Special Case of Inertial Induction," "The Magnetic Field Postulate," "Web Space," and "Geometric Forms in the Periodic Table of Elements.” In 1954 Crockwell's theory of the particle field was the subject of an "Amateur Scientist" column of Scientific American magazine. Crockwell's additional interests in anthropology and epistemology resulted in the papers "Theory of Totems" and "Two Forms of Knowledge," respectively. Throughout the 1960s Crockwell was working on a new invention: a "Pan-Stereo Sweep Camera" that would produce 360-degree panoramic photographs in 3-D.

A resident of Glens Falls, New York, until his death in 1968, Crockwell was also an active member of numerous civic organizations. From 1945 until 1948 he served as director of the Glens Falls Chamber of Commerce, and was a member of the Municipal Civil Service Commission from 1947 until 1963 when he resigned to become a member of the City Planning Board. Crockwell was also a member of the Glens Falls Board of Education from 1951 through 1965 and acting director of the Hyde Collection from 1964 until his death. His work as both a commercial illustrator and an experimental animator garnered Crockwell numerous awards, including two St. Louis Artists Guild Awards (1930, 1931); the 1942 Art Directors Club of New York Award for best poster; the 1944 and 1945 Art Directors Club of New York Award for best human interest color illustration; the 1947 Art Directors Club of New York Gold Medal for best poster; the Most Outstanding Film Award by Audience Vote at the Sixth Annual Festival of Contemporary Arts at the University of Illinois in 1953; and the 1957 Los Angeles Art Directors Award for best painting.

According to his obituary in the Glens Falls' Post-Star newspaper Crockwell died at his home at 245 Sanford Street on November 30, 1968, after a short, unspecified illness.7 He was 64 years old.

Notes

1. [Douglass Crockwell Obituary in the Post-Star]

2. Anthony F. Hall, "In One Work of Sculpture, the Stories of Three Local Families," Lake George Mirror Magazine, December 14, 2011.

3. Dana Bennett to Douglass Crockwell, Douglass Crockwell Collection, George Eastman Museum, Moving Image Department, Paper, Posters and Stills Collection, Rochester, NY.

4. Douglass Crockwell to Frank Stauffacher, Art in Cinema: Documents Toward a History of the Film Society, ed. Scott MacDonald (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006), 30-31.

5. Douglass Crockwell to Charles H. Andros, 29 September 1943, Douglass Crockwell Collection, George Eastman Museum, Moving Image Department, Paper, Posters and Stills Collection, Rochester, NY.

6. Douglas Crockwell, "Peep Show: The Past and Future Mutoscope" draft, Douglass Crockwell Collection, George Eastman Museum, Moving Image Department, Paper, Posters and Stills Collection, Rochester, NY.

7. Ibid.

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Scope and Content Note

The Douglass Crockwell Collection consists of paper documents (including correspondence, notes, manuscripts, and legal records), photographs, drawings, moving-image technology, and moving images in three different formats: 16mm film, flip books, and Mutoscope reels. The bulk of the materials created by Crockwell date from 1939 until his death in 1968, though some documents appear to have been added to the collection as late as 1976 by persons other than the creator. The earliest materials collected by Crockwell are Mutoscope reels dating from 1897.

Materials in the collection are mostly related to Crockwell's work in commercial illustration and amateur experimental filmmaking, as well as his involvement with civic organizations in and around the town of Glens Falls, New York. Materials related to his personal life are primarily correspondence to friends and family members. Geographically the materials are limited to the Glens Falls, New York, area, where Crockwell settled in 1932 and lived for the remainder of his life.

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Arrangement of the Collection and Series List

Collection materials are arranged in four series according to genre, with each series further divided into sub- and sub-subseries according to subject (or in the case of Moving Images, further subdivided according to format). Folders within each series are generally organized according to subject. Though items within folders were not found to follow any discernable arrangement, they were generally left as found. Exceptions include rehousing due to size or instances of obvious misfiling. Any relocation of items is noted within the original folder description.

The series and subseries arrangement of the collection materials is as follows:

Series 1, Documents, 1934-1976, undated

Subseries 1, Moving Images, 1934-1970, undated

Subseries 2, Commercial Illustration, 1966, undated

Subseries 3, Personal and Civic Affairs, 1941-1976, undated

Subseries 4, Inventions, 1939-1968, undated

Subseries 5, Scientific Research, 1963-1967, undated

Subseries 6, Biographical Information, 1966, undated

Series 2, Photographs and Illustrations, ca. 1966, undated

Subseries 1, Photographs, ca. 1966, undated [bulk]

Subseries 2, Drawings, undated

Series 3, Moving Images, 1897-1968

Subseries 1, Films, ca. 1937, ca. 1946

Subseries 2, Mutoscope Reels, 1897-1907, 1915, 1965, undated

Sub-subseries 1, Collected, 1897-1907, 1915, undated

Sub-subseries 2, Created, 1965, undated

Subseries 3, Flip Books, ca. 1967

Series 4, Technology

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Access Terms

Personal Names

Barr Jr., Alfred H.
Barry, Iris, 1895-1969
Breer, Robert
Casler, Herman
Coté, Guy L.
Crockwell, Spencer Douglass, 1904-1968
Dehner, Dorothy, 1901-1994
Seldes, Gilbert
Slobodkina, Esphyr, 1908-2002
Vogel, Amos

Corporate Names

American Biograph and Mutoscope Company
Anthology Film Archives
Cinema 16 (Society : New York, N.Y.)
Hyde Collection Art Museum
International Mutoscope Reel Co., Inc.
Millennium Film Workshop
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)
San Francisco Museum of Art

Subjects

Commercial art
Experimental films
Independent films
Moving images

Locations

Glens Falls, N.Y.

Form and Genre Types

Acetate film
Black-and-white transparencies
Brochures
Clippings (information artifacts)
Correspondence
Sketches
Photographs
Flip Books
Mutoscopes
Patents
Peepshows
Programs (documents)
Receipts (financial records)
Sales catalogs
Wills

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Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for collection materials is as follows: Douglass Crockwell Collection, 1897-1976, George Eastman Museum, Moving Image Department, Stills, Posters and Paper Collection

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Related Collections

Douglass Crockwell, Spencer
Artist file
Brooklyn Museum

Douglass Crockwell
Biographical file
Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
Ohio State University
https://cartoons.osu.edu/biographical-files/

Brakhage lectures [sound recording]: Byron Gush, George Méliès, Winsor McKay, Man Ray, Douglass Crockwell, Harry Smith
John M. Flaxman Library
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
http://vufind.carli.illinois.edu/vf-sai/Record/sai_75796

Crockwell, Douglass
Biographical files [ca. 1760]-2002
Crandall Public Library (Glens Falls, NY)
http://pac.sals.edu/polaris/search/title.aspx?ctx=29.1033.0.0.3&pos=5

Douglass Crockwell illustration collection
Holden Collection
Crandall Public Library (Glens Falls, NY)
http://pac.sals.edu/polaris/search/title.aspx?ctx=29.1033.0.0.3&pos=3

Marlene Park and Gerald E. Markowitz research materials on New Deal Art 1931-1999
Archives of American Art
Smithsonian Institution
http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/marlene-park-and-gerald-e-markowitz-re...

Oral history interview with Douglass Crockwell, 1965 Feb. 21 (audio tape reel and transcript)
Archives of American Art
Smithsonian Institution
http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/interviews/oral-history-interview-doug...

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Container List Arranged by Series

Series 1, Documents, 1934-1976, undated

Materials are in English.

Subseries 1, Moving Images, 1934-1970, undated

Scope and Content

Subseries comprises correspondence, programs, exhibition brochures, inventories, clippings, and other materials related to Crockwell's moving-image making and collecting activities, both on film and paper (i.e. Mutoscope reels and flip books). Series does not include photographic images from Crockwell's films, which are to be found under "Series 2, Photographs and Illustrations."

Box C364
Folder 1: Crockwell Mutoscope collecting; 1963-1967, undated
Notes and correspondence regarding Mutoscope collections, acquisitions, and exhibits; handwritten inventories of Mutoscope reel collections; meeting notes regarding land value assessments; notes regarding gravitational and acceleration fields; diagrams and notes for a "Machine for Inducing a Non-Symmetrical Gradient of the Inertial Field"; list of titles written on a circular paper cutout with tape, possibly intended as a film can label.

Box C364
Folder 2: Crockwell doodles & sketches; undated
Pen and pencil drawings including "Thumbprints by Douglass Crockwell" logo doodles; designs for Mutoscopes and other machines (including sketch of a double lens/lamp film projector); building sketches and cost estimates; "Precession of Orbit" diagram.

Box C364
Folder 3: Crockwell flm recognition & business; 1940, 1949-1954, 1958-1970
Correspondence regarding acquisition and exhibition of Crockwell's films. Correspondents include Robert Breer, Esphyr Slobodkina, Dana Bennett, Amos Vogel, and Raymond Rohauer. Includes 1970 contract for the sale of prints of Glens Falls Sequence and The Long Bodies.

Box C364
Folder 4: Crockwell MoMA correspondence incl. photos; 1934-1944, 1959-1975, undated
Correspondence regarding Crockwell's films, paintings, Mutoscopes, and the Museum of Modern Art's 1967 "Mutoscopes" exhibition. Correspondents include Alfred H. Barr Jr., Richard Griffith, Iris Barry, Margareta Akermark, and other MoMA personnel. Includes a 1973 letter from Anthology Film Archives regarding preservation of Fantasmagoria and the disposition of Crockwell's Mutoscope collection; an 8" x 10" MoMA publicity photograph of "two new Mutoscopes, designed and loaned by Douglass Crockwell"; photocopies of four index cards listing ca. 1889 "Mutoscope Materials."

Box C364
Folder 6: Crockwell, self promoted efforts; 1944-1945, 1952, 1958-1968
Project-related correspondence and notes, including correspondence between Crockwell and Walt Disney Productions about the wax-slicing machine; letters to CBS, NBC and Cine Television regarding an "abstract decorative animation process suitable for television"; letter to Eastman-Kodak about Crockwell's three-dimensional panoramic 35mm camera and viewer; letters to several publishers proposing an anthology of Crockwell's writings; correspondence with the Copyright Office at the Library of Congress regarding copies of Mutoscope reels on film.

Box C364
Folder 7: Crockwell television appearance; 1962, 1967
Notes, clippings, and correspondence related to Crockwell's 1967 appearances on The Today Show and Camera Three promoting the "Mutoscopes" exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. Includes a letter from a viewer offering personal reminiscences of the Mutoscope and a Hale's Tours train presentation, and a 1962 letter from Crockwell pitching his animated films for broadcast on The Today Show.

Box C364
Folder 8: Crockwell Mutoscope research; 1939, 1959-1964, undated
Correspondence, notes, and clippings regarding the Mutoscope. Includes receipts, handwritten reel inventories, and addresses of amusement arcades, film laboratories, and film equipment retailers, as well as materials about Mutoscope inventor Herman Casler. Correspondence includes a photocopy of a 1925 letter from Casler; letters from the American Mutoscope Reel Co. Inc. regarding replacement parts and the creation of a Mutoscope reel from 50 feet of film negative; and a 1963 telegram from Crockwell to George Pratt at George Eastman Museum.

Box C364
Folder 9: Crockwell -- misc. receipts -- film series; 1947, 1963-1970, undated
Correspondence, press releases, and brochures from Anthology Film Archives, Millennium Film Workshop, Cinema 16, and San Francisco Museum of Art; receipts, invoices, and notes regarding Mutoscope reels.

Box C364
Folder 10: Crockwell -- articles and manuscripts; 1949, 1963-1967, undated
Notes and drafts of articles regarding the Mutoscope (including Crockwell's "The Past and Present of the Mutoscope"), Crockwell's animation inventions, and the sense of smell. Includes five MoMA "Mutoscopes" exhibition brochures; "Suggestions for Animation"; an April 3, 1949, MoMA press release for the "American Designs for Abstract Films" exhibit, which included Crockwell; and notes for a proposed retrospective book of Crockwell's illustrations.

Box C364
Folder 11: Crockwell -- misc. articles; 1948-1956, 1967, undated
Magazine articles, newspaper clippings, and book excerpts regarding Crockwell, experimental animation, Mutoscopes, the "Mutoscopes" exhibition, and the International Mutoscope Reel Company. Includes a copy of Crockwell's essay "A Background to Free Animation" from Film Culture #32, a Cinema 16 catalog, and program notes from various film series and festivals featuring Crockwell's films.

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Subseries 2, Commercial Illustration, 1966, undated

Scope and Content

Subseries consists of documents and photographs related to Crockwell's professional work as a commercial illustrator.

Box C364
Folder 12: [Christmas cards, gallery catalog; undated
Three Christmas cards, two featuring Crockwell's artwork; an undated Ferdinand Roten Galleries catalog; flip-book logo doodle; biography of Charlotte Pruyn Hyde, owner of Hyde House.

Box C364
Folder 15: [Photographs]; 1966, undated [bulk]
Black-and-white prints, negatives, and transparencies. Includes contact sheets featuring Crockwell's commercial paintings; three 8" x 10" portraits of Crockwell, one large photograph of Crockwell in silhouette; four 35mm transparencies, including two slides of the Crockwell portrait and two of a machine shop interior; a fragment of a still-camera negative, possibly shot from Mutoscope cards (edge code indicates the date to be 1966).

Box C364-OS
Folder 16: [Sketches]; undated
Pencil, pen and ink, and charcoal sketches and related notes. Illustrations include sketch of a holiday sing-along, possibly for the painting used for the 1959 GM Christmas card; optical apparatuses, possibly including the Pan-Stereo Sweep camera system; designs for "Ila Keller Batik" and "Illustrations by Douglass Crockwell"; sketches of Pirithous battling Eurytion.

Box C364-OS
Folder 19: [Photographs]; undated
Photographic prints, transparencies, and negatives. Photographs include frame enlargements from Glens Falls Sequence and The Long Bodies of various sizes; several untitled reproductions of Crockwell's commercial illustrations; an Iron Horse Mutoscope alongside a machine of Crockwell's own design; three small color photographs of abstract paintings; three small frame enlargements from the "Calvary" sequence of Glens Falls Sequence; two photos of what is possibly Crockwell's Pan-Stereo Sweep camera and viewer.

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Subseries 3, Personal and Civic Affairs, 1941-1976, undated

Scope and Content

Subseries includes records related to Crockwell's personal life as well as his activities as a member of civic, municipal, and cultural organizations, mainly in Glens Falls, NY. Prominent are records produced during Crockwell's tenure as director of the Hyde Collection.

Box C364
Folder 1: Crockwell Mutoscope collecting, 1963-1967, undated
Notes, correspondence regarding Mutoscope collections, acquisitions, and exhibits; handwritten inventories of Mutoscope reel collections; meeting notes regarding property value assessments; notes regarding gravitational and acceleration fields; diagrams and notes for a "Machine for Inducing a Non-Symmetrical Gradient of the Inertial Field"; list of titles written on a circular paper cutout with tape, possibly intended as a film can label.

Box C364
Folder 2: Crockwell doodles & sketches; undated
Pen and pencil drawings including "Thumbprints by Douglass Crockwell" logo doodles; designs for Mutoscopes and other machines (including sketch of a double lens/lamp film projector); home construction sketches and cost estimates; "Precession of Orbit" diagram.

Box C364
Folder 12: [Christmas cards, gallery catalog]; undated
Three Christmas cards, two featuring Crockwell's artwork; an undated Ferdinand Roten Galleries catalog; flip-book logo doodle; biography of Charlotte Pruyn Hyde, owner of Hyde House.

Box C364
Folder 13: Hyde Collection misc.; 1952, 1964-1967 [bulk], undated
Correspondence and documents related to the Hyde Collection and Glens Falls-area civic and community activities. Materials originally collected in a manila mailing envelope addressed to Crockwell and labeled "Hyde Coll. Misc."

Box C364
Folder 14: [Financial notebook]; 1946-1948
Dated record of household employees' wages, withholdings, social security, and payment balances, along with other expenses.

Box C364-OS
Folder 17: [Correspondence, notes, will]; 1941, 1951, 1958-1968, 1971, 1975-1976, undated
Personal and financial notes; professional, civic and personal correspondence; art-related magazine articles, book excerpt, and gallery catalog; "Mutobook Master Transparency 'Sun Rise'"; two letters from father Charles Roland Crockwell; meeting minutes from the Planning Board of the City of Glens Falls; correspondence regarding research on sculptor David Smith; last will and testament dated 1951, unsigned.

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Subseries 4, Inventions, 1939-1968, undated

Scope and Content

Subseries includes correspondence, patent documents, drawings, and sketches related to Crockwell's inventions, mainly the wax-slicing and paint-on-glass apparatuses devised for the creation of animated films.

Box C364
Folder 2: Crockwell doodles & sketches; undated
Pen and pencil drawings including "Thumbprints by Douglass Crockwell" logo doodles; designs for Mutoscopes and other machines (including sketch of a double lens/lamp film projector); home construction sketches and cost estimates; "Precession of Orbit" diagram.

Box C364
Folder 6: Crockwell, self promoted efforts; 1944-1945, 1952, 1958-1968
Project-related correspondence and notes, including correspondence between Crockwell and Walt Disney Productions about the wax-slicing machine; letters to CBS, NBC and Cine Television regarding an "abstract decorative animation process suitable for television"; letter to Eastman-Kodak about Crockwell's three-dimensional panoramic 35mm camera and viewer; letters to several publishers proposing an anthology of Crockwell's writings; correspondence with the Copyright Office at the Library of Congress regarding copies of Mutoscope reels on film.

Box C364-OS
Folder 16: [Sketches]; undated
Pencil, pen and ink, and charcoal sketches and related notes. Illustrations include sketch of a holiday sing-along, possibly for the painting used for the 1959 GM Christmas card; sketches of optical apparatuses, possibly including the Pan-Stereo Sweep camera system; designs for "Ila Keller Batik" and "Illustrations by Douglass Crockwell"; sketches of Pirithous battling Eurytion.

Box C364-OS
Folder 18: Crockwell patent papers; 1939-1949, 1959, 1964, undated
Patent documents and other materials related to Crockwell's inventions, particularly the wax-slicing machine and the paint-on-glass apparatus. Documents also include letters related to patent applications, specifications, and amendments. Much of the correspondence is with patent attorney Charles H. Andros.

Box C364-OS
Folder 19: [Photographs]; undated
Photographic prints, transparencies, and negatives. Photographs include frame enlargements from Glens Falls Sequence and The Long Bodies of various sizes; several untitled reproductions of Crockwell's commercial illustrations; a photograph of an Iron Horse Mutoscope alongside a machine of Crockwell's own design; three small color photographs of abstract paintings; three small frame enlargements from the "Calvary" sequence of Glens Falls Sequence; two photos of what is possibly Crockwell's Pan-Stereo Sweep camera and viewer.

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Subseries 5, Scientific Research, 1963-1967, undated

Scope and Content

Subseries comprises manuscripts, articles, and sketches related to Crockwell's interest in atomic physics and other sciences.

Box C364
Folder 1: Crockwell Mutoscope collecting; 1963-1967, undated
Notes, correspondence regarding Mutoscope collections, acquisitions, and exhibits; handwritten inventories of Mutoscope reel collections; meeting notes regarding property value assessments; notes regarding gravitational and acceleration fields; diagrams and notes for a "Machine for Inducing a Non-Symmetrical Gradient of the Inertial Field"; list of titles written on a circular paper cutout with tape, possibly intended as a film can label.

Box C364
Folder 2: Crockwell doodles & sketches; undated
Pen and pencil drawings including "Thumbprints by Douglass Crockwell" logo doodles; designs for Mutoscopes and other machines (including sketch of a double lens/lamp film projector); home construction sketches and cost estimates; "Precession of Orbit" diagram.

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Subseries 6, Biographical Information, 1966, undated

Scope and Content

Subseries consists of biographical sketches, curriculum vitae, obituaries, and timelines.

Box C364
Folder 5: Crockwell biographical inc. obit.; 1966, undated
Primary and secondary biographical source materials, including Who's Who in America entry, a circa 1948 biographical essay written by the United States Brewers Foundation, exhibition brochures, newspaper obituaries, curriculum vitae, and handwritten notes.

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Series 2, Photographs and Illustrations, ca. 1966, undated

Subseries 1, Photographs, ca. 1966, undated [bulk]

Scope and Content

Subseries includes photographic prints, 35mm transparencies, and black-and-white negatives related to Crockwell's personal life as well as his work as commercial illustrator, filmmaker, and inventor.

Box C364
Folder 4: Crockwell MoMA correspondence incl. photos; 1934-1944, 1959-1975, undated
Correspondence regarding Crockwell's films, paintings, Mutoscopes, and the Museum of Modern Art's (MoMA) 1967 "Mutoscopes" exhibition. Correspondents include Alfred H. Barr Jr., Richard Griffith, Iris Barry, Margareta Akermark, and other MoMA personnel. Materials include a 1973 letter from Anthology Film Archives regarding preservation of Fantasmagoria and the disposition of Crockwell's Mutoscope collection; 8"x 10" MoMA publicity photograph of "two new Mutoscopes"; photocopies of four index cards listing "Mutoscope Materials."

Box C364
Folder 15: [Photographs]; 1966, undated [bulk]
Black-and-white prints, negatives, and transparencies. Includes contact sheets featuring Crockwell's commercial paintings; three 8" x 10" portraits of Crockwell, one large photograph of Crockwell in silhouette; four 35mm transparencies, including two copies of the Crockwell portrait and two copies of a machine shop interior; a fragment of a still-camera negative, possibly shot from Mutoscope cards (edge code indicates the date to be 1966).

Box C364a
Folder 1: [Photographs from Crockwell's films]; undated
Color frame enlargements from unidentified films printed on Mutoscope cards.

Box C364a
Folder 15: [Crockwell Flip Book Materials]; undated
"An Early Painted Sequence" (photographs); "A Late Short Sequence" (photographs); Color Wheel #3 Stencil; photo; "Houdini Unchained" flip book.

Box C364-OS
Folder 19: [Photographs]; undated
Prints, transparencies, and negatives. Photographs include frame enlargements from Glens Falls Sequence and The Long Bodies of various sizes; several untitled reproductions of Crockwell's commercial illustrations; an Iron Horse Mutoscope alongside a machine of Crockwell's own design; three small color photographs of abstract paintings; three small frame enlargements from the "Calvary" sequence of Glens Falls Sequence; two photos of what is possibly Crockwell's Pan-Stereo Sweep camera and viewer.

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Subseries 2, Drawings, undated

Scope and Content

Subseries consists of pencil, pen and ink, and charcoal sketches by Crockwell, mostly related to his commercial artwork and inventions.

Box C364
Folder 2: Crockwell doodles & sketches; undated
Pen and pencil drawings including "Thumbprints by Douglass Crockwell" logo doodles; designs for Mutoscopes and other machines (including sketch of a double lens/lamp film projector); home construction sketches and cost estimates; "Precession of Orbit" diagram.

Box C364-OS
Folder 16: [Sketches]; undated
Pencil, pen and ink, and charcoal sketches and related notes. Illustrations include sketch of a holiday sing-along, possibly for the painting used for the 1959 GM Christmas card; optical apparatuses, possibly including the Pan-Stereo Sweep camera system; designs for "Ila Keller Batik" and "Illustrations by Douglass Crockwell"; sketches of Pirithous battling Eurytion.

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Series 3, Moving Images, 1897-1968

Subseries 1, Films, ca. 1937, ca. 1946

Scope and Content

Subseries includes work Crockwell produced on motion-picture film. Includes both prints and negatives. For information regarding access to these films please contact the Film Study Center at George Eastman Museum (filmstudycenter@eastman.org).

[Fantasmagoria #1], undated
16mm acetate print (color archival element
Accession No.: 1975:0007:2067

Glens Falls Sequence, 1946
16mm acetate print (black-and-white)
Accession No.: 1975:0007:0458

[Glens Falls Sequence], 1946
16mm color acetate print (color original reversal)
Accession No.: 1975:0007:0459

Glens Falls Sequence, 1946
35mm acetate negative (color)
Accession No.: 1975:0007:0460

Glens Falls Sequence, 1946
16mm acetate print (black-and-white)
Accession No.: 1975:0007:2066

Glens Falls Sequence, 1946
16mm acetate print (black-and-white)
Accession No.: 1975:0007:2068

Glens Falls Sequence, 1946
16mm acetate print (black-and-white)
Accession No.: 1975:0007:2069

Glens Falls Sequence, 1946
16mm polyester print (color)
Accession No.: 2002:0053:0001

Glens Falls Sequence, 1946
16mm polyester print (color)
Accession No.: 2003:0442:0001

Glens Falls Sequence, 1946
16mm polyester negative (color)
Accession No.: 2003:0881:0001

Long Bodies, The, 1946
35mm acetate print (color)
Accession No.: 1975:0007:1235

Long Bodies, The, 1946
16mm acetate print (color)
Accession No.: 1975:0007:1354

Long Bodies, The, 1946
35mm acetate negative (color)
Accession No.: 1975:0007:1354

Long Bodies, The, 1946
16mm acetate print (color)
Accession No.: 1984:2897:0001

Simple Destiny: An Abstract Phantasmagoria, 1937
16mm acetate negative (black-and-white)
Accession No.: 1975:0007:2071

Box C364-OS
Folder 20: [Douglass Crockwell, Glens Falls Sequence segment, 50 frames, 16mm color reversal]; undated
Five strips of acetate safety film mounted between two sheets of glass. No discernable edge code on film stock.

Box C364-OS
Folder 21: [Douglass Crockwell, Glens Falls Sequence segment, 60 frames, 16mm Kodachrome]; ca. 1937
60 individual frames arranged in six columns of 10 numbered rows, mounted between two sheets of glass. The accompanying legal-sized envelope labelled "Remaining Pieces" and containing strips of 16mm film from the same sequence (some frames are numbered) was moved from its original location in Box 3 to its current location on 5/1/2015.

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Subseries 2, Mutoscope Reels, 1897-1907, 1915, 1965, undated

Sub-subseries 1, Collected, 1897-1907, 1915, undated

Scope and Content

Sub-subseries includes commercially produced Mutoscope reels collected by Crockwell.

Box 1
Subject 228: "Dressing Room Scene, A" (1897)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0001

Box 2
Subject 238: "Affair of Honor, An" (1897)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0002

Box 3
Subject 694: "Tramp and the Muscular Cook, The" (1898)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0003

Box 4
Subject 881: "'Moving' Picture, A" (1899) American Mutoscope and Biograph Company Accession No.: 1974:0023:0004

Box 5
Subject 957: "Reginald's First High Hat" (1899)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0005

Box 6
Subject 1443: "How the Old Maid Got a Husband" (1900)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0006

Box 7
Subject 1527: "Career of Crime. No. 5, A" (1900)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0007

Box 8
Subject 1576: "Trouble in Hogan's Alley" (1900)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0008

Box 9
Subject 1671: "Good Time Behind the Scenes, A" (1900)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company

Box 10
Subject 1874: "Close Shave, A" (1901)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0010

Box 11
Subject 2479: "Fatal Attempt to Loop-the-loop on a Bicycle, A" (1903)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0011

Box 12
Subject 2528: "From Show Girl to Burlesque Queen" (1903)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0012

Box 13
Subject 2714-B: "Love and Jealousy Behind the Scenes" (1904)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0013

Box 14
Subject 2944: "Seashore Baby, The" (1904)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0014

Box 15
Subject 3013: "Al Treloar in Muscle Exercises" (1905)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0015

Box 16
Subject 3060: "Adjustable Chair, The" (1905)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0016

Box 17
Subject 3072: "Japanese-Russian Peace Envoys" (1905)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0017

Box 18
Subject 3074-A: "Bertha Claiche: The Lovers" (1905)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0018

Box 19
Subject 3076: "She Banked in Her Stocking; or, Robbed of Her All" (1905)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0019

Box 20
Subject 3080: "Teasing" (1905)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0020

Box 21
Subject 3085-B: "Horse-Thief, The" (1905)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0021

Box 22
Subject 3104: "Airy Fairy Lillian Tries on Her New Corsets" (1905)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0022

Box 23
Subject 3099: "Halloween" (1905)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0023

Box 24
Subject 3118: "Fight for a Bride, A" (1905)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0024

Box 25
Subject 3134: "The Streets of New York" (1905)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0025

Box 26
Subject 3141: "Raid on a Cock Fight, A" (1905)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0026

Box 27
Subject 3206: "Spanish Barbecue" (1906)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0027

Box 28
Subject 3213: "Old Swimming Hole, The" (1906)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0028

Box 29
Subject 3215: "Convict's Bride, The" (1906)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0029

Box 30
Subject 3218: "Weighing the Anchor" (1906)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0030

Box 31
Subject 3223-B: "Lone Highwayman, The" (1906)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0031

Box 32
Subject 3241: "Nelson-McGovern Prize Fight" (1906)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0032

Box 33
Subject 3277: "Colon to Panama Canal Picture" (1907)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0033

Box 34
Subject 3278-A: "If You Had a Wife Like This"/"How Would You Like a Wife Like This?" (1907)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0034

Box 35
Subject 3278-C: "If You Had a Wife Like This"/"How Would You Like a Wife Like This?" (1907)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0034A

Box 36
Subject 3293: "Gay Girl Playing Pool" (1907)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0035

Box 37
Subject 3302-B: "Opening Day, Jamestown Exposition" (1907)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0036

Box 38
Subject 3306: "Dear Little Sister" (1907)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0037

Box 39
Subject 3310: "Bigger than He Looked" (1907)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0038

Box 40
Subject 3324: "Tenement House Battle, A" (1907)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0039

Box 41
Subject 3327: "Finish of Scrappy Patsey, The" (1907)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0040

Box 42
Subject 3348: "Mags Jag" (1907)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0041

Box 43
Subject 3355-A: "Mr. Easy Mark" (1907)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0042

Box 44
Subject 3355-B: "Mr. Easy Mark" (1907)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0042A

Box 45
Subject 3362: "Light! Fight! White!" (1907)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0043

Box 46
Subject 3366: "Crooked Dog" (1907)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0044

Box 47
Subject 3372: "Waltzing Walker" (1907)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0045

Box 48
Subject 3374-B: "Yale Laundry" (1907)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0046

Box 49
Subject 3374-C: "Yale Laundry" (1907)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0046A

Box 50
Subject 1337: "Energizer" (1907)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0047

Box 51
Subject X-247: "Motion Pictures Patents Company Meeting" (undated)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0048

Box 52
Subject G-319-B: "False Alarm, A" (1905)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0049

Box 53
Subject 7032: "Her Morning Exercise" (undated)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0050

Box 54
Subject 7037: "Eve's Temptation" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0051

Box 55
Subject 7116: "Love Conjuror, The" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0052

Box 56
Subject 7134: "After the Bath" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0053

Box 57
Subject 7141: "Call of Love, The" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0054

Box 58
Subject 7148: "Why Men Leave Home" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0055

Box 59
Subject 7295: "Stunning Wallop, A" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0056

Box 60
Subject 7344: "Ladies' Night in a Turkish Bath" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0057

Box 61
Subject 7345: "Her Morning Ablutions" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0058

Box 62
Subject 7359: "Interior Decorator, The" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0059

Box 63
Subject 7567: "Stolen Locomotive, The" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0060

Box 64
Subject 7582: "Saved by a Monkey Wrench" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0061

Box 65
Subject 7583: "Eve's Leaves" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0062

Box 66
Subject 7587: "Runaway Pullman Car" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0063

Box 67
Subject 7598: "In Dreamland" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0064

Box 68
Subject 7599: "Mexican Fandango" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0065

Box 69
Subject 7662: "Babes in the Woods" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0066

Box 70
Subject 7688: "Doctor's Office, The" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0067

Box 71
Subject 7689: "In the Cherry Orchard" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0068

Box 72
Subject 7693: "Pullman Up-to-Date" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0069

Box 73
Subject 7705: "Blonde Crazy" (1931)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0070

Box 74
Subject G7351: "Artist's Dream, The" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0071

Box 75
Subject 7460: "In the Nick of Time" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0072

Box 76
Subject 7562: "Chased by the Howling Redskins" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0073

Box 77
[Unknown subject number]: "Shooting Up the Town" (undated)
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0074

Box 7877
[Unknown subject number]: "Whispering Smith Rides" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0075

Box 79
Subject 7366: "Frontier Days" (1915)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0077

Box 80
Subject 7369: "Curse of Drink, The" (1915)
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0076

Box 81
Subject 7106: "Her Daily Dozen" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0078

Box 82
Subject 7634: "Magic Parasol, The" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0079

Box 83: [Unidentified Western Fragment] (undated)
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0080

Box 84
Subject 7335(?): "Broadway Melody, The" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0081

Box 86
Subject 7654: "Electric Chair at Sing Sing" (undated)
International Mutoscope Reel Company
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0083

Box 111
Subject 3370: ["Girl $9.98"] (undated)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1974:0223:0001

Box 114
Subject 3355-A: "Buys a Dog but Gets a 'Lemon'" (undated)
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Accession No.: 1981:1138:0001
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Sub-subseries 2, Created, 1965, undated

Scope and Content

Sub-subseries consists of reels created by Crockwell and intended for viewing in a Mutoscope machine.

Box 85
"Crockwell Color Animation No. 1" (undated)
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0082

Box 87
"Crockwell Color Wheel No. 1" (undated)
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0084

Box 88
"Crockwell Color Animation No. 2" (undated)
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0085

Box 89
"Crockwell Rose Spray-paint Reel" (undated)
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0087

Box 90
"Crockwell Playboy and Dancer Reel" (undated)
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0088

Box 91
"Crockwell Color Wheel No. 2" (undated)
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0089

Box 92
"Crockwell Color Wheel No. 3 (1965)" (1965)
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0090

Box 93
"Duopusses" (undated)
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0091

Box 94
"Crockwell Mixed Animation and Printed Card Sequence" (undated)
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0092

Box 95
"Crockwell Color Wheel No. 4" (undated)
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0093

Box 96
"Crockwell Color Wheel No. 5" (undated)
Accession No.: 1974:0023:0094

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Subseries 3, Flip Books, ca. 1967

Scope and Content

Subseries includes flip books created by Crockwell (who sometimes referred to them as "Thumb Books") and other artists. It is possible unbound larger cards in this subseries were intended to be mounted onto a Mutoscope reel and viewed via a Mutoscope machine. Due to their size these cards have been physically arranged and described along with the flip books. Boxes C364A and C364B are nested inside C364.

Box C364a
Folder 1: [Photographs from Crockwell's films]; undated
Frame enlargements printed on Mutoscope cards.

Box C364a
Folder 2: [Unknown artist]; undated

Box C364a
Folder 3: [(Unfinished) Anne Ciccarelli]; undated

Box C364a
Folder 4: [Jane Fowler]; undated
Cards 1-26

Box C364a
Folder 5: [Jane Fowler]; undated
Cards 1-29

Box C364a
Folder 6: [Michelle Cherney]; undated

Box C364a
Folder 7: [Peep Stevens 3/26/68]; 1968

Box C364a
Folder 8: ["A Modern Melodrama: Death by Smog or Overpopulation" Gibson -- Mutoscope II]; undated

Box C364a
Folder 9: [Dolly Witherspoon]; 1969

Box C364a
Folder 10: [Unknown artist]; undated

Box C364a
Folder 11: [Carol Ann Holt]; undated

Box C364a
Folder 12: [Sherbrooke]; 1968

Box C364a
Folder 13: [Sylvia Kaminski "The Kiss"]; undated

Box C364a
Folder 14: [Cecily Vaughan]; undated
Cards 1-59

Box C364a
Folder 15: [Crockwell flip book materials]; undated
"An Early Painted Sequence" (photographs); "A Late Short Sequence" (photographs); Color Wheel #3 Stencil; photo; "Houdini Unchained" flip book.

Box C364b
Folder 1: [Unknown artist]; undated

Box C364b
Folder 2: [Claudia Struthers]; undated

Box C364b
Folder 3: [Mock-Ups & Sketches for "Sun Rise" Thumbprint/Mutobook]; undated

Box C364b
Folder 4: [Unmounted Crockwell Mutoscope cards]; 1967

Box C364b
Folder 5: [Unmounted Crockwell Mutoscope cards]; 1967

Box C364b
Folder 6: [Unmounted Crockwell Mutoscope cards]; 1967

Box C364b
Folder 7: [Unmounted Crockwell Mutoscope cards]; 1967

Box C364b
[9 Thumbprint flip books]; 1967
8 titled "Sun Rise," 1 untitled

Poster Drawer 47
Folder 5: [Two sheets of uncut Douglass Crockwell flip books], ca. 1967
Uncut flip book cards from "Sun Rise" and untitled flip books (see Box C364b for cut and assembled examples). Sheets originally misidentified as "Czech animation strips."

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Series 4, Technology

Series includes Mutoscope machines, cameras and camera parts. For more information please contact the Curator of Technology at George Eastman Museum, (585) 271-3361, ext. 369.

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Box Inventory

Box C364

Folder 1: Crockwell Mutoscope collecting; 1963-1967, undated
Notes, correspondence regarding Mutoscope collections, acquisitions, and exhibits; handwritten inventories of Mutoscope reel collections; meeting notes regarding property value assessments; notes regarding gravitational and acceleration fields; diagrams and notes for a "Machine for Inducing a Non-Symmetrical Gradient of the Inertial Field"; list of titles written on a circular paper cutout with tape, possibly intended as a film can label.

Folder 2: Crockwell doodles & sketches; undated
Pen and pencil drawings including "Thumbprints by Douglass Crockwell" logo doodles; designs for Mutoscopes and other machines (including sketch of a double lens/lamp film projector); building sketches and cost estimates; "Precession of Orbit" diagram.

Folder 3: Crockwell Film recognition & business; 1940, 1949-1954, 1958-1970
Correspondence regarding acquisition and exhibition of Crockwell's films. Correspondents include Robert Breer, Esphyr Slobodkina, Dana Bennett, Amos Vogel, and Raymond Rohauer. Includes 1970 contract for a sale of Glens Falls Sequence and The Long Bodies prints.

Folder 4: Crockwell  MoMA correspondence incl. photos; 1934-1944, 1959-1975, undated
Correspondence regarding Crockwell's films, paintings, Mutoscopes, and the Museum of Modern Art's 1967 "Mutoscopes" exhibition. Correspondents include Alfred H. Barr Jr., Richard Griffith, Iris Barry, Margareta Akermark, and other MoMA personnel. Materials include a 1973 letter from Anthology Film Archives regarding preservation of "Fantasmagoria" and the disposition of Crockwell's Mutoscope collection; 8" x 10" MoMA publicity photograph of "two new Mutoscopes, designed and loaned by Douglas Crockwell"; photocopies of four index cards listing "Mutoscope Materials."

Folder 5: Crockwell biographical inc. obit.; 1966, undated
Primary and secondary biographical source materials, including Who's Who in America entry, a circa 1948 biographical essay written by the United States Brewers Foundation, exhibition brochures, newspaper obituaries, curriculum vitae, and handwritten notes.

Folder 6: Crockwell, self promoted efforts; 1944-1945, 1952, 1958-1968
Project-related correspondence and notes, including correspondence between Crockwell and Walt Disney Productions about the wax-slicing machine; letters to CBS, NBC and Cine Television regarding an "abstract decorative animation process suitable for television"; letter to Eastman-Kodak about Crockwell's three-dimensional panoramic 35mm camera and viewer; letters to several publishers proposing an anthology of Crockwell's writings; correspondence with the Copyright Office at the Library of Congress regarding copies of Mutoscope reels on film.

Folder 7: Crockwell  television appearance; 1962, 1967
Notes, clippings, and correspondence related to Crockwell's 1967 appearances on The Today Show and Camera Three promoting the "Mutoscopes" exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. Includes a letter from a viewer who offers personal reminiscences of the Mutoscope and a Hale's Tours train presentation, and an earlier 1962 letter pitching his animated films for broadcast on The Today Show.

Folder 8: Crockwell Mutoscope research; 1939, 1959-1964, undated
Correspondence, notes, and clippings regarding the Mutoscope. Includes receipts, handwritten reel inventories, and addresses of amusement arcades, film laboratories, and film equipment retailers, as well as materials about Mutoscope inventor Herman Casler. Correspondence includes a photocopy of a 1925 letter from Casler; letters from the American Mutoscope Reel Co. Inc. regarding replacement parts and the creation of a Mutoscope reel from 50 feet of film negative; and a 1963 telegram from Crockwell to George Pratt at George Eastman Museum.

Folder 9: Crockwell -- misc. receipts -- film series; 1947, 1963-1970, undated
Correspondence, press releases, and brochures from Anthology Film Archives, Millennium Film Workshop, Cinema 16, and San Francisco Museum of Art; receipts, invoices, and notes regarding Mutoscope reels.

Folder 10: Crockwell -- articles and manuscripts; 1949, 1963-1967, undated
Notes and drafts of articles regarding the Mutoscope (including Crockwell's "The Past and Present of the Mutoscope"), Crockwell's animation inventions, and the sense of smell. Includes five MoMA "Mutoscopes" exhibition brochures; "Suggestions for Animation"; an April 3, 1949, MoMA press release for the "American Designs for Abstract Films" exhibit, which included Crockwell; and notes for a proposed retrospective book of Crockwell's illustrations.

Folder 11: Crockwell -- misc. articles; 1948-1956, 1967, undated
Magazine articles, newspaper clippings and book excerpts regarding Crockwell, experimental animation, Mutoscopes, the "Mutoscopes" exhibition, and the International Mutoscope Reel Company. Includes a copy of Crockwell's essay "A Background to Free Animation" from Film Culture #32, a Cinema 16 catalog, and program notes from various film series and festivals featuring Crockwell's films.

Folder 12: [Christmas cards, gallery catalog]; undated
Three Christmas cards, two featuring Crockwell's artwork; an undated Ferdinand Roten Galleries catalog; flip-book logo doodle; biography of Charlotte Pruyn Hyde, owner of Hyde House.

Folder 13: Hyde Collection misc.; 1952, 1964-1967 [bulk], undated
Correspondence and documents related to the Hyde Collection and Glens Falls-area civic and community activities. Materials originally collected in a manila mailing envelope addressed to Crockwell and labeled "Hyde Coll. Misc."

Folder 14: [Financial notebook]; 1946-1948
Dated record of household employees' wages, withholdings, social security, and payment balances, along with other expenses.

Folder 15: [Photographs]; 1966, undated [bulk]
Black-and-white prints, negatives, and transparencies. Includes contact sheets featuring Crockwell's commercial paintings; three 8" x 10" portraits of Crockwell, one large photograph of Crockwell in silhouette; 4 35mm transparencies, including two copies of the Crockwell portrait and two copies of a machine shop interior; a fragment of a still-camera negative, possibly shot from Mutoscope cards (edge code indicates the date to be 1966).

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Box C364a

Folder 1: [Photographs from Crockwell's films]; undated
Color frame enlargements from unidentified films printed on Mutoscope cards.

Folder 2: [Unknown artist]; undated

Folder 3: [(Unfinished) Anne Ciccarelli]; undated

Folder 4: [Jane Fowler, Cards 1-26]; undated

Folder 5: [Jane Fowler, Cards 1-29]; undated

Folder 6: [Michelle Cherney]; undated

Folder 7: [Peep Stevens 3/26/68]; 1968

Folder 8: ["A Modern Melodrama: Death by Smog or Overpopulation" Gibson -- Mutoscope II]; undated

Folder 9: [Dolly Witherspoon, 1969, Cards 1-36]; 1969

Folder 10: [Unknown artist]; undated

Folder 11: [Carol Ann Holt]; undated

Folder 12: [Sherbrooke]; 1968

Folder 13: [Sylvia Kaminski "The Kiss"]; undated

Folder 14: [Cecily Vaughan, Cards 1-59]; undated

Folder 15:[Crockwell Flip Book Materials]; undated

"An Early Painted Sequence," "A Late Short Sequence," Color Wheel #3 Stencil, Photo, "Houdini Unchained" Flip Book"

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Box C364b

Folder 1: [Unknown artist]; undated

Folder 2: Mutoscope Guts Flipbook Cut Ribbon (Blues & Greens) Claudia Struthers; undated

Folder 3: [Mock-Ups & Sketches for "Sun Rise" Thumbprint/Mutobook]; undated

Folder 4: [Unmounted Crockwell Mutoscope cards]; 1967

Folder 5: [Unmounted Crockwell Mutoscope cards]; 1967

Folder 6: [Unmounted Crockwell Mutoscope cards]; 1967

Folder 7: [Unmounted Crockwell Mutoscope cards]; 1967

[9 Thumbprint flip books]; 1967
8 "Sun Rise"; 1 untitled

Fragment of wood, possibly magic lantern slide frame

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Box C364-OS

Folder 16: [Sketches]; undated
Pencil, pen and ink, and charcoal sketches and related notes. Illustrations include sketch of a holiday sing-along, possibly for the painting used for the 1959 GM Christmas card; sketches of optical apparatuses, possibly including the Pan-Stereo Sweep camera system; designs for "Ila Keller Batik" and "Illustrations by Douglass Crockwell"; sketches of Pirithous battling Eurytion.

Folder 17: [Correspondence, notes, will]; 1941, 1951, 1958-1968, 1971, 1975-1976, undated
Personal and financial notes; professional, civic and personal correspondence; art-related magazine articles, book excerpt, and gallery catalog; "Mutobook Master Transparency 'Sun Rise'"; two letters from father Charles Roland Crockwell; meeting minutes from the Planning Board of the City of Glens Falls; correspondence regarding research on sculptor David Smith; last will and testament dated 1951, unsigned.

Folder 18: Crockwell patent papers; 1939-1949, 1959, 1964, undated
Patent documents and other materials related to Crockwell's inventions, particularly the wax-slicing machine and the paint-on-glass apparatus. Documents also include letters related to patent applications, specifications, and amendments, much of the correspondence with patent attorney Charles H. Andros.

Folder 19: [Photographs]; undated
Photographic prints, transparencies and negatives. Photographs include frame enlargements from Glens Falls Sequence and The Long Bodies of various sizes; several untitled reproductions of Crockwell's commercial illustrations; a photograph of an Iron Horse Mutoscope alongside a machine of Crockwell's own design; three small color photographs of abstract paintings; three small frame enlargements from the "Calvary" sequence of Glens Falls Sequence; two photos of what is possibly Crockwell's Pan-Stereo Sweep camera and viewer.

Folder 20: [Douglass Crockwell, Glens Falls Sequence segment, 50 frames, 16mm color reversal]; undated
Five strips of acetate safety film mounted between two sheets of glass. No discernable edge code on film stock.

Folder 21: [Douglass Crockwell, Glens Falls Sequence segment, 60 frames, 16mm Kodachrome]; ca. 1937
60 individual frames arranged in six columns of 10 numbered rows, mounted between two sheets of glass. The accompanying legal-sized envelope labelled "Remaining Pieces" and containing strips of 16mm film from the same sequence (some frames are numbered) was moved from its original location in Box 3 on 5/1/2015.

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