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The Latest Kinks in Canning


The Latest Kinks in Canning (US 1917)
Paramount - Bray Pictographs: The Magazine on the Screen. No 76.
Production company: The Bray Studios Inc.
Distribution company: Paramount Pictures

Release Date: 16 July 1917
Sound: silent
Color: b/w
Length (in feet): 400 ft.
Length (in reels): 1
Running time: 5 min.
Frame rate: 18 fps

Restored from 28mm to 35mm at Colorlab.
Digitized by Eastman Museum Film Preservation Services
Funded by the National Film Preservation Foundation

“One of the first purposes of the food commission newly appointed by President Wilson is to show the housewives the necessity of conserving. Every bit of food material that is wasted is just that much more food taken from the mouths of not only our men at the front, but of the millions of inhabitants of our allies. With that in mind, the Woman Suffrage Party of New York, as its share of war service is motoring through the farm districts to teach women in the scientific preservation of food; and their methods form a highly interesting and important subject to the seventy-sixth release of Paramount-Bray Pictograph.” – Moving Picture World (July 1917) 

Released on the same day and in the same program with The Key to Beauty and an animation film called Otto Luck and the Ruby Razmataz.

This short film about home-canning demonstrations sponsored by the New York State Woman Suffrage Party was made at the Bray Farm in Highland, Dutchess County, New York. Although it is over a hundred years old, the film remains relevant today. In 1917, women in New York State won the right to vote. The film cheekily notes that while the association hoped to enhance the ability of women in farm areas to improve their food conservation, it also looked for suffrage converts as well. This effort proved to be both practical and successful. Of special note are the women at the center of this educational film, who bring integrity, courage, and a strong sense of civic duty to their task: Sarah M. Kirby, wearing the uniform and insignia of the US Department of Agriculture, who leads the demonstration; Nina McCulloch Mattern (in the dark dress); and Ruth McCulloch. Mattern, of Poughkeepsie, New York, drove her own car for these visits, and was an outstanding example of community leadership in a time of war and deprivation. Sadly, the following year, she was one of the estimated 50 million people worldwide who died in the 1918–19 influenza pandemic. 

With thanks to Bill Jeffway, Executive Director of the Dutchess County Historical Society.