The Brooklyn Bridge 1899

This is an old film taken by Thomas Edison in 1899. It’s a trip across the Brooklyn Bridge.

But this week, there is a documentary opening in New York about W. Frank Brinton who took films of the era including the Brooklyn Bridge, also in 1899.

Brinton was from the midwest and he traveled around the the midwest in the late 1890s, early 1900s, showing his films. The Brooklyn Bridge was the tallest structure in the country at the time. Historians are guessing at the year of his film, but are using the advertisements on billboard shown, as a clue. You can see that here at Time magazine’s site, where they also explain the find of Brinton’s old lost films. Brinton’s film is much clearer and easier to view than Edison’s.

It’s interesting how people just run across the tracks. And I love how the same light poles are there today and the feel is the same today if you’ve ever taken a trip across the bridge walking or on the train.

It’s amazing that the film is still around since so many of that era deteriorated over time. Mr. Brinton passed away in 1919 and for almost 100 years, his films were lost with time.

The films were found in 1981, stored in a farmhouse basement.

A new documentary called “Saving Brinton” opened this week which tells Brinton’s story and shows some of his work.

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