Saving Brinton: A doc film on PBS’s America Reframed

Saving Brinton/ Barn Owl Pictures Image from
Saving Brinton/ Barn Owl Pictures
Image from

I saw Saving Brinton on PBS’s America Reframed. It tells the story of Frank and Indiana Brinton who between 1895 and 1905 traveled the world to entertain people.

They did so using magic lantern to make photographic slides appear to dissolve in order to create a moving image.

Once moving pictures came out, Brinton bought films from distributors in France that include special effects and hand painted color.

These and other films were shown at the Graham Opera House in Washington, Iowa where Frank Brinton was the manager.

After Frank and Indiana Brinton died their collection of films and memorabilia would stay in the family. Then in 1981 retired history teacher Michael Zahs purchased the entire collection.

Since then Zahs shows the films to locals in Washington, Iowa as well as around the country and Europe. All done over the course of thirty years slowly building interest in the Brintons and their films.

This was a delightful documentary and I am so happy to have learned a new piece of cinema history.

Saving Brinton: A doc film by Andrew Sherburne and Tommy Haines
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