Photograph of First Hollywood Film

SQUAW MAN - Photograph - 1914It was obviously taken on the set of an early film but no one could figure out which one it was. I had a hard time myself but after a few hours of research I finally found the answer. This photograph documents the filming of the opening scene of the first feature length movie ever shot in Hollywood, Squaw Man (1914). That’s Cecil B. Demille on the right in his first motion picture assignment!


Rita Kocens Croston – 1962 Interview from Palm Springs

BERKE - a (3)Here’s an interesting open-reel magnetic recording I found today at an estate sale. It features part of an interview that aired on the Cliff Miller Show on Radio KDES in a segment called “You and Palm Springs” in 1962. Miller is interviewing an eccentric artist named Rita Kocens-Croston. Her posh home in Palm Springs was said to be filled with such peculiar décor as a door knob from the Palace of Versailles and a rug made of monkey pelts. Click here to listen.

Thanks to Aime and the team over at Estate Sales by Conor

Stanley Kubrick – The Shining – Telegram

KUBRICK - The Shining - TelegramOne of my favorites from the Stanley Kubrick files I uncovered in film producer John Calley’s estate, an urgent telegram from Calley to Kubrick describing a book by Stephen King “the same fellow who wrote Salem’s Lot” called “The Shine.” Of course Calley was talking about “The Shining” and of course Kubrick loved the story and chose it as his next film project. As a humorous side note I also discovered a memo regarding the shipment of Jack Nicholson’s personal effects to London during filming, which included 44 cans of tuna fish!

These documents were later sold at Julien’s Auctions for over $2,000.00

Simon & Garfunkel – Yearbook

SIMON & GARF - Yearbook - Cover - JPGSIMON & GARF - Yearbook - PreSIMON & GARF - Yearbook - InterI always make sure to check through old yearbooks to see if there’s anyone famous inside. A lot of people collect celebrity memorabilia and are looking for original yearbooks showing their favorite musicians, actors, or athletes before they made it big. I’ve discovered Dwight D. Eisenhower’s yearbook from West Point and even David Berkowitz’ yearbook from his high school in the Bronx (creepy, I know). Usually these personalities were students or faculty but sometimes you find one where the famous person was a visitor. Here’s a 1967 yearbook I found from the Suffolk County Community College on Long Island, New York. Apparently Simon & Garfunkel gave a live performance at the school on October 29, 1966.

Ellen Corby – Audition Acetate

ELLEN CORBY - Audition - B2

I met with Aime and Stephen McCrory of Estate Sales by Connor at the former home of actress Ellen Corby. Corby is best remembered for playing the role of Grandma Esther on the 1970s Television series The Waltons, but her career began earlier in the 1930s and 40s and she was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for her performance as Aunt Trina in the 1948 film I Remember Mama. While searching her house for memorabilia I was excited to find a group of acetate recordings of an acting audition Corby had made back in 1944. These one-of-a-kind records, commonly known as acetates, are actually made of lacquer formed over a metal base. Because of the scarcity of metal during World War II Ellen Corby’s acetates have glass cores, making them especially fragile. Here’s a picture of the label from one of the discs and a digital sample of one of the audition tracks.   Ellen Corby – Audition