Early Movies in Chicago
Early films were both short and silent, so "dumb" acts were acrobatic or animal acts that were entertaining without any dialogue or sound effects. "Dumb" acts were usually at the beginning or end of a vaudeville show, when people were filing in or out of the theater and noise did not prevent others from enjoying the performance. The film on the previous page as well as the film on this one are typical of the kinds of early films produced in Chicago in the early 1900s.
VIDEO CREDIT: Spanuth, Hans A., Producer. "Jumbo, the trained elephant." Commonwealth Pictures Corporation 1919.The American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920, Library of Congress.