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See, Hear and Sing Disasters, Devastation and Destruction

A screen shot of 'Panorama of Galveston Power House,' 1900.

A scene from Edison's film, "Panorama of Galveston Power House" from 1900

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Galveston Storm
As soon as they heard of the cyclone and tidal waves that destroyed Galveston, the Edison motion picture company sent cameramen by train to the scene. The Edison catalog explained how the photographers arrived shortly after the storm had hit, and "at the risk of life and limb," they managed to take about 1000 feet of moving pictures, "in spite of the fact that Galveston was under martial law and that the photographers were shot down at sight by the excited police guards." It's not clear that any photographers were actually shot. The author of the Edison catalog might have been exaggerating a bit in order to increase interest in the films.

In this film you can see the devastation left by the storm. From the wrecked buildings, you get an idea of the incredible strength and power of the cyclone. How else do you think this seaside town was affected by the storm?

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VIDEO CREDIT: Thomas A. Edison, Inc.; producer, Albert E. Smith. "Panorama of Galveston Power House." 1900. Inventing Entertainment: The Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies, Library of Congress.