Volume III: Biographies



Investor, executive (1912-1918)

Thanhouser Career Synopsis: Dr. Wilbert E. Shallenberger was an important investor and executive with the Thanhouser Film Corporation.

Biographical Notes: Dr. Wilbert E. Shallenberger, a business associate of Charles J. Hite, was, with Hite and Crawford Livingston, a principal in the formation of the Thanhouser Film Corporation in 1912. A popular tale, printed several times in the trade publications but repeatedly denied by the principals involved, related that Shallenberger, a medical doctor, had been consulted for an ailment by Hite, leading Shallenberger to invest in various Hite projects. In actuality, they both grew up in the same home town of Lancaster, Ohio and were friends from an early age. Wilbert E. Shallenberger and his brother, William Edgar Shallenberger, were both doctors, both had the initials W.E., and both were in films with the same companies, and trade publications and other accounts often confused the two.

Upon Hite's death in August 1914 Dr. Wilbert E. Shallenberger was tapped to head the Thanhouser Film Corporation and to take charge of the soon-to-be-opened Broadway Rose Gardens, a New York City spa which subsequently became bankrupt in the autumn of 1914. His brother, Dr. W. Edgar Shallenberger, was designated to manage studio affairs after Hite's passing. In 1915 Dr. Wilbert E. Shallenberger lived at 46 Main Street, New Rochelle. A March 1915 trade paper notice stated that Dr. Shallenberger had disposed of his Thanhouser stock interest by early 1915. However, it is apparent that if he did this, he still retained a financial incentive for he stayed active in Thanhouser company affairs until the end of the enterprise in 1918, at which time he was a vice-president of the firm.

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Copyright © 1995 Q. David Bowers. All Rights Reserved.