Volume I: Narrative History


Chapter 8: 1915 More Changes

While Edwin Thanhouser was adding to the studio staff he was also subtracting from it. Certain players and other personnel were dismissed if their demands were felt to be too pressing or if Edwin Thanhouser did not appreciate their abilities. Note In mid March 14 employees were given termination notices. Among these were Sidney Bracy, who under the Shallenberger-Jones management had been an actor, director, and scenario writer, and Bracy's close friend, Frank Farrington.

In the meantime Edwin Thanhouser signed several trade journal advertisements which told of changes at the New Rochelle studio. The Moving Picture World, March 27, 1915, carried this message:

THREE WONDERFUL YEARS, by Edwin Thanhouser: I wish that every exhibitor in the country could have come with me in my travels during the three years Note that the Thanhouser Company has worked without me. A man in the shoe business may easily forget shoes while on a pleasure bent, but not so with one devoted to the producing art. That is something that is graven in a man's soul, from his hair down, from his toes up. He breathes it - lives it!

Volumes could not give you an accurate idea of the data I gathered by visiting the greatest film makers in the world, and seeing pictures all the time! It was a labor of pleasure, a labor of joy - for I looked forward to again taking up my work, making pictures for you and the legion of Thanhouser admirers.

Those three years gave me a tremendous advantage over my confreres in the industry. All the film art on God's green earth was spread out before me in a gorgeous panorama reaching from London to Asia, and not a single matter of business was on my mind to divide attention! I am artist enough to know that art is fathomless, and the moving picture art particular so. That's why I journeyed, like the disciples who drank knowledge at the feet of the wise men, Note to add to my producing resources. I did it leisurely, carefully, thoroughly. I felt like a soldier taken suddenly from the swirling, whirling vortex of furious battle and placed on a high pinnacle from which he can look down on the conflict and study his next move.

I am the ONLY MAN in the producing business who ever did this! Nobody knows better than YOU what my work up to three years ago meant to your box office, but I am here to tell you that now today I pledge you a hundred percent improvement! My energy is fresher! My material is newer! My facilities are grander, and my staff is the most tip-top up-to-the-minute aggregation of loyalty that ever made a man's heart glad.


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