FIGURE 4.5

The “Wargraph”

Roosevelt’s Rough Riders

American Mutoscope & Biograph Co., USA, 1898

Troops Making Military Road in Front of Santiago

Edison Manufacturing Co., USA, 1898

Raising Old Glory over Morro Castle

Edison Manufacturing Co.; J. Stuart Blackton/Albert E. Smith, producers; USA, 1898

See the moving picture

See the moving picture

See the moving picture

The Biograph catalogue described Roosevelt’s Rough Riders (top) as “a charge full of cowboy enthusiasm by Troop ‘I,’ the famous regiment, at Tampa, before its departure for the front.” According to the Edison catalogue, Troops Making Military Road in Front of Santiago (center) “shows 34th Michigan boys hard at work with pick and shovel, preparing the way for passage of siege guns.” Immediately after the sinking of the battleship Maine, both production companies had sent cameramen to Cuba. Biograph dispatched G.W. Bitzer, who had been the company’s leading cameraman since the introduction of the mutograph, and Edison hired William Paley, whose images of the war comprised Edison’s best-selling films of 1898. Vitagraph submitted the negative of Raising Old Glory over Morro Castle (bottom) to Edison, which copyrighted and distributed it. Its producers described the film as follows: “Down falls the symbol of tyranny and oppression [the Spanish flag] . . . and up goes the Banner of Freedom. In the distance are the turrets and battlements of Morro, the last foothold of Spain in America.” In reality, Raising Old Glory was shot at Vitagraph’s New York rooftop studio; “Morro Castle” is really a painted backdrop.

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