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One Liner Wednesday – Home Movies

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Image by Reimund Bertrams from Pixabay

My dad loved to make home movies. He had an 8mm and I think a Super 8 movie camera that I may still have stored in a box somewhere.

There was no sound of course, but it was the way my dad documented Christmas celebrations and family gatherings. We looked forward to the night mom and dad would hang a white sheet on the wall for family movie night. (We eventually got a tripod screen, but for years our screen was a sheet on the wall.)

I have the old Keystone movie projector that belonged to our parents somewhere in storage. I can still remember the sound, and seeing the dust move through the beam of light that projected the film on the screen. My Dad bought a Super 8 version of a Sinbad the Sailor cartoon that he spliced at the front of our home movies. Just like the theater! I was so pleased to find the exact cartoon on YouTube along with the sound of the projector — great memories!

The film could get brittle and would sometimes snap while we were watching. That’s when dad would cuss a little under his breath and load a different reel. Later on, he would take to his splicing machine and splice the ends together with a piece of blank film if I remember correctly. Forever after there would always be a blank spot and a little bump when that section of film went through the projectorHere is a splicing demo although I’m not sure this is the exact splicer dad owned.

In addition to films, we had slides. The projector was old and heavy – it was a blackish grey color and looked and felt like cast iron! It might have been an Argus Brand. This projector was well before the days of carousels or trays that fed slides automatically. Oh, no! Slides went in one by one. It was not unusual for each slide to require focusing by adjusting the length of the lens. We would all egg him on:

Dad, it’s out of focus!

The bulb that provided the light got hot let me tell you! I know a few of our slides had a slight melting accident when left in the projector too long!

I cannot remember the last time I sat down with family and watched home movies. I had some of my dad’s films and slides converted to VHS and unfortunately, I think most of the original films and slides have been lost through the years. Maybe our attention span has gotten too short now. Or maybe watching our aunts, uncles and grandparents as young people while we were children has lost its affinity.

They will always be great memories for me. Another little slice of our history lost to technology.


One liner Wednesday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill. To play along and read other contributions, pop over to Linda’s place.

26 thoughts on “One Liner Wednesday – Home Movies”

  1. Love those old cartoons! They were intended for an adult audience, so they could get away with stuff they couldn’t if they knew there’d be kids there. Of course, they were the cartoons they showed us after school when TV came around…

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    1. We have an old VHS tape of cartoons from pre 1950’s. My kids watched them often and now they are adults and horrified I let them watch such things! Small Fry, Old King Cole, Pin Cushion Man….

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  2. I always wanted my dad to get a movie-camera, but he never did. Kids today are so lucky to have their lives recorded almost daily on video and phones. I would love to see a moving image of myself as a child, and hear the voice I used to speak with.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. Ours had no sound, but I definitely see myself moving and playing. It is a bit surreal. The sad thing about today’s technology, people are not storing things so they are accessible in the future. I had lots of CD’s but now most new computers do not even have a CD reader.

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  3. Maggie, my Dad also was into photography when we were kids. However, I have no idea what happened to our old movies! I just sent a big box of home movies and several carousels of slides to my son. Hoping he eventually converts them to disc so we can all enjoy. Those are irreplaceable memories!

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  4. Very cool piece of history right there. I used to love those cartoons on re-runs. Channel 5 CBS – Captain Gus. Thanks for sharing with us and taking me down memory lane..

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  5. We were a slide family and had regular slide shows. After a while my parents bought an actual screen and a carousel slide projector and we thought we were the best supplied bunch ever. Fortunately my brother made all the slides in files and then sent them to me on a DVD. Many of the images I share on my blog began as slides.

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    1. Slides were fairly archival. I am glad you have these memories so accessible. Getting that screen and carousel must have been pretty exciting.

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  6. On another note … Hey!! Thanks for stopping by “It Is What It Is” … and the follow. Hope you enjoy your visits there!! Hugs … Peace!!’ __/l\__

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