Herbert B. Miller Motion Picture Collection, ca. 1920-ca. 1959  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Miller, Herbert B.
Title
Herbert B. Miller Motion Picture Collection
Dates
ca. 1920-ca. 1959 (inclusive)
1930s (bulk)
Quantity
26 reels of 16mm film, (13 cassettes of 9.5mm film)
Collection Number
Mic 2
Summary
Collection of home movies beginning with 9.5mm in the 1920s, and continuing on 16mm in the 1930s. Most of the footage is of family vacations in Oregon and elsewhere in the western United States, Alaska, Canada, and Mexico. The collection also includes some short news and documentary films manufactured for the home market.
Repository
Oregon Historical Society Research Library
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR
97205
Telephone: 503-306-5240
Fax: 503-219-2040
libreference@ohs.org
Access Restrictions

The 16mm home movies are available to the public through videotape viewing copies. Viewing tapes can be made for the commercial films upon request. The 9.5mm home movies are unavailable for viewing until conservation has been completed.

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Funding for preparing this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Born in 1895, Herbert B. Miller was the son of the founder of the Miller Paint Company of Portland, Oregon. He was a member of the Amateur Cinema League, and an enthusiastic home moviemaker. He died in 1948. His son, Herbert G. Miller, appears as a child in many of the films and probably made the single one from the 1950s.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

A collection of silent home movies which begins on 9.5mm in the 1920s, and continues on 16mm through the 1950s. Much of the collection is in black-and-white, but color films are also included, along with one that is tinted. Most of the footage is of family vacations, including Yellowstone National Park, Victoria, B.C., Mexico, Alaska, San Francisco, the Yosemite area, and the San Diego and San Francisco world's fairs. Trips around Oregon, include Mount Hood, the beach, Crater Lake, central Oregon, and the Columbia River Gorge. The collection also includes five short news and documentary films manufactured for the home market, including the explosion of the dirigible, Hindenburg; the construction and collapse of the Tacoma (Wash.) Narrows Bridge, Alaskan and African wildlife, and military subjects.

Several of the films have been edited with intertitles, possibly as gifts for friends of the Miller family. Notable among these is one featuring German-American members of the Turnverein at their gymnasium in Portland, Oregon. A few of the home movies were designated as Amateur Cinema League projects. Home movie titles were taken from labels on film cans and cassettes. One label on a 9.5mm film cassette notes Herbert B. Miller's first use of Pathex camera and film.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

Preview videotapes are available for 16mm home movies.

Restrictions on Use

The Oregon Historical Society is the owner of the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Research Library before any reproduction use. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Herbert B. Miller Motion Picture Collection, [film number], Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series A:  Home Movies by Herbert B. Miller, ca. 1925-ca. 1949Return to Top

20 films, silent, black-and-white and color, 16mm., (13 films, silent, black-and-white, from 9.5mm cartridges.)

The 16mm films are available to the public through viewing tapes. The 9.5mm movies are unavailable for public viewing until conservation has been completed.

Description Dates
01874 MILL: [Vacation 1933, Yellowstone, Curt and Peggy—Herbert B. Miller—home movies]
Miller, Herbert B. (photographer)
401 ft., 15 min. (viewing tape available). : Silent, b&w, 16mm.
A family vacation trip to Yellowstone National Park, with scenes of Old Faithful, Yellowstone Lake, wildlife and the surrounding scenery. Also includes a trip to an unidentified beach area, an oil field, boating and a picnic. There are scenes of children and adults playing and enjoying vacation time. The film ends with ship traffic on the Willamette River. Appearing: Curtis Cowgill, Peggy Cowgill.
1933
01875 MILL: [Family, California boating—Herbert B. Miller—home movies]
Miller, Herbert B. (photographer)
409 ft., 15 min. (viewing tape available). : Silent, b&w, 16mm.
Many family scenes, including boating, shuffleboard, eating sandwiches, children at birthday party, playing with electric trains, a dance recital, fishing for smelt, and playing at the beach. Also includes a section on Mt. Hood, skiing, ski jumping, and the Battle Axe Inn at Government Camp. Appearing: Peggy Cowgill, Curtis Cowgill, Herbert Miller.
ca. 1930-ca. 1939
01876 MILL: [Family fun, Rose Festival, Rainier with Manvilles—Herbert B. Miller—home movies]
Miller, Herbert B. (photographer)
407 ft., 15 min. (viewing tape available). : silent, b&w, 16mm
Many scenes of the Miller family having fun. Includes skiing, pretending to shoot apples from each other's head using a bow and arrow, a Rose Festival parade, and visiting friends at a cabin in the woods. One sequence shows a magic act, using trick photography. Appearing: Curtis Cowgill, Manville family.
ca. 1930-ca. 1939
01877 MILL: [Trip with other families, Curtis—Herbert B. Miller—home movies]
Miller, Herbert B. (photographer)
398 ft., 15 min. (viewing tape available). : Silent, b&w, 16mm.
Family vacation trips to Depoe Bay, Oregon, and Long Beach, Washington. Includes children and adults playing on and around the beach, rock climbing, and a trick photography sequence. Features an airplane trip along the Washington Cascades, especially Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier. Appearing: Curtis Cowgill.
ca. 1930-ca. 1939
01878 MILL: [Events and places of 1938—Herbert B. Miller—home movies]
Miller, Herbert B. (photographer)
421 ft., 16 min. (viewing tape available). : Silent, b&w and color, 16mm.
Family trip to Mt. Hood, including a sequence of the Timberline Lodge St. Bernards. Also playing on the beach and a football game. One sequence, with intertitles, depicts the Oregon Trail. A color sequence shows a soapbox derby. Appearing: Curtis Cowgill, Blanche Miller. The photographer, Herbert B. Miller, is listed as H. Bud Miller on this movie.
1938
01879 MILL: [1938 vacation, family, Victoria, B.C.—Herbert B. Miller—home movies]
Miller, Herbert B. (photographer)
417 ft., 15 min. (viewing tape available). : Silent, b&w and color, 16mm.
On a vacation trip to Victoria, British Columbia, the Miller family visits the Madrona Inn in Washington state, and the Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island. They visit the Victoria harbor and take a boat ride, possibly on a ferry. Other sequences show a rescue on Mt. Hood, Peggy Cowgill driving a tractor, a woodland hike, and children playing. Color sequences include a seaside boardwalk, bicycle riding and a church. Appearing: Peggy Cowgill.
1938
01880 MILL: [Skiing, Yellowstone, titles—Herbert B. Miller—home movies]
Miller, Herbert B. (photographer)
386 ft., 14 min. (viewing tape available). : Silent, b&w and color, 16mm.
On a visit to Yellowstone, the Miller family goes skiing, feeds bears, and visits the Yellowstone River. Other sequences include Multnomah Falls and fishing at Celilo Falls on the Columbia River. One sequence consists of only the intertitles for a film about a trip to Mt. Hood; another shows a woman singing (a "Home-Talkie Production"). Appearing: "Miss Patricola," "Abel Baer."
ca. 1933-ca. 1937
01881 MILL: [Golden Gate Bridge construction—Herbert B. Miller—home movies]
Miller, Herbert B. (photographer)
74 ft., 3 min. (viewing tape available). : Silent, b&w, 16mm.
Many scenes of the uncompleted bridge and San Francisco Bay.
ca. 1930-ca. 1939
01882 MILL: [Columbia River, Legion parade, family—Herbert B. Miller—home movies]
Miller, Herbert B. (photographer)
367 ft., 14 min. (viewing tape available). : Silent, b&w, 16mm.
Various family activities including visiting the Columbia River Gorge, watching an American Legion parade, a beach trip, children playing and visiting farm animals.
1933
01884 MILL: Vacation days
Miller, Herbert B. (photographer)
467 ft., 17 min. (viewing tape available). : Silent, b&w, 16mm.
Probably made as a Christmas present for friends, this film documents a vacation trip to Alaska by steamship. Departing from Tacoma, Washington, the ship moves north from Puget Sound to Ketchikan, Petersburg, Juneau, Cordova, and Valdez. They pass Miles Glacier, Childs Glacier and Columbia Glacier. Appearing: Blanche Miller, Emanuel Vera, Lew Ayers, Sr.
1935
01886 MILL: Our vacation—1931 July 14-Aug. 3
Miller, Herbert B. (photographer)
425 ft., 16 min. (viewing tape available). : Silent, b&w, 16mm.
A vacation trip through central Oregon, including stops at the Deschutes River and the Lava Ice Caves near Bend. The trip continues at Crater Lake and the Oregon Caves before reaching the California redwoods. The film ends at the San Francisco Zoo.
July 14-Aug. 3, 1931
01890 MILL: [Family traveling—Herbert B. Miller—home movies]
Miller, Herbert B. (photographer)
415 ft., 15 min. (viewing tape available). : Silent, b&w and color, 16mm.
A vacation trip to California for the California Pacific Exposition in San Diego. On the way they stop at Yosemite. The film finishes with a trip into Tijuana, Mexico.
1935-1936
01892 MILL: Me and mine
Miller, Herbert B. (photographer)
390 ft., 15 min. (viewing tape available). : Silent, b&w, 16mm.
A family film with intertitles made for the Amateur Cinema League. The film follows the adventures of Herbert Miller, Jr., with his parents, his dog Chips, and his toys, including a pedal car and a teddy bear. Other segments show a ski trip to Mount Hood and a Miller's Paint store. Appearing: Herbert Gayle Miller
ca. 1930-ca. 1939
01893 MILL: Vacation days 1932: Manhattan Beach
Miller, Herbert B. (photographer)
293 ft., 11 min. (viewing tape available). : Silent, b&w and tint, 16mm.
A family trip along the northern Oregon coast. With intertitles. Appearing: Curtis Miller.
1932
01895 MILL: [Crater Lake—Herbert B. Miller—home movies]
Miller, Herbert B. (photographer)
314 ft., 12 min. (viewing tape available). : Silent, color, 16mm.
Family trip to Crater Lake, including a boat excursion on the lake and feeding the chipmunks near the lodge.
1941
01896 MILL: A Weekend at Timberline Lodge
Miller, Herbert B. (photographer)
341 ft., 13 min. (viewing tape available). : Silent, b&w and color, 16mm.
Family trip to Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood. Includes scenes of the lodge, skiing, snow plows, sunrise and sunset.
ca. 1939-ca. 1949
01897 MILL: [Seaside, Oregon coast, etc.—Herbert B. Miller—home movies]
Miller, Herbert B. (photographer)
453 ft., 17 min. (viewing tape available). : Silent, color, 16mm.
A family trip to the beach. Includes a trick photography segment. Other sequences include the Boy Scouts, playing on the beach, a coastal harbor with fishing boats and the sailing ship Sir Thomas Lipton, logging trucks, and the family dog.
ca. 1940-ca. 1948
01898 MILL: San Francisco fair—Herbert B. Miller—home movies]
Miller, Herbert B. (photographer)
292 ft., 11 min. (viewing tape available). : Silent, color, 16mm.
A family trip to the Golden Gate International Exposition (also known as the San Francisco World's Fair) in 1939. Many views of the buildings, fountains, statues, and entertainments.
1939
01899 MILL: Grunts and groans: screen adaption of the man on the flying trapeze
Miller, Herbert B. (photographer)
257 ft., 9 min. (viewing tape available). : Silent, b&w, 16mm.
A humorous film about group exercises and volleyball at the Turnverein gymnasium, Portland, Oregon. Produced by "Miller Picture Corruption Ink" under the auspices of the Amateur Cinema League, probably as a Christmas present for Miller's friends. Appearing: Members of the Portland Turnverein.
ca. 1930-ca. 1939
05296 MILL: [Pathex—Herbert B. Miller—home movies]
Miller, Herbert B. (photographer)
Approx. 600 ft. from 13 cartridges (no viewing tape). : Silent, b&w, 9.5mm.
Several very short home movies with scenes of Victoria, B.C., yardwork, a trip to Mount Hood, tobogganing, Lambert Gardens, Oregon State Fair, children playing, Glenn Avenue [NE 32nd Place, Portland, Oregon], orchard, playing on the beach, babies. One film is identified as "Here is our first movie taken with a Pathex."
ca. 1925-ca. 1935

Series B:  Home Movies by Herbert G. Miller, ca. 1954-ca. 1959Return to Top

1 reel. : Silent, color, 16mm.
Description Dates
01889 MILL: [Family home life – Herbert G. Miller – home movies]
Miller, Herbert Gayle (photographer)
301 ft., 11 min. (viewing tape available). : Silent, color, 16mm.
Various scenes of the Miller family, including duck hunting, archery practice, spraying apple trees, using a horse-drawn plow, pets and farm animals. Probably filmed around the Miller house on SW Boundary Street in Portland, Oregon.
ca. 1954-ca. 1959

Series C:  Commercial Films, ca. 1923-1940Return to Top

5 reels. : Silent, b&w, 16mm.

Viewing tapes may be made for the commercial films upon request.

Description Dates
01883 MILL: Whaling; an arctic polar bear hunt
383 ft. (no viewing tape). : Silent, b&w, 16mm.
Two films on one reel. In the first film a harpoon cannon is used to kill a whale. The whale is then beached to be butchered. In the second film, an adult bear is killed and a cub captured for transport to a zoo.
ca. 1930-ca. 1939
01894 MILL: [Africa series]
246 ft. (no viewing tape). : Silent, b&w, 16mm.
Many scenes of animals in Africa: rhinoceros, elephant, giraffe, water buffalo, gazelle, lion, and panther.
ca. 1930-ca. 1939
01900 MILL: The News Parade. No. 121
Castle, Eugene W.Castle Films, inc. (editor)
357 ft. (no viewing tape). : Silent, b&w, 16mm.
The film is in three segments. The first shows a hippopotamus moving from a crate into a pool. The second shows the British-French naval battle at Algeria in July 1940. The third segment shows the construction, opening ceremony, and collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Appearing: Admiral Marcel-Bruno Gensoul.
1940
02170 MILL: Modern centaurs
Educational Films Corporation (producer)
184 ft. (no viewing tape). : Silent, b&w, 16mm.
Various scenes of United States cavalrymen.
ca. 1923-ca. 1929
02181 MILL: Hindenburg Explodes!
Castle, Eugene W.Pathegrams (editor)
198 ft. (no viewing tape). : Silent, b&w, 16mm.
Various scenes of the dirigible Hindenburg in flight. The film ends with the airship burning at Lakehurst, New Jersey, on May 6, 1937. Appearing: Capt. Ernst A. Lehmann.
1937

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Beaches
  • Boats and boating
  • Duck shooting
  • Resorts
  • Soap box derbies--Oregon--Portland
  • Trick photography
  • Vacations
  • Winter sports--Oregon
  • Corporate Names :
  • Amateur Cinema League
  • California Pacific International exposition (1935-1936 : San Diego, Calif.)
  • Golden Gate International exposition (1939-1940 San Francisco, Calif.)
  • Timberline Lodge (Mt. Hood, Or.)
  • Turnverein (Portland, Or.)
  • Family Names :
  • Miller family
  • Geographical Names :
  • Butchart Gardens (Victoria, B.C.)
  • Crater Lake (Or.)
  • Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco, Calif.)
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Documentary
  • Home movies and video
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Miller, Herbert B. (photographer)
    • Miller, Herbert Gayle (photographer)
    • Corporate Names :
    • Educational Films Corporation (photographer)
    • Castle Films, inc. (photographer)
    • Pathegrams (photographer)