Powell-Tourtellotte family films, 1931

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Powell-Tourtellotte family
Title
Powell-Tourtellotte family films
Dates
1931 (inclusive)
Quantity
8 reels (3,200 feet) : silent, black and white ; 16mm
Collection Number
PH0977
Summary
Scenes from England, Scotland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, France, Belgium, Germany, Czechoslovakia, and the Netherlands including footage of both well- and lesser-known tourist destinations, as well as documentary evidence specific to 1931. In particular, the Powell-Tourtellotte family documents both the remnants of World War I (unexploded shells in France) and the portents of World War II (Brownshirts in Germany). On their return trip from France, the group shares the boat with notable actors George K. Arthur and Maurice Chevalier
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 2065431929
Fax: 2065431931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

The original films are not accessible due to preservation concerns. A viewing copy is available and arrangements can be made to view the film by contacting the Visual Materials Curator.

Languages
English

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

John Havard Powell and Elizabeth Sargent Gastman, both Illinois natives and graduates of the University of Michigan, married in Spokane, WA, in 1892. The Powells soon settled in Seattle, where John began a successful law partnership with W.A. Peters. In addition to practicing law and serving as vice president of the Seattle Bar Association, John was also elected to the Washington State Legislature for one term, and served on the Board of Regents of the University of Washington.

The couple had five children after moving to the Seattle area: Sargent, Janet, Alisa, John Jr., and George. Many of the Powell children similarly distinguished themselves in western Washington. Sargent Powell taught chemistry for forty-four consecutive years at the University of Washington. Janet Tourtellotte was active in regional and national politics for over four decades, and served on the Evergree State College Board of Trustees from its founding in 1967. Following his father's example, George Van Tuyl Powell divided his time between a successful law practice, the State Legislature, and the University of Washington Board of Regents.

Several of the Powell children embarked on a trip to Europe in the summer of 1931, shortly after the death of their father. Janet, John Jr., George, and Neal Tourtellotte (Janet's husband) departed from New York City aboard the Lafayette , travelling at their mother's expense to celebrate the graduation of George from Princeton. Disembarking at Plymouth, England, the group toured several European countries in a Ford sedan brought over from the United States for this purpose.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The eight reels of 16mm film include scenes from the following countries: England, Scotland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, France, Belgium, Germany, Czechoslovakia, and the Netherlands. Footage from these places consists of both well- and lesser-known tourist destinations, as well as documentary evidence specific to 1931. In particular, the Powell-Tourtellotte family documents both the remnants of World War I (unexploded shells in France) and the portents of World War II (Brownshirts in Germany). On their return trip from France, the group shares the boat with notable actors George K. Arthur and Maurice Chevalier.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View selections from the collection in digital format.

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact the Special Collections division of the University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Donor: Jane Powell Thomas, October 27, 2003.

Processing Note

Processed by Alden Lee, 2013 ; Completed by Andrew Weaver, 2014.

Accessioned as PH2003-042.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Container(s) Description Dates
viewcopy item
VC69 1 New York to Kenilworth Castle, England
Aboard theLafayette, departing from New York City. A crowd has gathered and they wave from the dock. Scenes from the ship. Landing in Plymouth. The Powell-Tourtellotte car is lowered from the ship by a crane. The group gets drivers licenses and plates for the car. Scenes from Cornwall. Palm trees in Penzance. Land's End and cemetery with Cornish crosses. Scenes from St. Ives, the ruins of King Arthur's castle at Tintagel, and Clovelly. Stonehenge and the 150th anniversary meeting of The Ancient Order of Druids. The Chief Druid stands with his Council. Scenes from Kenilworth Castle.
Original 1 reel (400 feet) : silent, black and white ; 16mm
1931
VC69 2 Shakespeare's House to Dover, England
Scenes from England including Shakespeare's house, men carrying coracle boats, Robin Hood's Castle, Carnarvon, and a dog race. The bookie takes bets, trainers call their dogs at the finish line. Scenes from Scotland including Renton and the Ballachulish ferry to Fort William and Inverness. More scenes from England including Fountains Abbey, London, St. James's, the changing of the guard, an "American drug store," Picadilly Circus, and the ferry at Dover.
Original 1 reel (400 feet) : silent, black and white ; 16mm
1931
VC69 3 Calais Harbor, France to Stockholm, Sweden
Entering France at Calais Harbor. Scenes from Belgium including a Mummer's parade in Brussels and visiting Waterloo. Scenes from the Netherlands including Holland, Amsterdam, and the Island of Marker. Scenes from Germany including a pontoon bridge at Coblentz, castles on the Rhine, and the mass German bank closure of the 1931 financial crisis. People gathering in the streets with police keeping watch. Also includes Hagenback Zoo in Hamburg and Kiel Canal. Scenes from Denmark including Copenhagen and bicyclists on city streets, "Hamlet's Castle," and views of the Baltic Sea and Sweden's shoreline. Scenes from Sweden including the countryside, Stockholm, and on board a sightseeing boat.
Historical Note In 1931 the collapse of the Austrian bank Creditanstalt triggered a banking crisis that spread through central Europe. Germany's second largest bank Danatbank suffered a bank run starting around the 17th of June which ultimately precipitated it declaring bankruptcy. This caused a massive loss of confidence in the German banking system and in response the German government declared a bank holiday and closed the banks on July 13, 1931. It is most likely that this is the bank closure referenced by the title cards in this reel.
Original 1 reel (400 feet) : silent, black and white ; 16mm
1931
VC69 4 Karlstadt, Sweden to Czechoslovakia
Scenes from Sweden including Karlstadt. Scenes from Norway including Charlie's Hotel, Bergen, a Norse monastery, Os, Hordaland. Also includes scenes of the ferry at Gothenburg, as well as the ferry from Sweden to Germany. Scenes from Germany including Berlin, Brandenburg Gate, the Exhibition of Building Materials, city nightlife and a poster advertising "Hansi Strum, Queen of the Lesbians." The Powell-Tourtellotte party on the morning after a night out. Beach scenes. Also includes the Esplanade Hotel, Potsdam, Palace of Sanssouci, and the Saxony countryside. Village scenes in Czechoslovakia.
Original 1 reel (400 feet) : silent, black and white ; 16mm
1931
VC69 5 Dinkelsbuhl, Germany to St. Malo, France
Scenes from Germany including Dinkelsbuhl, Nordlingen, Homburg Castle, and Munich. Scenes from France including WWI era fortifications at St. Mihiel, Chaumont, Fort de la Pompelle near Rhiems, post-WWI battlefields and finding unexploded shells. Also includes the War Memorial overlooking Chateau-Thierry, the French Chateau District, an intertitle indicating a lunch with Captain and Madame Leon Nerdeux, young men playing with a dog, cave-houses in the countryside, Angers Castle, Mont Saint-Michel, and St. Malo.
Original 1 reel (400 feet) : silent, black and white ; 16mm
1931
VC69 6 Baule, France to Nice, France
Scenes from France including beach scenes Baule, St. Nazaire, Angouleme, the beach and fireworks display in Biarritz, Basque market day, Carcassone, Aiguesmortes, St. Catherine's Tower, a Roman aqueduct at Pont du Garde, the Riviera, and Nice.
Original 1 reel (400 feet) : silent, black and white ; 16mm
1931
VC69 7 Cannes, France to the Colonial Exposition in Paris
Scenes from France including Cannes and its architecture and John Powell waterskiing. Scenes from Geneva, Switzerland. More scenes from France including Paris, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower and The Colonial Exposition.
Original 1 reel (400 feet) : silent, black and white ; 16mm
1931
VC69 8 Paris, France to New York City
Scenes from France including Paris, a sequence from a commercially produced light erotica film that was purchased by a member of the party, and Le Havre. Returning home. George K. Arthur plays deck tennis on board. Maurice Chevalier smiles and poses for cameramen on board and says something to a filmmaker who is making a "talkie." Coming into port at New York City.
George K. Arthur was an English actor and producer who appeared in 59 films between 1919 and 1935. Maurice Chevalier was a French actor and singer, known for his work in the films"The Love Parade"and the"Big Pond,"and for the songs"Louise," "Mimi," "Valentine,"and"Thank Heaven for Little Girls."
Original 1 reel (400 feet) : silent, black and white ; 16mm
1931

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • World War, 1914-1918--Destruction and pillage--Europe

Corporate Names

  • Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei.¬†Sturmabteilung

Geographical Names

  • Calais (France)
  • Koblenz (Germany)
  • Stratford-upon-Avon (England)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Moving Image Collections (University of Washington)
  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)