Tag Archives: Watson Kintner

Travel Films From Watson Kintner

Before “wandering through the stacks” at Internet Archive, I had never heard of Watson Kintner. Although he is far from a household name, the chemical engineer who lived from 1890-1979 provided thorough and unique documentation of his extensive travels for future generations to learn from.

Kintner traveled to more than 30 individual countries throughout his lifetime armed with a 16mm camera and a thoughtful eye. What he created is a collection of moving images that clearly illustrates the countries he visited. Kintner had an obvious goal to really characterize a place while including images of all major aspects of an area; his films offer an education of past cultures.

The short documentaries show intimate meetings with the land’s people, animals, food, housing, rituals, costume, everyday dress, markets, geography, instruments, weather, sea life, pottery, weaving, and transportation. They have been collected and preserved by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology who has archived the collection at Internet Archive.

Here are some highlights of the collection:

  • Mexico, 1933 or 1934
  • East Africa, 1961
  • Ethiopia, 1969
  • India, 1958
  • Australia, 1957
  • Iran, 1963
  • Guatemala, 1947
  • For more interesting historical moving images, check out the rest of the Penn Museum Collection.

    –Cara Binder

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