Friday Find – Movie Passes

mch_20140828_02_0001d Today’s Friday Find comes from the Museum of Connecticut History. Earlier this week our intrepid curator Dave Corrigan was looking through a file cabinet that once housed the museum’s World War 1 records. In it was an envelope marked “State Council of Defense, Div. of Moving Pictures”. Inside were passes to a series of films screened around the state in 1918.
mch_20140828_02_0002a These films were screened under the auspices of the Connecticut State Council of Defense and usually featured a speaker who had been to the front. The Council of Defense tried to present the latest footage from the front, in some cases driving to New York to obtain the films. It seems these passes were sent to the Library of Congress then somehow made their way back here.
mch_20140828_02_0001a Sergeant Arthur Gibbons was a Canadian soldier from Toronto who was wounded in the war. He was a frequent speaker at Connecticut war rallies. Sergeant J.B. Pimlott, another of the speakers, was a soldier in the British Army who had recently returned from France. He was in the United States as part of the British recruiting mission. Sergeant Robert McKenna was also a wounded soldier from the British Army. Before speaking in Simsbury in April 1918, the Hartford Courant noted “Of all the veteran speakers which the State Council of Defense has presented throughout the state during the season, Sergeant McKenna has spent the most time on the fighting front.”