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Big Bend National Park

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Silent | 1940s

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Established as a national park in 1944, Big Bend is arguably the most representative example of the Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem in the United States. Visitors are attracted to the biological diversity of its river, desert, and mountain ecosystems as well as its rich geological, archeological and historical resources. Not much information has been confirmed about this film, although park archivists believe that it may have been shot by the National Park Service to illustrate the recreational activities and natural diversity found in the Big Bend area. One possible camera operator is Peter Koch, a photographer and filmmaker hired by the Park Service in 1944 to take photos of the newly established park. Koch is featured in this footage holding a small boat he built out of agave bloom stalks, an inner-tube and baling wire, and christened the ‘Broken Blossom'.