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The Orris D. Brown Collection, no. 6 - Houston, Henderson, and FDR (1936)

Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Silent | 1936

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TAMI Tags
  •   Illinois Central Train at Houston Union Depot  
  •  Jesse H. Jones 
  •  President Franklin D. Roosevelt 
 
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This reel from the Orris D. Brown Collection contains footage from a number of events. The first part includes examples of early film credit techniques, footage of a then-modern, diesel electric streamlined train at Houston's Railway Post Office, fireworks over Houston's Buffalo Stadium, and scenes of Clara Mae Brown, Orris D. Brown's mother, visiting family in rural Henderson, Texas. Later footage includes scenes of FDR's visit to Houston in June of 1936 for the groundbreaking ceremony of the San Jacinto Monument. FDR dedicated the monument at the groundbreaking as a part of the state-wide Texas Centennial celebration. Scenes of President and Mrs. Roosevelt, along with Secretary of Commerce Jesse H. Jones, arriving by train then riding in a motorcade as part of a parade are included. The digital preservation of this film was made possible by a grant to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image and the Houston Public Library from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Orris Dorr Brown was born in 1890 in Henderson, Texas. He married Edna Myra Webb in 1923, and together they traveled domestically and abroad teaching cake decorating techniques using edible sugar. Brown became interested in filmmaking in the early 1930s and began filming scenery and sites as he traveled. Texas became the focus of many of his films, and he traveled extensively throughout the state to document historical figures and locations, most notably scenes of Uncle Jeff Hamilton, Sam Houston's personal slave (watch this film in the TAMI library). In 1936, Brown filed for a U.S. patent for a Moving Picture Machine through which to view films. He moved into professional filmmaking as an employee of Empire and Superior Studios in the 1940s and 50s to film full-length pictures. Orris D. Brown was a Shriner and a Free Mason. He passed away in 1965.
The digital preservation of this collection was made possible by a grant to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image and the Houston Public Library from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.
 
The Orris Brown films, and many other interesting films about Texas, are available on the Houston Public Library Houston Area Digital Archives website.