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Film, Video A trip around the Pan-American Exposition

Digital viewing copy

About this Item


  • A trip around the Pan-American Exposition


  • The entire film was photographed from an excursion vessel traveling through all of the waterways surrounding the Exposition. The major exhibit buildings and amusement attractions of the fair can be seen as the boat makes its way through the area, going through tunnels and under bridges.
  • "The Pan-American Exposition is encircled by an especially constructed canal, which was put in for the purpose of allowing the tourist to view the exterior of the buildings of the Pan-American Exposition with as little fatigue as possible. It is called the Grand Canal, is over a mile in length and extends around the central group of large buildings. Winding lagoons connecting with the canal branch off in all directions. The Mirror Lakes in the Southern portion of the canal form a picturesque feature and add ten fold interest to this picture. The electric launches which make the trip around the exposition, and which are controlled by the Venice in America Co., represent the climax of comfort and elegance. The ride is a refreshing one with charming views at every turn. Romantic bridges span the waterway at convenient points, statuary placed everywhere contribute to the picturesque effect. The above named picture was secured by special permission of Mr. Burgee, of the Venice in America Co., and our picture was made from the bow of an especially chartered electric launch which made the trip for us at a high rate of speed. We give below as near as possible a detailed description of the different points of interest as they are recorded by the camera, and just as they are viewed by the visitor himself in making the trip in one of these exquisite launches. The launch in which our camera was placed started from the landing place in the Streets of Venice, which is situated on the west side of the Exposition grounds facing the Midway. The canal makes a quarter circle eastward, and our boat passes under the west Mall bridge, making an abrupt turn northward and continuing on its course past the Bazaar Building and to the African Village, when it swings suddenly to the eastward and makes a complete circle of the Electric Tower, turning its many corners and passing under a number of beautifully constructed bridges, over which multitudes of people are seen wending their way. In the trip from the Streets of Venice to the Electric Tower we pass many electric launches, and gondolas laden with tourists who are making merry as our camera passes them. Three of the gondolas contain the Venetian Band and many of the pretty girls of the Streets of Venice, all of which attend to make the picture highly interesting. Having encircled and passed the Electric Tower, our boat takes an eastward course until it reaches the Stadium, when it passes under another of the exquisite bridges and turns abruptly to the south. Continuing its southern course it passes the east entrance of the U.S. Government Building and the U.S. Ordinance Exhibit, where the heavy artillery and large disappearing guns are observed mounted in their respective places. Our launch then swings to the eastward and continues a short distance when it again takes a southerly course and passes the south entrance of the U.S. Government Building, approaches and passes the Forestry and the grounds of the Six Nations of the American Indians, where their camps, log huts, wigwams, etc., are observed. We then turn to the eastward passing under a series of bridges with sculptural decorations that are unexcelled, and merging into the east end of Mirror Lake. Now comes the most interesting portion of this wonderful film. We follow in an easterly direction through Mirror Lake, skirting the north bank and taking in the pergola, and bearing steadily toward the main entrance and Fore Court of the Exposition grounds. Here we pass directly under the Colonnades into the submarine water channel and through what is known as the Grotto. The effect of running from an open lake into a beautiful tunnel decorated with tropical foliage of all description is most novel. After passing through this grotto, which consumes about one minute of time, the west end of Mirror Lake suddenly comes into view, and we pass out on to the open waters of the lake where we are presented with an entirely new and enchanting panorama of the west side of the Exposition. The launch continues on this course taking in the north bank of the West Mirror Lake with the west pergola in the background, and passing the Mines Building, the Esplanade Fountains, the Horticultural Exhibits, the Southwest Midway, under the beautiful bridge which forms the main approach to West Midway from the Esplanade, and turning suddenly to the northward runs under a bridge of Venetian architecture, and finally merges into the Streets of Old Venice. This is the end of the trip around the Exposition and the climax of the picture. Great crowds are assembled in the Streets of Old Venice and one can imagine himself to be in reality floating through the old European city of canals. In this entire picture we present a most diversified panorama. The constant turns of the canal and the many bridges which span it furnish the audience with something new to look at during almost every second of the trip. Length 625 feet"--Edison film company catalog.


  • Thomas A. Edison, Inc
  • Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)

Created / Published

  • United States : Thomas A. Edison, Inc., 1901.


  • -  Electric Tower (Pan-American Exposition, 1901, Buffalo, N.Y.)
  • -  Pan-American Exposition--(1901 :--Buffalo, N.Y.)
  • -  Exhibitions--New York--Buffalo
  • -  Esplanade (Pan-American Exposition, 1901, Buffalo, N.Y.)


  • Actualities (Motion pictures)
  • Silent films
  • Short films
  • Nonfiction films


  • -  H4968 U.S. Copyright Office
  • -  Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 8Jun1901; H4968.
  • -  Duration: 11:45 at 15 fps.
  • -  This film was offered for sale in several lengths: 200 ft., 300 ft., 400 ft., and 500 ft.The LC copy of this film may not include all of the scenes described in the Edison Company catalog summary.
  • -  Paper print shelf number (LC 2819) was changed when the paper prints were re-housed.
  • -  Additional holdings for this title may be available. Contact reference librarian.
  • -  Sources used: Niver, K. Early motion pictures, p. 335; Musser, C. Emergence of cinema, V. 1, p. 317-318; Musser, C. Before the nicklodeon, p. 175, viewed online via the California Digital Library WWW site, June 13, 2014.
  • -  Filmed in Buffalo, New York, probably in late May, 1901.
  • -  Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files.
  • -  Early motion pictures : the Paper Print Collection in the Library of Congress / by Kemp R. Niver. Library of Congress. 1985.
  • -  35 mm viewing print renumbered: FEC 6103 to FYA 1027 (r1) and FEB 9419 to FYA 0329 (r2).
  • -  35 mm dupe neg pic renumbered: FPE 5233 (r1), FPE 5277 (r2) to FZA 2381-2381.


  • viewing print 1 film reel of 1 (261 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
  • viewing print 2 film reels of 2 (ca. 625 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm.
  • dupe neg pic 1 film reel of 1 (261 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
  • dupe neg pic 2 film reels of 2 (ca. 625 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm.
  • paper pos 1 roll of 1(ca. 625 ft.) : b&w ; 35 mm.
  • paper pos (copy 2) 1 roll of 1 (ca. 625 ft.) : b&w ; 35 mm.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • FLA 5760 (viewing print)
  • FYA 1027, FYA 0329 (viewing print)
  • FRA 2585 (dupe neg pic)
  • FZA 2381-2382 (dupe neg pic)
  • Box 0757A (paper pos)
  • Box 5575A (paper pos, copy 2)


  • Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA dcu

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 00694338

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

Rights & Access

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Thomas A. Edison, Inc, and Paper Print Collection. A trip around the Pan-American Exposition. United States: Thomas A. Edison, Inc, 1901. Video.

APA citation style:

Thomas A. Edison, I. & Paper Print Collection. (1901) A trip around the Pan-American Exposition. United States: Thomas A. Edison, Inc. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Thomas A. Edison, Inc, and Paper Print Collection. A trip around the Pan-American Exposition. United States: Thomas A. Edison, Inc, 1901. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.