In reviewing British Pathe newsreels of Ohio events in the 1930s, I came across a silent feature that had not been identified. I was watching the aftermath of a June 18, 1936 strike and riot at the Black and Decker Electric Co. plant in Kent, Ohio. Now British Pathe knows. Only the date of the newsreel has been updated on the website, although I sent along newspaper accounts. My good historian’s deed o’ the day.
The British Pathe website is a treasure of visual imagery covering much of the twentieth century. A good number of the videos were never included in newsreels, raising the question of what else in the world was occurring that preempted a given feature. The website, created to market the films, doesn’t include contextualizing information such as editorial policies, changes in video technology, business and marketing practices, and the like. Nevertheless, it’s a welcome historical archive.