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A Mother's Devotion; or, The Firing of the Patchwork Quilt (1912)

A mother is waiting or her son, a railroad engineer, to return home when she discovers that a railroad trestle he must pass over has been washed out. She must try to get word to him before his train reaches the trestle.


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Cast overview:
Mrs. McCoy - the Mother
Jack McCoy - the Son


Mrs. McCoy is filling her son's dinner-pail before he starts on his run as engineer for a passenger train on the D.L. & W. Jack makes haste to the train yard, climbs into his engine and pulls out. The next night, about the time that Jack is expected on his return trip, his mother is sitting at the table working on her patchwork quilt. Suddenly a terrible storm comes up. She discovers that the trestle across the stream has broken down and that the tracks are strewn with debris. Hurriedly throwing a shawl over her head, she grabs up the old patchwork quilt, saturates it with kerosene, and taking some matches with her, hurries from the house in time to reach the trestle, where she sets fire to the quilt, and signals her boy's fast approaching train. Upon seeing the flames, and his mother madly waving her shawl, he jumps from his engine cab, rushes to her side, and she falls helpless in his arms, while the passengers, who have been aroused by the sudden stopping of the train, gather ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Release Date:

28 February 1912 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Mother's Devotion  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

A stagey early Vitagraph railroad short
3 September 1999 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Short tale of an old mother whose son is the engineer on a railroad locomotive. As the son is returning home from one of his trips, a storm knocks out a railroad trestle. The mother must somehow warn her son and prevent the impending disaster. Pedestrian by today's standards, but still enjoyable and appreciable for its sentimentality and historical value.

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