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Searching Ruins on Broadway, Galveston, for Dead Bodies (1900)

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This shows the heart of the tremendous drifts in the east end of Galveston. Hundreds of bodies are concealed in these immense masses, and at the time the picture was taken the odor given ... See full summary »

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Title: Searching Ruins on Broadway, Galveston, for Dead Bodies (1900)

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This shows the heart of the tremendous drifts in the east end of Galveston. Hundreds of bodies are concealed in these immense masses, and at the time the picture was taken the odor given out could be detected for miles. The subject shows a gang of laborers clearing away the debris in the search for corpses, one of which was discovered while the picture was being taken. Written by Edison Films (1901)

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Short | Documentary

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24 September 1900 (USA)  »

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Searching Ruins for Dead Bodies  »

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Featured in Edison: The Invention of the Movies (2005) See more »

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As the Title Says, Pretty Grim Stuff
1 May 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Searching Ruins on Broadway, Galveston, For Dead Bodies (1900)

On September 8th, 1900, the city of Galveston was hit by a hurricane and tidal wave, which would end up costing more than 2500 lives. With winds of up to 135mph, many considered this one of the deadliest storms of its time and the Edison studio sent cameras down there to capture some of the aftermath. I'm sure many would see this as some sort of exploitation as there's no question the studio would have made a lot of money but today it's interesting to see this footage simply from a historical point of view.

The title of this Edison film certainly is going to keep most people away but thankfully no dead bodies are actually seen. Seeing this damage from the hurricane/tidal wave that hit the city, one can't help but think of the aftermath of 9/11 because the 39-seconds worth of footage shows men standing on piles of falling buildings lifting through the debris trying to find bodies. Once again the footage is quite striking simply because of the mammoth amount of damage and destruction. No matter how many times you see these natural disasters you can't help but be amazed at the force and destruction. The camera-work is quite good for the time and this is yet another interesting piece of history that has thankfully survived for people today.


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