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Loading a Boiler (1896)
"Embarquement d'une chaudière" (original title)

 |  Short, Documentary  |  1896 (France)
4.6
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Ratings: 4.6/10 from 190 users  
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A stationary camera placed amidships looks toward the round end of a 10- or 12-foot boiler that's been loaded onto the open deck. Three men climb down from atop the boiler and then remove ... See full summary »

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Title: Loading a Boiler (1896)

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A stationary camera placed amidships looks toward the round end of a 10- or 12-foot boiler that's been loaded onto the open deck. Three men climb down from atop the boiler and then remove their ladder. Four or five other workers tie the boiler down to the deck. Their pace is leisurely. In the background is a busy harbor. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Short | Documentary

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1896 (France)  »

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Loading a Boiler  »

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Average Lumiere Brothers actuality, not as aesthetically successful as some
31 March 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

This 40-second Lumiere Brothers actuality (Lumiere No. 20) shows ten men (one only visible at the very end) loading a large boiler on a ship. Three of the men climb down a ladder in front of the boiler after securing a large rope. After this, two of the men carry the ladder away, before the rest go back to getting all of the ropes in place.

Loading a Boiler shows far less attention to composition than some of the Lumiere Brothers' other work, such as Enfants pêchant des crevettes (Children Digging for Clams, 1896) and Baignade en mer (Swimming in the Sea, 1895). The steel "masts" of the ship cut across the frame irregularly, the men on top of the boiler are cut off, the image seems crooked and the choice of action seems more arbitrary.

Still, the short is worth watching as a historical curiosity. Among other things, it's interesting to note that two of the three men climbing down the ladder are doing so in the direction that many would consider "backwards". Loading a Boiler is just not nearly as aesthetically rewarding as some other early shorts.


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