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Arthur H. Smith Collection

Still from THE MIRROR

Still from THE MIRROR

53 reels 16mm (app. 25,450 ft.), plus scripts and ephemera

Arthur Smith was born in Silver Spring, Nevada in 1909 and passed away in 2000 after having lived in the Bay Area and Big Bear Lake, California. According to his typewritten autobiography, after high school he began working for the Pacific Telephone Company as a telephone repairman. He was asked by the company to make a sponsored film for them, and he was later promoted to first level management at Pacific Telephone. Smith produced a variety of instructional and safety films for the Bell System, including his most widely seen film “How to Prevent Backing Accidents.” Smith also wrote extensively about his technical professional film work, as well as his creative amateur work, with numerous articles in “American Cinematographer,” “Home Movies,” and “Popular Photography.”

The Arthur H. Smith collection was donated to the Center for Home Movies by Smith’s son Dennis (along with other Smith family films). Three films from the collection (THE MIRROR, THE LAST REEL, and MEMORIES ON FILM) have been preserved through National Film Preservation Foundation Grants. The new 16mm prints and digital video copies are now in the Center for Home Movies collection at the Library of Congress.

The majority of the collection has been transferred to video and is available for viewing on Archive.org. Some of the titles below are only available as video copies.