In April, 1993, staff members of the Southwest Film-Video Archive (SWFVA) at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, were contacted by a private individual in the small east Texas town of Sulphur Springs regarding some old films that had been moldering in a closet for some fifteen years.
When the reels of film on original 35 mm nitrate stock were acquired, cleaned, and inspected, a rich find dating back to the turn of the century was discovered. Eight reels of varying length contained a total of 33 early films predating the Nickelodeon era.
Remarkably, the surviving films are substantially intact and relatively free of nitrate decomposition. The collection, which spans 1898 through 1906, includes a number of single-shot actualities, vaudeville acts, and comedies, five multi-shot story films of the 1904-05 period, and seven panoramas taken by Edison cameramen of the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
(Worland, R. 1995. The Sulphur Springs, Texas early films discovery. Journal of Film Preservation 51: 56-64.