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Flickering Empire – How Chicago Invented the U.S. Film Industry - Columbia Scholarship Online
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Flickering Empire: How Chicago Invented the U.S. Film Industry

Michael Glover Smith and Adam Selzer


This book tells the fascinating yet little-known story of how Chicago served as the unlikely capital of American film production in the years before the rise of Hollywood (1907–1913). It straddles the worlds of academic and popular non-fiction in its vivid illustration of the rise and fall of the major Chicago movie studios in the mid-silent era (focusing principally on the Essanay and Selig Polyscope studios). It introduces colorful, larger-than-life historical figures, including Thomas Edison, Charlie Chaplin, Oscar Micheaux, and Orson Welles, and shows that they were major players in the na ... More

Keywords: film production, Chicago, Essanay, Selig Polyscope, Thomas Edison, Charlie Chaplin, Oscar Micheaux, Orson Welles, William Selig, George Spoor

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780231174497
Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015 DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231174497.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michael Glover Smith, author

Adam Selzer, author

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