To “Elevate Unfortunate Humanity”On-screen: Linking World War I and Protestant Missions through Silent Film

By Christopher Anderson
Methodist Librarian
Drew University


1. Johnson, J. 1919, “Let There Be Light!” Photoplay Magazine 16, 46.

2. Representatives from Hollywood and New York included William A. Brady, President of the National Producers’ Association, William McAdoo representing the newly formed United Artists, John C. Flinn with Famous Players-Lasky, and Gabriel L. Hess of Goldwyn Pictures.

3. “Discuss Movies,” The Columbus Citizen, 8 July 1919, 1. Hollywood director D.W. Griffith planned to use his film of the Centenary Celebration, The World at Columbus (1919), to raise a half million dollars for the Methodist Episcopal Church.

4. “To Offer Free Movies,” Columbus Evening Dispatch, 7 June 1919, 2.

5. Long, K. T., December 2003, “Cameras ‘never lie’: The Role of Photography in Telling the Story of American Evangelical Missions,” Church History 72:4, 820.

6. Long, 823.

7. Rony, F. T., 1996, The Third Eye: Race, Cinema, and Ethnographic Spectacle, Durham: Duke University Press, 14.

8. Rony, 6-9.

9. Rony, 25.

10. “Big Exploring Party Sails,” The Columbus Citizen, 15 July 1919, 4.

11. “Official Reports and Records of the Methodist Centenary Celebration. State Fair Grounds, Columbus, Ohio, June 20- July 13, 1919.” Compiled by Wilson, A, E,m Director, Division of Special Days and Events, 85.

12. “Explains Why Centenary is Great Success,” Columbus Evening Dispatch, 8 July 1919, 6.

13. Musser, C., 1990, The Emergence of Cinema: The American Screen to 1907, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 39.

14. Bright, D., 1992, “Of Mother Nature and Marlboro Men: An Inquiry into the Cultural Meanings of Landscape Photography,” in Bolton, R., ed., The Contest of Meaning: Critical Histories of Photography, Cambridge, MA: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 126-127.

15. “Shows Revolution Film Thursday,” The Columbus Citizen, 26 June 1919, 4; “Announcement,” The Columbus Citizen, 28 June 1919, 5; “Freeing Palestine,” The Columbus Citizen, 20 June 1919, 11.

16. An Airplane Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Chicago: Cahill Printing Company, 1919), 1-4.

17. McAlister, M., 2001, Epic Encounters: Culture, Media, and U.S. Interests in the Middle East, 1945-2000, Berkeley: University of California Press, 13-20.

18. “Centenary Movie to Show Allies’ Success in East,” Columbus Evening Dispatch, 18 June 1919, 6.

19. Munsterberg, H., 1916, The Photoplay: A Psychological Study, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 94-95.

20. Brabner Smith, J. T., 1 April 1920, “Visualizing the Truth: Motion and Stereopticon Pictures in Churches,” The ( New York) Christian Advocate, 457.

21. The author has been unable to locate copies of either film.

22. “Centenary Celebration Columbus,” The Columbus Citizen, 7 July 1919, 3.

23. “Official Reports and Records of the Methodist Centenary Celebration,” 85.

24. “Discuss Movies,” The Columbus Citizen, 8 July 1919, 1.

25. Vinton, S. R., 31 July 1919, “Reporting the Facts: What the Camera Contributed to the Centenary,” The (NY) Christian Advocate, 978.

26. “Wide Use For Film,” Columbus Evening Dispatch, 7 July 1919, 2.

27. “Centenary Celebration Columbus,” The Columbus Citizen, 7 July 1919, 3.

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