Kinemacolor Frames of William Howard Taft
United States President 1909-1913

Film Courtesy of Library of Congress, Motion Picture Conservation Center

Film Title and Date Unknown.
William Howard Taft was President of The United States from 1909 to 1913. So we know that this film was shot during that period. The film was probably shot on Monday, October 14th, 1912 on board the ship "Mayflower", according to Moving Picture World, Oct. 19, 1912, page 231. The environmentalists would have been all over Taft for the amount of black smoke belching from the stack behind the President. Only about one second of this film was found. It had been used as a threading leader.

The upper frame is the red record and the lower is the green. Note that there is a special rounded sprocket hole that is used to correctly load the film into the projector that displays the color records in alternating sequence. Below is the AWSM restoration of the image in colors approximating what was seen on the screen.

The two combined records give us a very rare color photo of Taft. Fringing typical of Kinemacolor is visible on the hand and sleeve of the person on the right side of the image. Fringing in the lower left portion is due to slight curling of the film during the scanning process. These frames have not received any treatment to reduce the visibility of scratches or other ravages of time. James Cozart, who provided the original scan for us, is playing with a method similar to liquid-gate printing in order to create a cleaner scan of the frames and the results look promising. When a cleaner scan is achieved then I'll create a new composite image.

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