Internet Archive Hosts Watson Kintner Travel Videos

The Internet Archive announced early in February that it was now hosting travel films from Watson Kintner.

Watson Kintner traveled to over 30 countries in his lifetime (1890-1979) and took a 16mm camera with him. You can view over 400 of his films at (Sorry, it’s a weird query URL.)

I originally wanted to look at these because of how old they were. I mean, you can get all kinds of travel videos for the last ten or twenty or even thirty years. But Thailand in 1957? Mexico in 1939? Iran in 1963? Pick a video from the list and click on the screenshot, and you’ll get a button to click to play the video along with download links and a “shot list” of what’s in the video. (Bear in mind that even though you can download these videos they are not copyright-free; the rights belong to the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.)

The earlier videos are in black and white, while the later videos are in color. All the videos I looked at were silent. Even so, I was astonished at the quality of the pictures. The videos I looked at were not documentary style — it looks like Mr. Kintner just shot video of what he thought was interesting.

All the videos I looked at were between 10 and 20 minutes long. Some trips, like India 1959, are available across multiple videos. 10 to 20 minutes doesn’t sound like a long time, but if you got as engrossed in these videos as I did you’ll find this site a real time sink.

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