Beaudry, Philippe Collection

Beaudry, Philippe Collection
Credit: Philippe Beaudry Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Packing and boxing cans of Highland Maple Syrup on a conveyor, St. Johnsbury, VT, 1927.
film (2,600 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm.
St. Johnsbury, VT
Coventry, VT
Newport, VT
Orleans, VT
Clyde River, VT
Credit: Philippe Beaudry Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Scenes at the Cary Maple Sugar Company, St. Johnsbury, VT, 1927
The Philippe Beaudry Collection consists of four reels of 35 mm. nitrate film shot in 1927 and an accompanying document, "A Short History of the Film: Cary Maple Sugar Company, Outtakes," in the collection file. The first three reels contain outtakes depicting various practices of the Cary Maple Sugar Company. Practices depicted include: boiling syrup, unloading the sap by gravity flow from a tank, sap collection using teams of oxen, tubing systems, and sugarbush connections. Cary factory practices depicted include: men rolling barrels of syrup, boxes of sugar moving along conveyors, women inside the factory are seen packing metal cans of syrup coming off of a conveyor, and automated canning machines at work. To highlight the era of Native American maple sugar making, Penobscot tribe member John Lewey of Old Town, Maine, is depicted with his son, Roy Lewey, in traditional dress, tending to a hanging kettle full of boiling syrup. Reel four of the collection depicts the 1927 Vermont flood and its various damaging effects upon the cities of Newport, Orleans, and Coventry, and along the Clyde River.
“In the spring of 1927, at the height of his maple sugar production and sales business, George Cary arranged for and financed the production of a silent film on his maple sugar production empire. At the time, the Cary Maple Sugar Company of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, and Lennoxville, Quebec, was the world’s largest maple sugar company, producing, buying and selling hundreds of thousands of pounds of maple sugar and maple syrup each year. The film was shot a few miles north of North Danville, Vermont, in the sugarbush of Cary’s Sprauge [sic] Farm, also known at the time as Lookout Farm. Cary devoted a small portion of his 20,000 tree sugarbush to demonstrating the evolution and earlier methods of gathering maple sap. The novelty of this living museum caught the eye of filmmakers Mr. and Mrs. C.A. Richardson of Newport, Vermont, who shot and directed this film over the course of several days in early March of 1927. The film was donated to Northeast Historic Film (NHF) in 1997. The original film was on very unstable 35 mm nitrate stock, and showed signs of deterioration. Upon arrival, the film was copied to new stable 35 mm stock and transferred to VHS with funding from the National Film Preservation Foundation. It appears that scenes from the film were shown as educational clips in movie houses around the country.” Above is an excerpt from A Short History of the Film: Cary Maple Sugar Company, Outtakes. Written by Matthew M. Thomas on January 20, 2006. Document also includes shot by shot description notes for reels 1-3 [Cary Maple Sugar Company--outtakes] of the Beaudry Collection. Thomas's 2004 Ph.D. dissertation concerns historical maple production. WorldCat

See also: 'Maple King: The Making of a Maple Sugar Empire' by Matthew M. Thomas, (2018) in the NHF library.
Northeast Historic Film
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4 Items in this collection