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Offered here are TWO (2) of the nicest early cinema and Western Americana items available on - and for more than a NICE PRICE!

1st and foremost in this lot is an original "The Life of Buffalo Bill in 3 Reels, Buffalo Bill Under Gen. Carr"1912 Stone Litho three-sheet Movie Poster. It measures approx. 42"x80" and is printed on 3 separate one-sheet size pieces (2 are 27"x42," and the 3rd is 28"x42"). A documentary filmmade by Buffalo Bill himself - The ultimate western!The poster was printed by the Buffalo Bill Pawnee Bill Film Co. It is today one of the rarest Buffalo Bill posters, as only three examples are known to have survived,this being the best condition!

This film was made by Cody himself in the early part of the 20th Century.The Buffalo Bill Pawnee Bill film Co released it.They put their mark on the bottom left border of the poster. This particular example is in stupefying condition, especially considering this is OVER 100 years old now. But even NOT considering that, this poster is in AMAZING shape - aSOLID NearMINT/MINT UNRESTORED ORIGINAL CONDITION!This poster was sent to Wisconsinby the Buffalo Bill Pawnee Bill film company to Walter Barnsdale who had the state rights to show this feature. I obtained the poster back in the early 2000s from a family member who perfectly preserved the poster in a tube for over 100 years! You can't find a nicer example. You can't even find this in any condition

I had two of these posters. One of them had some damaged, and so I had it linen-mounted. I photographed that example before I sent it to NY to besaleedat Jack Rennert Poster sales International, Inc on January, 25, 2015. The poster was lot #60 in that sale and realized $15,000. I'm selling this much better condition original, and my last one, for a few dollars less. The first 4 photos I posted here on are of the linen-mounted one that sold in 2015. I post those professional photos so you can see how amazing this piece is. Photo #5 is a shot I took of this actual poster shortly after I got it from the Barnsdale family. The photo is a superlow-gradephoto snapshot I took to document having the poster before I put it in a flat-pack between acid free papers. It doesn't represent the poster well, but you can see it. The next two shots are direct high-res scans of the actual poster you'll be getting, and so you can really see how amazing it is when you take in all the photos!

Second item in this lot is a program that was found with this poster (see photos #3&4).What a rarity!This original movie program was issued over 100 YEARS AGO!!! William F. Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill, is no doubtone of the most important and celebrated people in the history of the United States. W.F. Cody at age 11 was the world's first "Boy Scout." He fought as a U.S. Cavalry man throughout the entire Civil War. He also fought in and survived ALL of the Indian wars! It helped that he was the BEST rifle shot and horse rider of all the men fighting - he held world records for such. Buffalo Bill was also awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery!A frontier man, Cody was one of the original Pony Express riders and is also accredited with creating the entertainment form known as The Wild West Show. Buffalo Bill was the most famous and the most photographed man of his time. In 1912, long before Charlie Chaplin entered into moving picture business, Buffalo Bill Cody became one of the very first screen stars. Cody used the relatively new medium of moving pictures to document his Wild West exhibitions and reenactments of his famous adventures. Buffalo Bill himself produced these motion pictures!

This early film program offered here was meant to be distributed to the public by Barnsdale in the early 1900's. Luckily, this particular example was perfectly preserved by the Barnsdale family and never used.

Featured inside the program is an incredible early film process called “Marvelous X-Ray Films” - Motion pictures made by a combination of X-ray, Microscope, and the moving picture camera. This process produced amazing recorded images of interior action of the human body, and for 1910 that was astonishing! Moving images of the workings of the human heart. Imagine how remarkable it must have been to see back then when most people still did not even have electricity in their homes! This obviously was a major attraction in its day, as witnessed by its exposure in this program.

This is one of the earliest movie programs in existence. A VERY SMALL NUMBER of movie programs were made during this era, and almost none have survived! Silent movie posters and lobby cards are FAR more common. Tons of amazing information is contained within this program. It's of the most interesting and important early cinema and Western finds.

This original, over 100 year old, program is in a remarkableMINT/NearMINT unused condition!The program has NEVER been folded. It measures 12x9 inches unfolded - and 6 by 9 inches when folded (See photos of bothunfoldedsides).

A Brief History of Walter Barnsdale

Walter Barnsdale immigrated to the United States from England in the mid 1800's. He came with an engineering background acquired during an apprenticeship with a European locomotive company. After a few engineering jobs here in the States, Walter then entered into the moving picture business - shortly after Thomas Edison was accredited with inventing the motion picture. By 1903, Barnsdale established his film company and himself as one of the early pioneers of the motion picture business. Not only did Barnsdale produced his own films but he also invented his own electronic lamp-house and portable power supply, which he added to the few already existing early mechanical devices that were designed to exhibit film to the public. His contribution towards exhibition was critical to the advancement of the motion picture. He was a respected contemporary of Thomas Edison, Siegmund Lubin, and the Lumiere brothers. Barnsdale was known for exhibiting his own film creations as well as presenting other important world attractions, such as close-up movie footage of the Wright Brothers original 1903 airplane as well as the historic flight at Kitty Hawk, and, Buffalo Bill Cody’s self-made 3-reel feature, “The Life of Buffalo Bill.” He traveled stateside throughout Wisconsin with his Electric Moving Picture Company. Back in those early film pioneer days - over 110 years ago - Barnsdale heavily emphasized the use of the word “Electric" in his advertising campaigns. Electricity was a real selling point, as it represented the new and coming technological revolution that had just begun in American life at that time. It’s similar to the way it was here in the United States with the use of the word “digital” at the turn of this century. Barnsdale got out of the movie business around 1917, when traveling shows were no longer viable. By then, the studio system had begun to monopolize the film business with large movie palaces throughout the country.

Below is a transcript of Walter Barnsdale's 1951 obituary that outlines SPECIFICALLY the inventions and inovations that he made in the field of motion pictures:

(Also see the scans of the original newspaper articles - Photos #3&4)




W. Barnsdale Dies at Plover Home Thursday

Pioneer in Movies Toured State With Portable Machine

Walter Barnsdale, a pioneer in the movie industry died suddenly about 4:20 Thursday afternoon at his home at plover at the age of 83. A long time resident of Plover, Mr. Barnsdale was well known locally for his many activities in the field of motion pictures. Early in the century, he toured the state with his own portable projector, using a gasoline engine of his own design to provide the power.

Mr. Barnsdale was born May 14, 1867, at Donnington England, a son of the late Richard and Mary Barnsdale. He spent his boyhood in England and in the early 1880’s received his engineering papers after serving a three year apprenticeship in a locomotive shop there. He came to this country in the winter of 1885 and arrived at the farm of his uncle, George Barnsdale, in weather 20 degrees below zero.

He helped his uncle operate the farm located east of Plover, and for a time was a lumberjack near Phillips. A short time later he went to California where he was employed as an engineer in the construction of the Colorado Beach hotel in San Diego. Four years later he went to Chicago and worked as an engineer for the Chicago Transit Company. In 1991 he returned to his uncle’s farm at Plover.

Married in 1891

On May 18, 1891, he was married at Stevens Point to Kate Barnsdale, daughter of George and Sara Barnsdale. The couple lived for a time on her Father’s farm, where Mr. Barnsdale opened a bicycle repair and machine shop. Later they moved to plover and he set up his repair shop in town.

Several years later he became interested in the new industry of moving pictures and began his pioneering work in that field.

About 1926 he began working as a machinist for the Whiting Plover paper mill and worked there until he retired in June, 1945.

Surviving Relatives

Mr. Barnsdale is survived by his wife; four sons.Three daughters preceded him in death.Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at the Boston funeral home. Rev. John Kendall will officiate and interment will take place in the spring in Plover cemetery.Friends may call at the funeral home from Saturday noon until the time of services.

Willed Film to Troop I

Mr. Barnsdale, who started giving motion picture shows when movies were in their infancy, took a film of former Troop I of Stevens Point at Camp Douglas, Wis. In 1917, and willed that film, at his death, to that group of World war one soldiers.

Although Mr. Barnsdale’s name is unknown in movies today, he pioneered in the field and made important contributions to it through his inventions. He literally brought to the doorsteps of thousands of Wisconsin people the first “flickers” they ever saw. He travelled from one end of the state to another showing the first movies to audiences at crossroads, towns and cities, and also ventured into Chicago. Hollywood was still in its infancy and many of Mr. Barnsdale’s pictures were reels of film imported from England, Norway, France and Italy. Others were pictures of local scenes and events, which he took and developed over the years.

Mr. Barnsdale’s first contact with movies was in 1896. A musician had come to Steven’s Point, bringing motion pictures as an added attraction for show patrons, at the old Opera House. Mr Barnsdale then was an electrician for the former Stevens Point Lighting Company and he and the late F.A. Sustins were sent to assist in doing necessary wiring. His interest was aroused. He learned later that the first motion picture ever shown upon a screen was in the music halls of London, in 1895, by a man named Robert Paul, who was an inventor and operator.

Movies Flickered

The first movies attempted were unsuccessful because the film, actually a continuing series of “still pictures,” moved constantly, resulting in dancing flickers. Paul applied intermittent motion to overcome this. In 1897 a man came to Plover with the first crude Edison machine, using a limelight for projection. Mr. Barnsdale attended the show and noticed that the picture was small and indistinct. The Plover man knew that the gaslight apparatus did not have the power of the electric arc. He decided to make a portable electric plant to use in small towns. Experienced in both gasoline engines and electricity, he designed and made such a plant in his shop at Plover. He subsequently improved the early day motion picture machine by adding sprockets with gears to provide proper timing. Mr. Barnsdale recalled later that, so far as he knew, this was the first improvement on the Edison Machine. The timing speeded up the film’s exposure by lengthening the intervals of light to reduce the flicker.

At that time, near the turn of the century, the Plover man also perfected the “take-up” reel upon which film is mechanically wound after passing through the machine. He is believed to have been the first person to put this device into use. Up to that time the early day films passed through the machine and ran into a cloth sack, to be rewound afterward. The exposed curling strips of celluloid always were a fire hazard. The take-up removed this hazard as well as taking care of the film.

Invented Loop Principle

Another of Mr. Barnsdale’s inventions was the “loop” principle. This overcame a direct pull and jerking on the film, assuring a continuous regular feeding speed with a shuttling motion. He also built a projector and developed a machine and light that were unexcelled in those days. He invented an electrically operated shutter as a safety device to prevent fires. He found that even Chicago showhouses were behind the time on this point – for a while its movie houses were using shutters that were operated by foot pedal.

In those pioneering days most of the pictures were supplied with gas illumination. It was inferior to the electricity he was able to provide with his portable plant. This, he believed, did more than anything to revolutionize the art of showing movies in small towns, which were then mostly without electricity. His power plant made incandescent lighting possible in the showhouses. He also invented an electric governor for his gas engine, to regulate the power and current.

Gave First Shows Here

With these improvements, the Plover man then launched into the motion picture business. He used more slides than film at first because of an inability to buy film. He gave shows in the old G.A.R. hall at Plover, and in the school house at McDill in 1900. In 1903 he gave the first shows in Stevens Point, and in 1904 he started on the road with a complete motion Picture outfit. Usually showings were in halls where he took care of his own advance advertising and billing, arranged for sale of tickets and came back to put on the show. His lighting plant attracted attention everywhere he went.

Mr. Barnsdale had many feature pictures. Among them the San Francisco earthquake and fire; the Sino-Russian War; logging with elephants in India; whale fishing; Hagenbeck’s zoo at Hamburg Germany; the zoo at London; films of the British navy during the first World war, and the American fleets. There were also travel films, drama, and comedy pictures. He had many films in color which compared favorably with later films. He showed the Life of Buffalo Bill and The Passion Play in color.

Traveled 20 Years

The Plover man traveled for 20 years, at first by train and then by car. At one time he had an investment of $12,000 in films. He destroyed many of them when they became outdated. He often hired a piano player to add to the entertainment. As he operated his movie machine, he made appropriate accompanying explanations. Prices ranged from 10 to 25 and 30 cents, with reserved seats a dime extra.

In 1914 Mr. Barnsdale undertook the making of motion pictures and won praise for the clearness of his films, which he finished in his own laboratory. He sold some of them to newsreel concerns. He traveled for years under the dramatic name of “Barnsdale’s Vivorama.”

Never Sought Patents

Mr. Barnsdale never sought patent rights on his inventions and improvements. He believed it would be useless as well as expensive because of patent scandals in those days.

Changing times finally brought an end to Barnsdale’s Vivorama. Bigger theaters had their own machines and leased the pictures. Small towns lacked the fire prevention equipment that the state required. He traveled with the Hagenbeck Wallace circus and Ringling Brothers circus for a while doing mechanical work and also making pictures.

Then he turned to his trade of machinist and was employed for 20 years by the Whiting Plover Paper Company until his retirement in June, 1945.


Walter Barnsdale

In the death of Walter Barnsdale of Plover, whose funeral was held today, Portage County has lost one of its most colorful older citizens. Mr. Barnsdale was a true pioneer in the motion Picture industry. Although he never won national acclaim, he contributed importantly to a then budding business through a number of inventions and improvements.

This Plover veteran turned his talents to a field that was entirely new. He diligently applied his scientific knowledge to improving the mechanics of motion pictures. The “flickers” of those days, at the turn of the century, were crude by present day standards. Hollywood was still in its infancy. Mr. Barnsdale was undismayed by the problems and the setbacks in his chosen career. He put the first silent movies into many towns of Wisconsin and had the satisfaction of bringing a new form of entertainment to thousands of people.

In Retirement in recent years, Mr. Barnsdale could look back over a long life filled with many interesting experiences – far more than are encountered by the average individual. He had the satisfaction of knowing he had made contributions that were far-reaching, as some of his inventions were adopted by the motion picture industry in the ensuing years.

Portage County historians should not forget the life and the accomplishments of this veteran. He had a vision, skill and foresight and a burning desire to engineer improvements at a time when facilities were lacking. When another history of our county is written, he should have an appropriate place in its pages.

Buying this original Buffalo Bill lot is ECONOMY PROOF!Why waste your money in the stock market? It can crash regardless of anydecision you make and can even crash regardless of any decision made by the company related to the stock -Leaving you with a near worthless piece of paper that won't inspire anyone! With the purchase of historic documents such asthese original Cody pieces, it doesn't matter what happens to the economy, you'll still have the items, whichcan be displayed and enjoyed. The magnificence of art and historic documents have an inherent value that relates to civilization and society. Unless civilization itself crashes then these items will hold their value, and, if civilization itself crashes- Who'll care about money? These items are definitelyECONOMY PROOF!


☆Please write with any questions.If you're in the market for top quality originalvintage movie posters or Star Wars, then please click here

AMAZING AND HISTORIC EARLY CINEMA FIND FROM THE 1910s!!!!!!!!!!!!!. . . . . . . . . Super Early Western Movie!!!!!!!. . . . . . . . . . . . . Made LONG BEFORE the careers of William S. Hart -Tom Mix - Buck Jones and John Wayne . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . First Original Release program 1912! . . . . . . . . . . .

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