Galveston Cyclone and Tidal Wave - 1900



This panorama was made from frames of the film described below.

(from the Library of Congress)

From Edison films catalog:    This picture shows the remains of one of the docks, several freight cars being piled one upon the other, while the most interesting part of the picture shows two schooners literally smashed one into the other, forming a most picturesque mass of wreckage. 40 feet. 6.00.

Part of The Galveston Cyclone series (Edison films catalog): At the first news of the disaster by cyclone and tidal wave that devastated Galveston on Saturday, Sept. 8th, 1900, we equipped a party of photographers and sent them by special train to the scene of the ruins. Arriving at the scene of desolation shortly after the storm had swept over that city, our party succeeded, at the risk of life and limb, in taking about a thousand feet of moving pictures. In spite of the fact that Galveston was under martial law and that the photographers were shot down at sight by the excited police guards, a very wide range of subject has been secured. The series, taken as a whole, will give the entire world a definite idea of the terrible disaster, unequaled since the Johnstown flood of 1889. The following pictures are all copyrighted and fully protected by law. They are made from the original negatives taken at a great expense, and expressed to us immediately after they were taken. We will prosecute anyone who copies or uses copies of these films. These films are now drawing immense crowds at Eden Musee and Proctor's vaudeville houses in New York City. Procure these films and increase the receipts of your exhibitions. This great disaster which has startled the entire world, has made an indelible impression on the minds of the public, and everyone will be interested in seeing authentic moving pictures of a representative American city almost entirely wiped out by the combined power of water and wind. The films we list below are genuine, and ours are positively the only animated picture films secured while the city of Galveston was in a state of chaos.


Library of Congress - American Memory


Panorama of wreckage of water front / Thomas A. Edison, Inc. ; producer, Albert E. Smith.

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Title in Edison films catalog: Panorama of wreckage on water front, Galveston
Variant title in C. Musser: Stranded schooners on Galveston Beach

United States : Edison Manufacturing Co., 1900.

Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 24Sept1900; D18560.

Camera, a.

Duration: 0:59 at 16 fps.

Filmed ca. September 11-19, 1900, in Galveston, Texas.

Sources used: Copyright catalog, motion pictures, 1894-1912; Musser, C. Edison motion pictures 1890-1900, 1997, p. 637; Niver, K.R. Early motion pictures, 1985; Edison films catalog, no. 105, July 1901, p. 14-15 [MI].


Natural disasters--Texas--Galveston.
Flood damage--Texas--Galveston.
Galveston (Tex.)--History--20th century.

Smith, Albert E., production, camera.
Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)

1 reel of 1 (ca. 50 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm. ref print.
1 roll of 1 (ca. 50 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm. paper pos.

FEB 9400 (ref print)
LC 1774 (paper pos)


Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division Washington, D. C. 20540 USA

edmp 1774 urn:hdl:loc.mbrsmi/edmp.1774