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Finding aid available online
Nitrate reference copies available online
John R. Freuler film companies collection of visual materials [graphic].
Freuler, John R., 1872-1958.
[ca. 1910-1930]
Phys. desc: 
5550 photographic prints : b&w ; 14 x 22 in. and smaller.
26 photomechanical prints : col. ; 11 x 14 in. and smaller.
2 photomechanical prints : b&w ; various sizes.
6 negatives : b&w ; 8 x 10 in.
20 negatives : nitrate ; 8 x 10 in.
Nitrate negatives restricted from access, see reference copies instead.
Advance appointment required to view color material in cold storage or negatives in cool storage; please email
Visual materials pertaining to John Freuler, the American Film Manufacturing Company, the Mutual Film Corporation, and other Freuler companies based in Chicago, Illinois, with production studios in Chicago and later in Santa Barbara, California. Primarily still images relating to 339 motion picture films. Most images are believed to be movie stills (copies of frames from the moving picture films) but may include some photographs shot on the sets during production. Especially well represented in the collection are the actresses Margarita Fisher and Mary Miles Minter, and the films: The Blue Moon, Easy Millions, Fighting Gentlemen, A Light Woman, Love Past Thirty, and Payment Guaranteed. Other image materials include promotional materials such as color lobby cards, marketing booklets, and advertising broadsides. Also included are several drawings, including a pen and ink cartoon drawing of John Freuler, and copies of silent film title cards and typewritten pages detailing a portion of the collection's contents.
The collection also includes photographs of company buildings, studio grounds, production and shooting, post production and film processing, as well as actor portraits and portraits of Freuler. A photograph of Charlie Chaplin with Mr. Freuler signing their 670,000 dollar production contract in 1916 is in Box 3, Folder 4.
Finding aid: 
Finding aid available online.
John Rudolph Freuler (1872-1958), a Wisconsin native, was one of the founders of the American Film Manufacturing Company, which later became the American Film Company (popularly known as the Flying A Studio), and subsequently, the Mutual Film Corporation. Based in Chicago, the company was a major production studio in the late 1910s and early 1920s. Chicago was the location of film production as well as business and administrative functions until 1913, when production moved to the company's new facilities in Santa Barbara, California, and administrative and distribution offices remained in Chicago.
Other copy: 
Nitrate reference copies available online.
Digitization and preservation of the nitrate negatives was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Related materials at Chicago History Museum, Research Center, include the John Rudolph Freuler papers. Chicago History Museum also holds some related artifacts.
Gift of Jessie Walker Griggs in August 1990 (1990.0826).
Subject per: 
Freuler, John R., 1872-1958.
Chaplin, Charlie, 1889-1977
Subject corp: 
American Film Manufacturing Company
Mutual Film Corporation
Subj topic: 
Actors -- 1910-1929. lctgm
Actresses -- 1910-1929. lctgm
Motion picture actors and actresses -- 1910-1929. lctgm
Motion picture industry -- Illinois -- Chicago -- 1910-1929. lctgm
Motion picture studios -- California -- Santa Barbara -- 1910-1929. lctgm
Motion pictures -- Production and direction -- 1910-1929. lctgm
Subject geo: 
Chicago (Ill.) -- Commerce -- 1910-1929.
Santa Barbara (Calif.) -- Commerce -- 1910-1929.
Cellulose nitrate negatives.
Film negatives.
Film stills.
Photographic prints.
Photographic prints -- Color.
Photomechanical prints.
Photomechanical prints -- Color.
Portrait photographs.
Gelatin silver prints.
Chaplin, Charlie, 1889-1977
American Film Manufacturing Company
Mutual Film Corporation
Copy/Holding information
Call No.CollectionStatus 
1990.0826 PPLPhotos-Use white callslipChecked In
1990.0826 PPN-0387Photos-orig negative-Advance notice requiredAdvance Request
1990.0826 PNNPH-orig neg. nitrChecked In

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