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one encounters today when arriving on Am- trak’s Southwest Chief), and miss their de- parting train. Their subsequent antics were shot when the Biograph Company, return- ing to New York City after wintering in Los Angeles, halted here to allow D. W. Griffiths to film one of his epics. Mack Sennett and the company’s comedy troupe made good use of the spare time that provided them. The voice-over commentator for one ver-


sion of this film, Tom Gunning of the Uni- versity of Chicago, an authority on early film-making, observes that the Santa Fe’s cooperation demonstrates the company rec-


ognized both the value of trains in promot- ing tourism, and the value of film in promot- ing the railroad. The troupe even manages to “end the film with a bit of very obvious product placement” (see the receding tail sign). The Tourists demonstrates another value


DESCHUTES DRIFTWOOD / NATIONAL FILM PRESERVATION FOUNDATION


of such films. Shot on location, it offers in- sight into such things as the rituals sur- rounding the arrival of a first class train, the activity common on an early passenger plat- form, and the length to which the Harvey Company went to replicate Native American architecture and settings. In Deschutes Driftwood (1916), a ten- minute film from Ed- ucational Films Cor- poration of America, intended to teach the downside of life as a hobo, we also get a travelogue on early railroading in the rugged Deschutes River Canyon of cen- tral Oregon, along the path of Oregon Trunk Railroad, a joint operation of Northern Pacific and Great Northern. Here, an actor, ap- parently a vagrant released from jail just to make the film, portrays a hobo on the move. The film opens with him grab- bing a drink of water


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