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Boy Scouts, Chicago, and That Darn Film Projector

Technology, giving movie audiences trouble since 1920...

"The Boy Scout leaders did not mess up your movie!" This was the cry heard 'round Chicago's Hamilton Park 100 years ago today.

On July 2, 1920, Chicago-area Boy Scouts were having a delightful Field Day. Exhibit tents that explained their work were a highlight as was the day's schedule of events. Less successful was the evening screening of Knights of the Square Table, a movie Thomas Edison made with the Boy Scouts of America in 1917. ⁣

According to suburban reports, the screening "was marred by the inability of the operators of the machine to produce sufficient power." What a nice way to say the New Era Film Company was incompetent!⁣

Further throwing the business under the bus, so to speak, the scout leaders exclaimed they "were in no way responsible for the disappointment" of the evening and it was those that "furnished the picture, machine, and operators" who failed to do their job.⁣

Oh, movie technology, giving us trouble since 1920...



  • "Scouts Big Field Day at Hamilton Park." Suburbanite Economist (2 Jul 1920).


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