Would You Like to See Samoa?

April 16, 2014

It is spring break for some this week, but it definitely doesn’t feel like sunshine and Mai Tais today in Philadelphia. For those of us stuck at our desks, here is a short clip from our archival film collection to get you dancing and thinking of vacation!

Shot in 1940, this travelogue film documents the voyage of an avid traveler and amateur filmmaker, Mrs. J. Shipley Dixon, across the Equator to American Samoa, Apia British Samoa, Tahiti, Panama, Columbia, Haiti, and ending back in Philadelphia. Titled “Reel No. 4: Oceania (1940),” the silent film captures many colorful scenes throughout Dixon’s journey including a ship ritual play called “Neptunus Rex” in the first scene, a three toed sloth hanging around (at 20:28), a bullfight in Bogota, Columbia (at 27:23), and the trip ends with a beautiful sunset over the ocean. Jealous yet? Well wait, while Mrs. Dixon had an amazing vacation to the South Pacific and west coast of South America, she did return home to a snowy Philadelphia in mid-April!

Still what a vacation!

(Note: The full-length video does contain some nudity and suggestive content.)