Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). Each can contained about five cents' worth of silver;[13] the salvaged metal returned $2,000. The Republicans took Quijorna. Internally, it was divided into 48 individual vaults,[9] each enclosed behind a steel door and separated by 8-inch (20 cm) brick interior walls. The Republicans took Quijorna. [9][10] Despite the potential fire danger of stored film, the building was located in a residential neighborhood. A major fire broke out in a 20th Century-Fox film storage facility in Little Ferry, New Jersey, United States on July 9, 1937.Flammable nitrate film had previously contributed to several fires in film industry laboratories, studios, and vaults; although the precise causes were often unknown. [13] The highest-quality examples of every Fox film produced prior to 1932 were destroyed; all known copies of many movies had been stored in the facility. One death and two injuries resulted from the fire, which also destroyed all the archived film in the vaults, resulting in the loss of most of the silent films produced by the Fox Film Corporation before 1932. This decaying film stock releases nitrogen oxides that themselves contribute to the decay and make the damaged film burn more easily. Each can contained about five cents' worth of silver;[13] the salvaged metal returned $2,000. [1] The Society of Motion Picture Engineers' Committee on Preservation of Film, three months after the vault fire, cited "recent and rather extensive film fires" as evidence that existing preservation efforts had failed to adequately address the risk of fire. edit. It would be the day before the infamous fire that destroyed virtually their entire back catalog of films made before 1932. [A] The New York studio of the Famous Players Film Company burned in September 1915;[3] in July 1920, the shipping facility of its corporate successor, Famous Players-Lasky, was destroyed by a fire in Kansas City, Missouri, despite construction intended to minimize that risk. Thank you for helping build the largest language community on the internet. [13], Northern New Jersey experienced a heat wave in July 1937, with daytime temperatures of 100 °F (38 °C) and warm nights. Film storage cabinets with ventilation and cooling systems were also proposed, as was further research into improving the quality of cellulose acetate film to encourage its use as a safer replacement for nitrate film. [25], Piles of ruined film cans outside the fire-damaged vault building. Especially in confined areas, such fires can result in explosions. This film is flammable, and produces its own oxygen supply as it burns. Clipping found in The Record in Hackensack, New Jersey on Jul 9, 1937. [18] Because some copies were located elsewhere, some of Fox's silent films survive as lower-quality prints – or fragments – but more than 75% of Fox's feature films from before 1930 are completely lost. In part because of substantial variability in the manufacturing of early film, considerable uncertainty exists about the circumstances necessary for self-ignition. Hotel and café workers in Paris went on strike for a 5-day work week. The 1937 Fox vault fire was a major fire in a 20th Century Fox film storage facility in Little Ferry, New Jersey on 9 July 1937. [9][10] Despite the potential fire danger of stored film, the building was located in a residential neighborhood. Archival material intended for the Museum of Modern Art's Film Library was lost as well. [4][5] The United Film Ad Service vault, also in Kansas City, burned on August 4, 1928, and a fire was reported at Pathé Exchange nine days later. [21], The destruction of the Little Ferry facility spurred an interest in fire safety as an aspect of film preservation. [10] The local fire department confirmed Fehrs's fireproofing. Most such fires in film archives have taken place in heat waves during summer months, in closed facilities with limited ventilation, compounding several of these variables. [15], The Little Ferry vaults also held works by other film studios that had contracted with Fox for distribution. Next Image. In 1937, the Northern New Jersey experienced a high heatwave in Summer, with daytime temperatures of 100 °F (38 °C) and warm nights. The fire resulted in one death and two injuries, and destroyed all of the film present. [10][11] It took 150 men employing 14 hose streams to put the fire out by 5:30. [10] Other families were able to escape unharmed as the fire spread to five neighboring residences and destroyed two vehicles. [10] Local truck driver Robert Davison observed flames coming from one of the structure's window vents, and within five minutes, used a municipal fire alarm call box to report the fire. On July 9, 1937, a major fire broke out in a 20th Century Fox film storage facility in Little Ferry, New Jersey, United States.Flammable nitrate film had previously contributed to several fires in film industry laboratories, studios, and vaults, although the precise causes were often unknown. A major fire broke out in a 20th Century-Fox film storage facility in Little Ferry, New Jersey, United States on July 9, 1937.Flammable nitrate film had previously contributed to several fires in film industry laboratories, studios, and vaults; although the precise causes were often unknown. One was at the Fox studio vault fire in 1937, and the other fire was at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1958. They suggested that the older nitrocellulose film in the archive was of lower quality than their current film, and thus more unstable. On July 9, 1937, a major fire broke out in a 20th Century-Foxfilm storage facility in Little Ferry, New Jersey, United States.It was caused by the spontaneous combustionof nitrate filmstored in inadequately-ventilated vaults. [10] Anna Greeves and her two sons, John and Charles,[11] were caught in a "sheet of flame" while attempting to flee the area. [A] The New York studio of the Famous Players Film Company burned in September 1915;[3] in July 1920, the shipping facility of its corporate successor, Famous Players-Lasky, was destroyed by a fire in Kansas City, Missouri, despite construction intended to minimize that risk. This decaying film stock releases nitrogen oxides that themselves contribute to the decay and make the damaged film burn more easily. [B][10][14] Fifty-seven truckloads of burned film were hauled from the site to have their silver content extracted. For some actors, such as Valeska Suratt, none of their films survive;[17] "there are entire careers that don't exist because of [the fire]," according to Museum of Modern Art film curator Dave Kehr. [1] The Society of Motion Picture Engineers' Committee on Preservation of Film, three months after the vault fire, cited "recent and rather extensive film fires" as evidence that existing preservation efforts had failed to adequately address the risk of fire. The film has never been seen in its entirety since. [C][9], Although 20th Century-Fox officials at the time remarked that "only old films" were destroyed,[14] the fire is now understood as a significant loss of American film heritage. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. On 9 July 1937, a major fire broke out in a 20th Century Fox film storage facility in Little Ferry, New Jersey, United States.It was caused by the spontaneous combustion of nitrate film stored in inadequately-ventilated vaults.The fire resulted in one death and two injuries, and destroyed all of the film in the vault. [11] However, it had neither a fire sprinkler system nor mechanical ventilation, and no security guard was employed to watch the facility. [22] More heavily reinforced film vaults were suggested, to prevent fires in a single vault from destroying entire archival facilities. [1], In the earlier 20th century nearby Fort Lee on the Hudson Palisades was home to many film studios of America's first motion picture industry. Flammable nitrate film had previously contributed to several high-profile fires in film industry laboratories, studios, and vaults, although the precise causes were often unknown. 1 comment. A major fire broke out in a 20th Century-Fox film storage facility in Little Ferry, New Jersey, United States on July 9, 1937. They suggested that the older nitrocellulose film in the archive was of lower quality than their current film, and thus more unstable. Required fields are marked * Comment. On May 4, 1897, one of the first major fires involving nitrate film began when a Lumière projector caught fire at the Bazar de la Charité in Paris. In Little Ferry, gases The Fox vault fire occurred in a film storage facility in Little Ferry, New Jersey, destroying most of the silent films produced by Fox Film Corporation before 1932. 1937 Fox vault fire is similar to these events: 1965 MGM vault fire, Hamlet chicken processing plant fire, 2015 Tianjin explosions and more. [8] When Little Ferry, New Jersey, contractor William Fehrs was hired to construct a film storage facility in 1934, he designed the structure to be fireproof. A major fire broke out in a 20th Century-Fox film storage facility in Little Ferry, New Jersey, United States on July 9, 1937.Flammable nitrate film had previously contributed to several fires in film industry laboratories, studios, and vaults; although the precise causes were often unknown. A major fire broke out in a 20th Century-Fox film storage facility in Little Ferry, New Jersey, United States on July 9, 1937. Internally, it was divided into 48 individual vaults,[9] each enclosed behind a steel door and separated by 8-inch (20 cm) brick interior walls. Nitrocellulose is also subject to thermal decomposition and hydrolysis, breaking down over time in the presence of high temperatures and moisture. [8] When Little Ferry, New Jersey, contractor William Fehrs was hired to construct a film storage facility in 1934, he designed the structure to be fireproof. That's it. [6][7] Spontaneous combustion was not proven to have occurred in any of these fires, and may not have been recognized as possible before a 1933 study determined that the temperatures necessary for nitrate film to self-ignite had been overestimated. [10][13] When the fire spread to the vaults in the south and east of the building, they exploded, damaging the brickwork and blowing out window frames. share. Motion picture historian Anthony Slide called the destruction of the Fox vault "the most tragic" American nitrate fire. [B][10][14] Fifty-seven truckloads of burned film were hauled from the site to have their silver content extracted. 100% Upvoted. Also destroyed were negatives from Educational Pictures to Belarusfilm (with which Fox was then affiliated) and films of several other studios. [11][14], Little Ferry firefighters first arrived at 2:26, followed by companies from Hawthorne, Ridgefield Park, River Edge, and South Hackensack. The Lubin Manufacturing Company's vault in Philadelphia exploded on June 13, 1914, followed on December 9 by a fire that destroyed Thomas Edison's laboratory complex in West Orange, New Jersey. Film storage cabinets with ventilation and cooling systems were also proposed, as was further research into improving the quality of cellulose acetate film to encourage its use as a safer replacement for nitrate film. English: Fire damage to the residence at 361 Main Street, directly in front of the 1937 Fox vault fire. [21], The destruction of the Little Ferry facility spurred an interest in fire safety as an aspect of film preservation. The building had 12-inch (30 cm) brick outer walls and a reinforced concrete roof. Also present was the original negative of D. W. Griffith's Way Down East (which Fox had purchased with the intent of remaking),[9] the negative for the controversial Christie Productions sponsored film The Birth of a Baby[20] and films produced by Sol Lesser under his imprints Atherton Productions, Peck's Bad Boy Corporation, and Principal Pictures. [10] The local fire department confirmed Fehrs's fireproofing. [10] Total property damage was estimated at $150,000–200,000. The early motion-picture industry primarily used film stock made of nitrocellulose, commonly called nitrate film. [10][11] As the contents of additional vaults ignited, bursts of flame shot out 100 feet (30 m) horizontally across the ground from the windows, and a similar distance into the air from the building's roof vents. In part because of substantial variability in the manufacturing of early film, considerable uncertainty exists about the circumstances necessary for self-ignition. On May 4, 1897, one of the first major fires involving nitrate film began when a Lumière projector caught fire at the Bazar de la Charité in Paris. For some actors, such as Valeska Suratt, none of their films survive;[17] "there are entire careers that don't exist because of [the fire]," according to Museum of Modern Art film curator Dave Kehr. [10][11] As the contents of additional vaults ignited, bursts of flame shot out 100 feet (30 m) horizontally across the ground from the windows, and a similar distance into the air from the building's roof vents. Film fires Fox vault fire 1937. At some time shortly after 2:00 a.m. on July 9, spontaneous ignition occurred in the vault at the building's northwest corner. [10] Total property damage was estimated at $150,000–200,000. "Fox Film Storage Fire". Most such fires in film archives have taken place in heat waves during summer months, in closed facilities with limited ventilation, compounding several of these variables. In the United States, a series of fires occurred at industry facilities. [10][11], Davison then attempted to awaken the residents of the surrounding houses, many of whom were already alerted to the situation by the noise and intense heat. Article about 1937 Fox vault fire, p. 1 Author: [23][24] By the 1950s, the use of nitrate film in the United States had been essentially eliminated. [10] Other families were able to escape unharmed as the fire spread to five neighboring residences and destroyed two vehicles. The entire wiki with photo and video galleries for each article Exploding vaults had destroyed segments of both the exterior walls and interior partitions and had deformed the structure's concrete roof. The fire resulted in one death and two injuries, and destroyed all of the film in the vault. [13] The highest-quality examples of every Fox film produced prior to 1932 were destroyed; all known copies of many movies had been stored in the facility. [15] Tom Mix made eighty-five pictures with Fox, most of which were archived exclusively at Little Ferry. The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. Share. Just better. 75% of all 20th Century Fox films from before 1930 were lost. I've often daydreamed of traveling back in time to 8 July 1937 and finding a way to sneak into the Fox Film vault in Little Ferry, NJ. Under the right conditions, nitrate film can even spontaneously combust. [1], In the earlier 20th century nearby Fort Lee on the Hudson Palisades was home to many film studios of America's first motion picture industry. [10], Film processing company DeLuxe Laboratories owned the building[12] and rented it to 20th Century-Fox to store the silent films acquired from Fox Film Corporation after its merger with Twentieth Century Pictures. On July 9, 1937, a major fire broke out in a 20th Century Fox film storage facility in Little Ferry, New Jersey, United States.Flammable nitrate film had previously contributed to several fires in film industry laboratories, studios, and vaults, although the precise causes were often unknown. The resulting blaze caused 126 deaths. Name * Email * Website. Quarterly of the National Fire Protection Agency 31 (2): 136–142. [2], Large and dangerous fires sometimes resulted. Quite the same Wikipedia. [11] However, it had neither a fire sprinkler system nor mechanical ventilation, and no security guard was employed to watch the facility. Date: 9 July 1937: Source (1937). Sign in to disable ALL ads. 1937 Fox vault fire: part our commitment to scholarly and academic excellence, all articles receive editorial review.|||... World Heritage Encyclopedia, the aggregation of the largest online encyclopedias available, and the most definitive collection ever assembled. 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