Winter Carnival Films from the 1940s

Fun in the snow at Middlebury College!  These recently digitized 16mm films haven’t been seen in more than fifty years.

This silent film montage shows scenes of the 40 meter jump on Chipman Hill, early ski trails at the Snow Bowl and the “new” 50 meter ski jump, Mountain Club outings to the winter woods, and even “aero-skijoring” on Lake Champlain. Winter Carnival the way it was in the middle of the last century!


And this newsreel, produced by Paramount Pictures in 1949, is an entertaining glimpse back into a unique moment in time.  It was shown in movie theaters throughout the country before the feature film.



Middlebury women take a snowy ride to Ripton, ca. 1940s

In this holiday-themed film clip, and part of the ongoing effort to preserve our large collection of historic 16mm films, members of the Women’s Forum of Middlebury College gather behind Forest Hall to load up holiday gifts and head to the Meeting House in Ripton. Upon their arrival (after what must have been a cold and harrowing ride in the back of a wood-slatted truck), surprisingly underdressed local children run (and slide, trudge, and sled) to meet them. The Middlebury women, joined by a costumed Santa, distribute holiday gifts.

[vimeo 113281262 w=500&h=280]

Established in 1937, the Women’s Forum was originally organized to further interest in economic, political, and social issues of the day. In 1944 the group merged with the Student Action Assembly and focused on social and service work. This clip likely dates from the early to mid 1940’s.

Happy holidays from all of us at Special Collections & Archives.