Wake Forest Historical Museum

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Wake Forest in 1939

Waters Capture

In 1939, itinerant filmmaker H. Lee Waters arrived in Wake Forest to shoot film of local residents, edit the footage into a feature length movie, and then charge folks to see themselves on the silver screen.

Waters made many Depression Era films of this sort throughout the Carolinas, Georgia, and Virginia. In an article from Duke University’s Office of News and Communciations, the films are recognized as historic documents worthy of preservation.

The entire Wake Forest film is preserved in DVD format at the Wake Forest Museum. This footage, featuring members of the local town and college communities, is just a small sampling of the images shot primarily outside the Wake Forest schools, in the business district on South White Street, and near the college campus. The music is from the 1939 Lomax Field Recordings housed at the Library of Congress.

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