- ¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 2
- The occupations of medium and photoplayer intersect in significant ways, and it is no coincidence that women began performing in public as spirit mediums and photoplayers at the same time. Here I demonstrate that both professions were ones in which women could not only fully participate, but were thought by many to be better suited than men for the work at hand. I argue that the highly gendered educations and expectations of women in the nineteenth century, intended to prepare women for domesticity, were, ironically, exactly the training they needed to succeed as professionals in the early twentieth century as mediums and photoplayers. (Leonard 2018b) The sensitive nature assumed of women contributed to the idea that women were inherently better conduits for spirit communication and selecting appropriate music for film. (Gutierrez 2009, 4) The fin-de-siècle code of morals that held up accomplished women—that is, those properly trained for domestic responsibilities, which included music-making—as respectable models provided mediums and cinema accompanists with considerable power in determining the ethics and practices of their workplaces. (Welter 1976) The physical practices of these professions allowed for both embodiment and disembodiment on the parts of the women who performed, and this liminal state created new kinds of influence and the capacity for taste-making in heretofore concealed ways. Finally, the public interest in new technological developments was essential for the creation of the photoplayer and assisted mediums in attracting those who wished to mechanically verify their activities. Ultimately, I argue that the emergence of professions in which women’s participation was suddenly allowed and even vehemently supported—mediumship and photoplaying—allowed women to shape the way filmic supernatural entertainments developed.
¶ 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 16. This study draws primarily on the experiences of and information about white women. There are several reasons for this. The first of these is the institutional racism present in the historiographies of the United States. Just as the hierarchies of historiography have traditionally privileged historical records documenting men’s work and lives over women’s, they privilege the work and lives of white women over those of women of color. Despite the efforts of archives to preserve the documents of black, Asian, Latinx, First Nations, and other communities of color, the fact remains that primary source materials in the cultural history of the United States are overwhelmingly those of white people. Thus, while scholars have digital and physical access to both large and small white newspapers from all over the country, for example, we have only limited access to even the most important black newspapers. I have found even less little archival material related to spiritualism or photoplaying in Asian, Latinx, or Native American communities; I am always seeking contemporary accounts of women of color who performed as mediums or as cinema musicians, and am for readers to contact me with resources and suggestions for locating further information. Census records, often an excellent source of information about occupational training and employment, include more detailed and correct information on white residents of the United States than those of color (Shryock and Siegel 1980, 262), and other government sources have only very limited materials documenting the lives of people of color. The National Archives only began to collate information on its holdings regarding black Americans in 1947, and has been woefully underfunded (Hill, Jr. 2016). The multiple diasporas of people of color, such as the Great Migration, which took place between 1916 and 1970, caused the displacement and loss of many records and histories.
¶ 6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 17. Cultural differences also account for the disparity between whites and people of color in spirit mediumship and cinema accompaniment. Women of color were relatively rare as spirit mediums during this time period. Elizabeth Pérez, whose work tracks unique cultures of religious hybridity in Afro-Cuban religions that allow for spirit communication, notes that for many black Americans whose religious upbringing was Christian, spirit mediumship was a direct contradiction to Biblical edicts. (Pérez 2011) This is not to say that there were no black female mediums. Hoping to revive earlier, short-lived black spiritualist movements and to take advantage of renewed interest in the religion in the 1910s, medium Leafy Anderson founded the Eternal Life Christian Spiritualist Association in 1913. (E. S. Clark 2016, 5) Anderson’s work led to the development of the spiritual church movement, in which precepts of spiritualism, black Baptist and Pentecostal worship practices, and Catholic tenets, such as the belief in and praying to saints, are all used. Facing institutional racism from the National Spiritualist Association of Churches in the 1920s, however, the black spiritualist movement splintered into various factions and dissolved; today only about a dozen black spiritualist churches are in operation, most founded after 1930. (Baer and Singer 2002, 194)
¶ 7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 18. Political ideologies also played a role in discouraging women of color—black women in particular—from becoming professional cinema musicians. The philosophy of “racial uplift” was omnipresent in black communities during the time period considered here, and as Kevin K. Gaines has written, this ideology meant that that simply matching the artistic successes of whites was not enough for Americans of color to be considered equals: they had to be better. (Gaines 2012, 13) Playing for the pictures was a reputable and desirable job for white women, but black musicians—both men and women—were taught to aim for more traditionally elite careers in their musical ambitions. W. E. B. DuBois’s periodical The Crisis continually championed black composers and performers of art music and heralded their successes in its “Uplift” section, which was dedicated to demonstrating the value of black America as a whole through the work of educated blacks. DuBois specifically highlighted the ways in which black musicians received more effusive critical praise, were contracted for or programmed on more performances, or were otherwise more successful than their white colleagues. Managers of black composers and musicians worked tirelessly to promote their clients and book them into concert venues that could house mixed-race audiences, frequently sending them to Europe, where black musicians were given positive receptions they would not have experienced in much of the United States.
¶ 9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 American musicians of color adopted and advocated for music composed by Europeans of color, creating considerable transatlantic support for composers Samuel Coleridge Taylor and Amanda Aldridge.
¶ 10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 19. Because of the much higher value the black community placed on concert performance, playing in the cinema was not a profession of status for black American musicians. A report in The Crisis from January 1911 decried the conditions that forced a recent graduate from the Chicago Conservatory of Music to take a job playing “in a low concert hall in one of the worst sections of the city, from 8 in the evening till 4 in the morning” for just $18 a week, when other female musicians of color were touring in Europe and making records. (The Crisis 1911, vol. 1 no. 3 (January 1911), 24) In comparison, a church organist could reasonably to make $500 a year for playing services only, and up to $1200 a year if they also taught music at the church or directed the choir. (The Churchman 30 (October 30, 1909), 639) The Chicago Defender, a leading black newspaper, also stressed the greater significance of concert appearances and performances of classical music over those of cinema musicians or those performing in vernacular traditions. It was not until the very end of the silent era in 1927 that the Defender’s music critic began discussing musical accompaniment for film as an acceptable form of employment in music and a legitimate topic of discussion for readers interested in the arts. (Peyton 1927)
¶ 11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 20. Black women do not seem to have worked as photoplayers as frequently as white women did. This could have been because of this emphasis on attaining concert careers for musicians, but it could also stem from the fact that in much of the country, cinemas there were far more white-owned and –operated theaters than those owned and/or operated by blacks. These white-managed cinemas hired white musicians and, while they allowed black audiences, they kept audiences segregated by relegating people of color to the balcony. Black vaudeville houses began showing films in the 1910s, where they were accompanied by the house musicians, usually all-male bands. In addition, black cinemas were often the targets of community and competitor discrimination and more extreme forms of mistreatment. In 1914, The Crisis wrote that despite the outstanding new theaters being built for black audiences in black communities, they were not always safe places. “A crowd of two hundred white men wrecked a moving picture house for colored people in Jackson, Miss.,” reported the journal. “They ran the ticket seller out of the office, cut the wires, disconnected the moving picture apparatus and locked the doors.” (The Crisis 8 no. 4 (August 1914), 168) Events like this were not uncommon, and as a result, cinema employment became viewed as potentially too dangerous for women of color.
¶ 12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 21. Instead, black cinemas appear to have employed individual men as keyboardists and men’s and boys’ bands to accompany films. These bands, many of them developed out of the male confraternities that were active in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in black communities, consisted of players from a wide range of musical training and aptitude. The confraternity bands—which might be a brass band with vocal soloists one day and an ensemble of singers with a pianist the next, depending on the event—performed for weddings, funerals, cotillions, parades, charity fundraisers, and in the theaters. Although many of the musicians in the confraternity bands and the groups that came out of them remained amateurs, those with the required talent and drive became professionals. Throughout the Midwest, ensembles of three to eight players from confraternity bands provided music for black cinemas, sometimes alternating parts of a screening with professional pianists or organists. All-male military bands also participated in community music-making, including playing for the cinemas. Chicago’s Eighth Regiment Band, comprised of soldiers in Illinois’ African-American military regiment, made itself available for engagements in the movie theaters, at dances, and other gatherings, and members of the regiment bands formed independent ensembles to play for the pictures as well.
- ¶ 13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0
- As a framework for this chapter, I use Barbara Welter’s scholarship on “true womanhood.” As Welter has documented, middle- and upper-class white women growing up in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century in America were expected to attain what Welter calls “true womanhood,” which “sought to assert that womanly virtue resided in piety, purity, submissiveness and domesticity.” (Welter 1976, 21) Women who were “true,” as displayed through their speech, dress, accomplishments, religious habits, education, and general decorum, could be entrusted with a home’s spiritual life and maintenance of its economics, hygiene, and servants; the raising and teaching of children; and the ability to positively influence those around them in regard to taste and the appreciation for the arts, primarily those of the established Western European canon and its legacies. While in the nineteenth century the true woman was not, generally speaking, allowed employment outside of the bounds of domestic servitude, teaching, or limited religious work, the women of the early twentieth century experienced more freedom in career choices and opportunities that still allowed for them to maintain their status as morally upright. These new professions and the assumption of true women as guardians of morality became symbiotic: women need work that would not compromise their reputations, and emerging forms of entertainment needed employees whose presence bestowed at atmosphere on respectability on the endeavors. Both movie theaters and spiritualist séances fell into this category of entertainment. In the case of the latter, as Molly McGarry writes, women “appropriated the characteristics that had been used to deem women unfit for public life—piety, passivity, and purity, and transformed them into ideals of spirituality.” (McGarry 2008, 44) Photoplayers did much the same, becoming the symbol of a superior movie theater and turning “women’s music” into the sound of the cinema. In both cases, adoption the attributes of true womanhood allowed women who would likely not otherwise have been employed to have jobs in performance, a profession often regarded poorly by those of the middle and upper classes. As a result of this employment in the entertainment industry, mediums and photoplayers had the opportunity to influence public taste and expectations in their specific areas of entertainment, and to contribute to the broader concept of the supernatural entertainment in general.
- More than half of all spirit mediums in the United States were female, and, particularly after the United States entered the Great War in 1917, it is likely that the majority of photoplayers were women. The spiritualist movement was begun by and immediately recognized by women as a way for them to have a voice in religious and other matters where they had previously been silenced. Women had long been keepers of supernatural practices and knowledge; one need only look, though, at the history of cunning women to see how this information was used against women. With the advent of spiritualism as an acceptable religion, however, women found a safe place to participate in activities that might have been deadly only decades before. In much the same way, female musicians—mostly keyboardists—had been the designated performers and keepers of specific kinds of music. Music composed for women, including parlor songs and short, characteristic pieces meant to musically describe specific things or ideas, had been relegated to the home: proper, well-to-do women (with the exception of a very few virtuosos) did not perform in public, and certainly not for pay. This tradition of restricting the music-making of the middle and upper classes has been traced by Candace Bailey, whose forthcoming Women, Music, and the Performance of Gentility in the Mid-Nineteenth Century South describes the apparent dichotomy between professional women musicians and those for whom playing outside of the home was inappropriate behavior as being rooted in structures of misogyny and male control of female creativity and self-reliance. (Bailey 2019) Women who performed in public in the late nineteenth century were, as Beth Abel Mcleod writes,
¶ 14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 initially associated with “low-brow” entertainments, such as vaudeville and burlesque; in addition, the average nineteenth-century theatergoer suspected that many actresses were prostitutes. [….] Contemporary magazine and newspapers sought to reassure readers of the “normalcy” of female artists, and did so by describing their traditional marriages and family lives. (Macleod 2015, 2)
- ¶ 17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 1
- Neither the spirit medium of the 1900s nor the photoplayer would have had the opportunity for careers without the technological advances of the late nineteenth century. Although mediums had been practicing as entertainers in America since the Fox sisters’ founding of the form in the middle of the century, new technology helped revive flagging interest in spiritualism. With the coming of greater—but not exact—public understanding of electricity and other natural phenomena, Americans sought quantifiable systems of belief. The desire for such understanding often overlapped with long-standing non-scientific beliefs that refused to die. Gutierrez explains that one prevalent belief system was based on gender essentialism:
¶ 18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 1 Electricity operated according to gender divisions: women’s “naturally” weaker and more excitable nature indicated that they were negatively charged and therefore attractive to the positively charged spirits. This electrical division of labor accounted in part for why the majority of Spiritualist mediums were women. (Gutierrez 2009, 53)
¶ 19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 Simone Natale traces the connection between women, electricity, and the performance of the uncanny to the “spectacles of clockwork automata, a common attraction since the late eighteenth century. The performance of trance mediums was certainly impacted by the display of a mechanical agency performing rational acts, such as the famous chess-playing automaton.” (Natale 2016, 38) Mediums who allowed themselves to be possessed by spirits took the place of the automaton, becoming instruments of electricity; they employed mechanical means of indicating spiritual presence, such as playing with phonographs and tipping tables; and they could also seek to prove their credibility through the many mechanical devices invented to trace electrical, spiritual, and ectoplasmic currents. (See Fig. 2.1)
- ¶ 21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 1
- ¶ 21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 1
- At the same time, the rapid spread of moving picture technology created the need for cinema musicians. Although a few early film critics believed that music and sound detracted from the experience of watching motion pictures, most industry figures had come to an agreement in the 1910s that music, sound effects, and sometimes the performance of voices were crucial elements of successful movie shows. As the popularity of movie theaters grew, so did the need for accompanists and for musical instruments suited to the cinema. Women who played the piano and organ easily found employment in theaters, as did those who could quickly learn to handle the many varieties of electronic instruments developed for moving picture accompaniment. Carrie Hetherington, a classically-trained musician, helped invent and sell the American Photo Player Company’s Fotoplayer. (See Figs. 2.2a and 2.2b and following video, “Ghost Parade,” played by Joe Rinaudo on a style 20 Fotoplayer.) With the Fotoplayer or similar instruments, theaters could boast of being the most technologically up-to-date venues for the world’s newest form of mass entertainment.
- ¶ 26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 0
- Audiences for the movies were enormous, and managers and owners responded by increasing their use of technology throughout their theaters. Organists playing enormous Wurlitzer organs rose from the floor on hydraulic lifts; performers using the Fotoplayer or similar instruments had interludes between reels of film or between films in which they gave featured solos for the audience; and photoplayers used a mix of pre-recorded sounds with live playing to create a mosaic of music and effects, all carefully selected to match the movement and emotion on the screen.
- The technologies used by (and in the case of “test” mediums, who tried to prove their mediumship scientifically, on) women in these professions were crucial in providing them with work. They permitted women to undertake specialized performative jobs at a time when most new technology remained firmly in the hands of men and male-dominated institutions. In some cases, as I will discuss below, women’s use and promotion of new technologies clearly enhanced their performances and contributed to their professional successes and influence.
- ¶ 28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 1
- Both mediums and photoplayers were subjected to the same social criteria as other women of the period. However, as performers, they were scrutinized with extra intensity. White society had long deemed performance careers unacceptable for women, with the exception of some actresses and virtuoso musicians. Because they were in the public eye, mediums and photoplayers had to demonstrate their true womanhood through their professional work. This could be a burden on top of their other responsibilities, but could also have a positive effect on their careers, and, broadly speaking, women in both fields became signifiers of morality in the entertainment industry, widely considered to be corrupt and degrading.
- The ways in which mediums and photoplayers exhibited their true womanhood differed somewhat, but their practices were always designed to lead audiences to the same conclusions: that these women were representatives of morality and that their participation in their chosen spheres of entertainment imbued those spheres with propriety for their audiences. Iconography of spirit mediums depict a number of tropes that denoted visible means of identifying true women. Images of spirit mediums from the 1910s and 20s show women in conservative dress, often white, with their hair up. They wear clearly corseted dresses; many spirit appearances tried to convince séance sitters of their authenticity by letting the sitters feel their hips, proving that they were not wearing corsets. They wear no apparent makeup and, in an attempt to emphasize their youth and innocence, frequently wear large bows redolent of the nursery in their hair or on their clothes. Some mediums went barefoot, ostensibly to show that they had nothing hidden in their shoes, but in many cases in order to untie knots or open locks when they were bound up prior to a séance. (See Fig. 2.3)
- In addition to asserting their morality through the theoretical argument that only women practicing the principles of true womanhood could be an efficacious medium, women’s performances at their séances often emphasized feminine traits. The semiotics of these physical gestures assisted mediums in gaining the trust of their audiences and of putative believers. Among female mediums, the young and those who had experienced lengthy and/or serious illnesses were favored as innocent and sensitive conduits for spirit communication. McGarry has documented that young girls “held a privileged and foundational place in Spiritualist practice.” She continues
¶ 31 Leave a comment on paragraph 31 1 Older women who were frequently ill or prone to swooning were also considered to be prime candidates for mediumship. Mediums Minnie Harris Wallis and Edward Walter Wallis, for example, note that women who tend to faint are more suited for “trance mediumship,” in which the medium falls to sleep for a time and regains consciousness having obtained messages from the dead. While at one point sickly women would have been ensconced in the care of a male doctor, rest home, or other limiting convention or institution, as mediums they could escape patriarchal limitations: “For many Spiritualists, small-group communalism took the place of institutionalized religion; alternative healing replaced male-dominated medicine; and the voices of priests and ministers were drowned out by those of the spirits themselves,” states McGarry. Women who found their way into spiritualist circles rather than hospitals and sanatoriums were participants in a social movement that allowed them to deny “basic categorical binaries the distinctions between men and women, science and magic, life and afterlife, the past and the present. They repudiated the power of experts and the necessity of mediating hierarchies at a time in which these forces were taking on a renewed cultural importance.” (McGarry 2008, 19) This gave them agency where none had existed before, permitting them to make decisions about their own lives and bodies.
- ¶ 32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 4
- Acquiring the trappings of the elite classes also signified true womanhood status and the moral authority it bestowed. Women wishing to become “speech mediums” are encouraged to take elocution lessons, a popular pastime for ladies of the middle and upper classes, so that even if the spirits with whom they converse do not speak English well or have thick accents, the medium would always be able to communicate clearly with her audience in a pleasing voice. (McGarry 2008, 158-9) Mediums were further directed to avoid “promiscuous” séance groups and to avoid communicating with vain, sinful, and negative spirits, just as they would avoid having interaction with such people in their everyday lives. Instead, they were expected to converse with only the dead of their own class or above. (McGarry 2008, 161) By presenting themselves as genteel and non-threatening true women, spirit mediums relied on communal expectations for proper ladies to ensure that they created and maintained good reputations even while they broke societal taboos.
- Demonstrating these attributes of true womanhood helped overcome potential controversy about the physical activities of mediums while in their trance states. As Judith R. Walkowitz has written, “trance conditions legitimized a wide range of ‘bad behavior’ on the part of women, allowing them to engage in a subtle subversion—but not repudiation—of the ‘separate sphere’ construction of ‘true womanhood.’” (Walkowitz 1988, 9) A woman of good standing in the community who began each séance with hymns was certainly not behaving poorly if, when she was under the control of the spirits, she was flirtatious and sat in the laps of the male séance attendees; nor was the true woman betraying her upbringing and ideals if she wrote of intimate details while in a writing trance.
- However, spiritualists had to be very careful in walking the line between spiritualist beliefs and the code of true womanhood. Julian Holloway has written that despite free love being a frequent tenet of spiritualism in the nineteenth century, “spiritualists wished to project a respectable image for the movement wherein spirituality and sexuality must be diametrically opposed.” Thus, mediums “continually negotiated an empowered/powerless duality” in which their morality had to be of unquestionable truth, even as their performances were “infused with and achieved through embodied relations, performance, and affectual sensations.” (Holloway 2006, 183) Laurence Moore has found that when opponents of spiritualism suggested that mediums were unnatural or that mediumship was improper for women to participate in, spiritualists responded by claiming that “successful mediumship grew from the cultivation of specific traits that in the nineteenth century defined femininity.” Indeed, the “success of spirit communication depended on the ability of mediums to give up their own identity to become the instruments of others. Self-sacrifice and passiveness were among the things that made for the moral superiority of women over men.” (Moore 1975, 202–3) A guide for mediums from 1910 warns would-be practitioners that they must come to the faith honestly, for otherwise they may make contact with dangerous, dishonest spirits or—worse—make no contact at all and be taken for a fraud. (Wallis and Wallis 1976, 47)
- Modeling the behaviors of true womanhood also protected female mediums against skeptical men looking to spend time with young women for prurient reasons rather than because they believe in spiritualism. “Women who are truly pure and intuitive,” wrote one early guide for mediums, would know when “lecherous hypocrites” seek them out for immoral pleasure and will know to turn them away. (U. Clark 1863, 184) Wallis and Wallis stressed that mediums should strive for the same attributes that all women did in hoping to attain “true womanhood.” They were to be “high-souled”: to cultivate compassion and pious belief in spiritualism; to be pure in belief and behavior; to keep records of their professional activities; to create safe and welcoming spaces for their clients and see to the needs and wants of that space and its inhabitants; and serve others before themselves. (Wallis and Wallis, 49)
- While the true woman was expected to have a basic education and be literate and numerate, a formal education was not considered necessary for spirit mediums. However, mediums who read widely and were up-to-date on current events, gossip, and popular culture had an advantage over those who did not. Mediums were “developed,” to use the language of the day, not educated. Indeed, the believability of a medium often rested on her lack of known or formal education: to be known to speak or write well and in multiple styles suggested cunning rather than authenticity on the part of the medium. McGarry has observed that “little girls were seen as ripe for mediumship in part because of the cultural assumption that they were passive, guileless, and incapable of producing feats of skilled speech or writing through normal means,” and any (known) advanced schooling cast doubt on their truthfulness in claiming to communicate with the dead. (McGarry 2008, 32) The wise medium, though, was well-informed on a wide range of topics that would assist her in giving convincing performances. Writing in 1920, Hereward Carrington described mediums using popular assumptions about their lack of skills or education to deceive séance sitters. “The medium often assumes a certain ignorance of events and languages, etc., so that when the se events are given through the ‘spirits’ at the séance, they will have the appearance of supernaturally imparted information.” (Carrington 1920, 62) Being capable of reciting large portions of the bible or hymns was useful in passing on messages from a religious spirit to its family; being able to write with both hands in different styles demonstrated that a medium was in contact with multiple entities; reading of the newspaper (especially the obituaries) and local trade publications gave mediums information their clients assumed they would not have. (Farrington et al. 1922, 14–15, 196) Undisclosed skills in drawing and playing musical instruments let mediums channel spirits into making portraits of sitters’ loved ones and play the guitar. (See Fig. 2.4)
- The household training that was required for true womanhood also offered women knowledge that they could use in their performances to solidify their reputations as mediums. Domestic science, in particular, helped mediums develop and perform physical effects during séances: the 1915 book Secrets of Clairvoyance: How to Become an Operator provides mediums with the means of making writing magically appear on a slate, make colored smoke appear and disappear at will, and to create fire they could handle with bare hands, all from everyday materials. (Anon. 1915, 37–38) The author of Revelations of a Spirit Medium provides the recipes for unguents mediums could use to walk safely—albeit briefly—on red-hot iron bars and other tricks. (Farrington et al. 1922, 98) Understanding how magnets worked made it possible for mediums to control the outcome of spirit-guided pendulums and other objects; basic anatomy, such as women were expected to know as preparation for child and elder care, and knowledge of the placebo effect allowed them to perform as healing mediums.
- Proponents of the tenets of true womanhood intended to create a homogenized, dependent, submissive, primarily housebound class of women. The application and enforcement of these values themselves constituted widespread subjugation for women, and as such, it is not surprising that women were attracted to spiritualism. Spiritualism allowed women to be independent, to speak out, to travel, to associate with others who held beliefs like their own. At the same time, spiritualist women could often escape censure of their activities by demonstrating that they too followed the path to and practiced the various aspects of true womanhood, thus allowing mediums to benefit from a social model that was intended to suppress them. The case is remarkably similar to that of female musicians. Women rose to the top of the profession and remained there in a position of unique power.
- The profession of cinema musician was compared in status alongside those of schoolteachers, nurses, stenographers, and executive secretaries, and women working as film accompanists made, on average, twice that of a stenographer and 20-25% more than public high school teachers. (“Union Scale of Wages and Hours of Labor, Union Scale of Wages and Hours of Labor, May 15, 1921: Bulletin of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics,” No. 302; American Organist 3 (1920), no. 7, 263; no. 9, 339) Like mediums, photoplayers were expected to exhibit true womanhood. Again, image played a role in establishing a photoplayer’s morality. Photoplayers also tended towards conservative dress and hairstyling; a 1925 article in American Organist jokes about the bobbed-hair trend among women organists, suggesting that it is a distraction. (American Organist 8 no. 12 (December 1925), 417) The stock image of a woman dressed in long sleeves and skirts with her hair up became a stereotype for cinema players nationwide and persists today. In the large, ornate theaters dubbed “motion picture palaces,” where photoplayers were celebrities and a large part of the draw for audiences, women dressed in fashionable evening gowns or other clothing that communicated their elite status. (See Fig. 2.5.)
- Numerous mentions of female photoplayers include information on their church or synagogue memberships, jobs, or activities, signifying their piety. The criteria used to judge women is epitomized in this short article from The American Organist in September, 1919, that lists the subject’s church and civic activities and her good taste:
¶ 34 Leave a comment on paragraph 34 0 One of this Chapters [sic] busiest members is Miss Wilhelmina Woolworth, our present secretary. As organist and musical director of All Souls’ Church, Watertown, she is continually busy with her chorus choir the weekly service list at this church being well arranged and appropriate in the selections used for both choir and organ. In addition to her church duties Miss Woolworth is a very active member of the Watertown Morning Musicales Society, taking some part in most of its monthly concerts, and is also organist of the Olympic Theatre, Watertown, where she plays a three manual Austin organ. In this field Miss Woolworth displays both skill and good taste in “playing” the pictures, a most desirable accomplishment not invariably found in the “movie” palaces. (American Organist 1 no. 9 (September 1918), 483)
¶ 35 Leave a comment on paragraph 35 0 Other aspects of true womanhood, such as a willingness to work hard, were also valued. “An organist who enters the portals of cinema house leaves leisure behind—no more afternoon siestas,” wrote the American Organist. “An organist who sits down and plays ninety minutes without interruption has done more actual playing than most church organists do in a much longer period. An organist who plays twenty-eight shows per week works harder than one who plays two services and one rehearsal and who does not practice regularly.” (“Photoplay Accompanying,” American Organist vol. 2 no. 8 (August 1919), 333.) The periodical—an influential one among cinema musicians of all kinds, not just keyboard players—followed its own criteria closely when evaluating cinema performers. In his review of her playing, American Organist writer Roy L. Metcalfe describes Kathryn Flynn of the Florence Theater in Pasadena, CA, as “a vigorous worker, never relaxes her attention, [and] uses a great deal of excellent music.” (Roy L. Medcalfe, “Photoplaying,” American Organist vol. 8 no. 11 (November 1925), 394.) A Jessie Gunn, whose true womanhood had landed her the position of chairman of the hospitality committee of the Woman Organ Players Club of Boston, was hailed as a model organist in her position at a cinema in New Bedford, MA (“News and Notes,” American Organist vol. 9 no 3. (March 1926), 77); a review of Vera Kitchener noted her sense of purpose, diligence in preparation, duty to the picture, and dedication to her work. Miss Esther Staynor, a cinema organist in Spokane, WA, is heralded for her devotion to practicing: “in fact after playing her 7 hours a day she lingers for an hour or two of practice after the audience has gone home.” (“News and Notes, ”American Organist vol. 5 no. 4 (April 1922), 148)
- ¶ 36 Leave a comment on paragraph 36 1
- The social paradigms for moral purity for female photoplayers are very similar to those for mediums, and were used both by photoplay employers and the performers themselves to construct the nascent cinema as a morally healthy place of entertainment. As I have written elsewhere, women were often hired as film accompanists at the piano or organ for the sake of a theater’s propriety even before managers seriously considered their musical abilities. (Leonard 2018b) A woman accompanist was viewed as an imprimatur of morality and cleanliness in a cinema, and women were often hired as film accompanists at the piano or organ for the sake of a theater’s propriety even before managers seriously considered their musical abilities. A properly “accomplished” pianist—in which “accomplished” broadly signified the gender (female), class (middle or above), and relative musical skill (a basic facility with the instrument and the ability to read music) of the performer—was a boon to any establishment wishing to distinguish itself as a proper place of family entertainment. As R. H. Pray observed in July of 1914, a theatre with a “slovenly outward appearance,” and posters that were “of a vulgar and suggestive type,” where music, “furnished by a piano and violin, gave vent with a tin-pan crash to all the ragtime pieces that were known as popular by the young people [mostly men and boys] who visited the place” was put out of business as soon as “a large, neat and commodious building,” with a “pipe-organ, as fine as any church in the neighborhood could boast of, was installed, and good music beside this was also furnished in the way of an accomplished [female] pianist” opened in the same neighborhood.
- Tasteful piano or organ playing of limited virtuosity was a marker of domesticity and a proper upbringing, and thus also part of true womanhood. Photoplayers displayed this training by selecting for film accompaniment music that was of classical origin and morally appropriate; that is, music that did not, like many claimed of swing and jazz, enflame lust, celebrate the discarding of traditional gender roles and behaviors, or promote or glamorize other misdeeds. The presence of appropriate music in the movie theater, like the woman who made it, was intended to convey morality and social uprightness. Writing in 1919, the American Organist wrote, “The work of the organist in the cinema field is equally important with that in the churches so far as cultural influence goes: possibly it is even more important, when we consider the freer reign and broader audiences of the former. Just how any healthy influence can be organized in support of this vital work is still a process very much in the dark.” (“Cinema and the Organ,” American Organist 2 no. 3 (March 1919), 113.)
- Cinema musicians were expected to play music that had an obvious connection to the scenes shown, and were expected to drawn from the classical canon; to rely too heavily on popular song or jazz was to corrupt the picture. “This thing about playing ragtime in all theatres is rot,” wrote agent Sidney Steinheimer, who frequently advertised for “organists of high-class ability” who could bring a “better class” of music to the picture palaces. (American Organist 2 no. 5 (May 1919), 212.) The musical education of middle- and upper-class American women had prepared them especially well for this kind of work. While only a handful of women trained and were successful as concert musicians, almost all women of these classes received musical training in which the Western art canon and a body of music known as “parlor songs” made up the curriculum.
- The cultivation of musical and other artistic talents, such as elocution or writing and painting, was an essential part of a young woman’s education. Such abilities were meant to be practical in nature, rather than fulfilling on a personal level. As Petra Meyer-Frazier has documented,
¶ 37 Leave a comment on paragraph 37 0 American girls—or, to be more specific, white middle- and upper-class girls—of the nineteenth century learned to play the piano. It was an expected social skill and was considered a necessary preparation for courtship and marriage. The music they were expected to play was, by and large, of the parlor song variety. (‘Parlor song’ is a term used to connote popular piano-vocal sheet music from the nineteenth century intended for home use.) The songs are melodically and harmonically straightforward and short, three to five pages. (Meyer-Frazier 2006, 46)
¶ 38 Leave a comment on paragraph 38 0 Such music was intended for in-home use, with groups of friends singing or performing privately for one another. Parlor songs were also frequently instructional teaching young women how to achieve “true womanhood,” the process through which they became prepared and suitable for marriage and motherhood by addressing courtship rituals and behavior. E. Douglas Bomberger has further observed that the editors of The Etude magazine, among others, believed that “salon music was a step in developing taste just as pedagogical music was a step in developing technique.” (Bomberger 2004, xiv) Women contributed a significant amount of music to the magazine, some of which was then used in cinema accompaniment.
- ¶ 39 Leave a comment on paragraph 39 1
- Through their study of the piano or voice, cookery, and keeping household accounts—both in prose and in numbers—women attained states of piety, purity, submissiveness, and domesticity, all of which, as Meyer-Frazier notes, gave women authority in “nurturing children and instructing and guiding religious morality.” (Meyer-Frazier 2006, 47) This authority contributed to the ability of women to take on the roles of arbiters of morality and taste as spirit mediums and photoplayers; the repertoire women learned prepared them to succeed as musicians as well.
- Julie Hubbert has written that the classicization of moving picture music came about under the leadership of European-trained cinema composers and orchestra directors such as Samuel L. Rothafel (later Rothapfel) and Hugo Riesenfeld, but the highly gendered training of female pianists in the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries clearly also played a role in this process. (Hubbert 2011, 22) Women whose upbringing during this period had included traditional piano lessons and who had been taught song and opera repertoire and short, descriptive, characteristic pieces that worked well in cinematic accompaniment were especially well prepared for the work. Such pianists also often had a repertoire of popular songs at hand, as music publishers marketed these for playing at home by women. It is ironic that women accompanists, initially hired for their gender and the social signifiers it conveyed, were uniquely qualified as cinema pianists and, later, organists, partly because of the gendered treatment to which they had been subjected. (Judith Tick, “Passed Away is the Piano Girl: Changes in American Musical Life, 1870-1990,” in Bowers and Tick 1986, 327) (Chapter 2 discusses this repertoire and its use in the cinema in greater detail.)
- The same gender essentialism that paradoxically helped create women as the ideal cinema accompanist carried over into their critical reception as musicians. Here women were both hailed as indispensable to the success of moving pictures while simultaneously being labeled as “girls,” a revealing term that speaks to their relative place in the hierarchy of power and influence within most cinemas. In an issue of Motion Picture Magazine from March 1914, Stanley Todd, a regular commentator on music for the cinema, described women as more emotional and passionate players, making them appropriate accompanists for film. Film, he claimed, needed performers with three essential skills found primarily in female accompanists: technical skills, a sensibility about romantic and dramatic repertoire, and a willingness to put the success of a picture before personal ego. Reporting from Denver, he noted that the
¶ 40 Leave a comment on paragraph 40 0 theatres are large, the entrances dazzlingly brilliant, and like as not you will find a wonderful pipe-organ, ready in an instant to change its song of sadness to paeans of joy. It is in Denver, too, where a mere slip of a girl presides at the console of one of these, great instruments, and each night plays, with her heart and soul, to the finest of screen projections. [….] In this way, music lends its valuable aid in interpreting the gamut of emotions, which only the picture can bring into play with that subtle power that has been one of its secrets of success. (Motion Picture News 1914a)
¶ 41 Leave a comment on paragraph 41 0 A theatre manager noted that good playing could bring in audiences for even poor pictures: “I’ve got a little girl in front of that music box that can shake out more ragtime a minute than any two others. The way that girl can hammer the ivory is marvelous.” (Motion Picture News 1914a) Some critics derided the “hammering” aspect of cinema players, but could not deny the need for capable performers.
- ¶ 42 Leave a comment on paragraph 42 0
- Clarence E. Sinn, who edited the “Music and the Picture” column for Motion Picture World, also hinted that female performers, because of their suitable taste in music, could elevate both a picture and the audience, culturally speaking. “Your remark that the character of your music depends on the taste of your public is well put,” he wrote in response to a female organist’s query about what to play for certain pictures. “But I think that we should cultivate that taste so far as possible. [….] When your audience likes a better grade of music, give them the best you can.” Many managers found that a thoughtful, competent female pianist would draw in bigger and (socially) better audiences than many male organists or ensembles who were more interested in displaying their technical skills and less interested in the art of playing to the picture. Reporting on the success of the Madrid Theater in New York City, Motion Picture News noted that the “musical program of the Madrid is entrusted to Miss Lillian Greenberg, who is a graduate of a Leipsic [sic] conservatory of music. She has made the incidental music accompanying pictures a matter of neighborhood comment.” (Motion Picture News 1914b) That women were “entrusted” with the musical accompaniments in a movie theatre, including newsreels, shorts, and feature films, suggests that while they may have been looked upon as “girls” lacking in experience and wisdom, they were nonetheless responsible for crafting the tone in which audiences received news, enjoyed humorous animations, and understood drama and action on the screen. Evidence in the form of letters from female accompanists to the popular film magazines’ columns on photoplay music; published accounts of their scoring suggestions; reports on performance practice by critics; and reviews of accompanists across the United States all testify to the extent to which women were the arbiters of musical accompaniment in the cinema. Collections of cue sheets and other materials owned by professional female accompanists such as Claire H. Hamack and Adele V. Sullivan demonstrate that they frequently made changes to printed cue sheets and magazine recommendations to incorporate repertoire they already owned and knew. (See Fig. 2.6) Accompanist Hazel Burnett compiled her own scores using sheet music and pieces cut from Melody and The Etude interleaved between pages of her photoplay albums. (Leonard 2018a)
- When the United States entered the war in November 1917, women were afforded additional opportunities as cinema musicians as male musicians went to war; their status consequently increased as they made their competencies clear. In August of 1918, The Film Daily reported that the state of Wisconsin ordered “a general suspension of all orchestras,” noting that this was “being done as a war measure to release every available man for war work. The theatre managers came to a decision last week and will hereafter retain but one man in each house to furnish music.” (The Film Daily 1918a) Moving Picture World reported similar measures in Missouri, where “Musicians Must Work or Fight.” “Every professional musician who is not engaged in connection with legitimate concerts, operas, or theatrical performances,” read the act, “will be forced to enter other vocations to go to the front.” (“Music for the Picture” 1918, 1120–21) Women created scores and cue sheets for themselves as individual accompanists and as the leaders of cinema ensembles; improvised and composed new music for accompaniment; and engaged in the debates surrounding the kinds of repertoire best suited for motion picture accompaniment. As mediums had done, women rose to prominence as photoplayers and from their position of power, wielded considerable power over taste and the development of the film score.
- ¶ 45 Leave a comment on paragraph 45 1
- There were, however, drawbacks to sustaining the true womanhood paradigm as a performer, including the expected submission of the body and mind to the larger task at hand. This submission made the work of mediums and photoplayers nearly imperceptible in their own performance spheres, leading to contemporary and present-day ignorance of their effect on filmic supernatural entertainments. The demands of true womanhood meant that despite the public nature of their work and the fact that their physical presence denoted morality, photoplayers and mediums had to make their individual selves secondary or even tertiary to the primary spectacles of their performances. While they evinced their piety and purity through their spiritual activities and modest behavior and demonstrated their domesticity through their abilities to play music and create welcoming spaces, they were nonetheless independent working women, and were necessitated to play down that independence in order to assuage public fears of and assumptions about middle- and upper-class women in employment. This meant assuming or being forced into the same kind of bodily inconspicuousness other middle- and upper-class women experienced during this period: that they should be essentially unseen except in certain domestic settings or activities, should be decorative but not ostentatious, and should restrict their gestures and movement to acceptable norms as dictated by society.
- Although the physical presence of the medium and photoplayer lent their respective entertainments the air of morality, their independent and performative use of their bodies remained problematic. Ironically, then, the primary way in which both mediums and photoplayers manifested their submission was through metaphorical disembodiment. Although women in both professions remained physically present and often in full view of their audiences, their bodily agency was abnegated by the requirements of their work. Mediums who stayed at a table during a séance and those who were closed up in “spirit cabinets”—often just areas of a room that had been curtained off, rather than the elaborate boxes meant to restrict movement that are cited in the testing of mediums—gave their bodies over willingly to spirit use or even full possession. In doing so, they submitted their bodily autonomy to the control of the spirit(s) they channeled, allowing the spirits to use the mediums’ bodies as tools for communication, movement, and touch. The spirit who inhabited a medium’s body or took control of her voice was the focal point of a séance, and therefore commanded the attention of the audience over and above their attention to the medium herself. Even in séances where mediums became physical with the séance sitters, stroking or caressing them, sitting in their laps, allowing or encouraging them to touch the medium’s body, or otherwise interacting with them physically, it was the spirit that was in control, using the body as a prop. The actions of the spirit were what mattered in these supernatural entertainments; all else was superfluous. The body itself did not matter: the presence of the spirit did.
- Likewise, cinema musicians were assigned to the role of being the unseen conduit of equally an unseen music art in the service of the visual medium of the film. Although at some of the large motion picture palaces the musicians became celebrities in their own rights, the vast majority of cinema musicians were tucked away out of view of the audience, leaving sound as the only evidence of their presence. Pianists and organists had to see the screen and had to be visible enough that the audience knew that there was a woman present, but they were shunted to the side of theaters or the wings of the stage, where they were camouflaged by curtains or consoles. Ensembles too were situated far to the side of the screen or placed in a small pit, usually located far below the stage so as to be virtually invisible. Logistically, part of this placement may have come from ensuring that the audience had a clear view of the screen from all vantages in the house, but multiple theaters built for all-male orchestras place the musicians front and center without destroying sight lines. Women musicians in particular were conceived of as transmitters and reproducers of music composed and/or selected by men, even when that was not the case. As Macleod documents,
¶ 46 Leave a comment on paragraph 46 0 women’s potential as composers was not nurtured with the same seriousness as their playing ability. The words creative and reproductive were frequently invoked to distinguish the composer from the interpreter, the general assumption being that it was of more value to create than to interpret. Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler’s teacher, Leschetizky, expressed an extreme version of this belief when he said that immediately after an orchestra plans a piece of music, the room should be darkened and a picture of the composer displayed on a screen, which the audience could then applaud. […] Well into the 1900s, the periodical Musical American regularly featured articles that solidified the idea that women were incapable of musical composition, with titles like “Women Composers’ Limitations” and “Women Composers: Walter Damrosch Doubts If They Will Ever Achieve Greatness.” (Macleod 2015, 62–63)
¶ 47 Leave a comment on paragraph 47 0 As such, they were, like mediums, often reduced to props or automatons through which the messages and creations of others were transmitted to audiences. Only in a handful of cases are the women themselves credited with and commended for the original creative work they do as accompanists for the silent film, and they are exceptions.
- ¶ 48 Leave a comment on paragraph 48 0
- Cinema organists were further disembodied by their own industry by the emphasis placed on the instruments in the cinema. Numerous reports in American Organist that mention women in cinema jobs describe the instruments—make, model, number of manuals (keyboards), and other features—installed in the theaters, ignoring the performer’s musical selections, playing abilities, or other artistic issues. The AGO, at least, was more interested on keeping current with what theaters had what kinds of organs than who was playing them and how. We know, for example, that Gertrude Dowd played a Wurlitzer at the Albee Theater (American Organist 10 no. 8 (August 1927), 210), that Grace Madden played a three manual Moeller at Loew’s Brevoort Theater (American Organist vol. 10 no. 8 (August 1927), 212), and that Josephine Whitney of New York played a Miller instrument at her job at an unnamed theater (American Organist vol. 3 no. 6 (June 1920), 222), but the American Organist does not deem it worthwhile to discuss their musical selections, accompanying philosophies, or recent activities, all of which it does when it profiles male performers.
- Women who played in ensembles were widely considered novelties. Their appearances in cinemas were publicized, but press coverage of women in instrumental or conducing positions in theaters generally focuses on how unusual the woman or women in question are, focusing on costumes, for example, in all-women’s orchestras, or on how such women maintained both performance careers and their home life. An article on the film The Good Little Devil, for example, essentially classifies an all-woman orchestra as a “stunt” (an event or element of an event designed to be a curiosity and create marketing excitement) for the film’s premiere: “The large stage of the Belasco Theatre was crowded with floral decorations, where were seated a large orchestra, comprised entirely of women, who rendered appropriate music that harmonized with the picture.” (Motion Picture News 1913) No names of the performers are given, and no music is identified. Another news story told of a similar stunt, in which, while showing films that included information the role of women in the military, the cinema owner “has made arrangements for a showing of the picture at one of the big Broadway houses and during its run the entire staff of the theatre will be composed of women, including the publicity staff, orchestra, and attendants.” (The Film Daily 1918b) Again, no specific women are mentioned. The conundrum of women’s dis/embodiment in the séance and the cinema meant that even as women were championed as the most appropriate people to serve as mediums and photoplayers, their actual labor was relatively invisible. This support without artistic constraints or even much criticism gave them the power to develop supernatural entertainments as they saw fit, drawing on their own experiences, beliefs, and expertise.
- ¶ 50 Leave a comment on paragraph 50 0
- Séances and the scoring of films were jobs in which women, working under similar conditions, had critical input. Individuals in each profession helped shape the expectations for performances in these fields of entertainment, creating tacit standards and expectations for both séances and the musical accompaniment of moving pictures. Because women in both fields functioned first as authenticators of morality, they were able to develop the creative aspects of their work autonomously; at the same time, this meant that their influences on supernatural entertainments have been unrecognized from both popular and scholarly points of view. Close study of the power dynamics and practices of the séance and silent cinema, however, reveals the fact that women working as spirit mediums and photoplayers selected their own sonic and musical accompaniments to represent the presence of the spirits in both the séance and on film. Female mediums chose the hymns they used, the tunes the spirits played and on what instruments, the records the spirits selected for the phonograph, and any other sounds used by the dead to communicate with the living. Photoplayers did the same: even in cases in which films were shipped to theaters with cue sheets, the women in charge of creating the scores for films edited or ignored such suggestions, relying on their own knowledge of what music and sound effects would work best to accompany the action or mood onscreen. Together, mediums and photoplayers developed a set of sonic and musical signifiers for the supernatural and supernatural entertainments.
- While it is currently difficult to directly cite instances in which composers for sound film experienced the sounds and music of séances, there is little question that many of those who rose to prominence as composers for Hollywood movies in the early sound era had at some point attended a film in which music influenced by the séance was used to signify the supernatural. In numerous cases of music for the silent spirit film, it was female mediums who had originated the sounds and music, and female photoplayers who used, elaborated on, or further developed that material into scores for a wider public. Although there were more musical works for the cinematic supernatural published by men, women accompanying spirit films were in charge of making the selections for their scores, and applied their aesthetic judgment in deciding that those works were representational enough of the medium’s art to be sufficient to communicate the right atmosphere or setting to an audience. As music magazines and journals began to publish more works by women, those chosen to appear in print often referenced areas in which women had dominion—including the nursery, the schoolhouse, and the séance. In addition, because women, when encouraged to compose, were encouraged to do so in the style of the short, characteristic, technically moderate manner of the works that had been prescribed as appropriate for them to play, their works were frequently selected by female photoplayers as appropriate for cinema work: short, easy to learn, and well-suited for setting a mood or describing a time, place, or character. In the following chapter, I examine individual pieces of music used in séances and cinemas, and analyze the sounds of the spirit in the theater.
¶ 56 Leave a comment on paragraph 56 0 Bomberger, E. Douglas. 2004. An Index to Music Published in the Étude Magazine, 1883-1957. Music Library Association Index and Bibliography Series 31. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press; Music Library Association.
¶ 58 Leave a comment on paragraph 58 0 Carrington, Hereward. 1920. The Physical Phenomena of Spiritualism: Being a Brief Account of the Most Important Historical Phenomena, with a Criticism of Their Evidential Value. American Universities Publishing Company.
¶ 62 Leave a comment on paragraph 62 0 Farrington, Elijah, Charles F. Pidgeon, Harry Price, Eric John Dingwall, and A. Medium. 1922. Revelations of a Spirit Medium; Facsimile Edition, with Notes, Bibliography, Glossary and Index. London : K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & co., ltd.; New York, E. P. Dutton & Co.
¶ 65 Leave a comment on paragraph 65 0 Hill, Jr., Walter B. 2016. “Institutions of Memory and the Documentation of African Americans in Federal Records.” National Archives. August 15, 2016. https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/1997/summer/institutions-of-memory.html.
¶ 68 Leave a comment on paragraph 68 0 Leonard, Kendra Preston. 2018a. “Cue Sheets, Musical Suggestions, and Performance Practices for Hollywood Films, 1908-1927.” In Music and Sound in Silent Cinema: From the Nickelodeon to The Artist, edited by Ruth Barton and Simon Trezise, tbd. London: Routledge.
¶ 69 Leave a comment on paragraph 69 0 ———. 2018b. “Women at the Pedals: Female Cinema Musicians during the Great War.” In Over Here, Over There: Transatlantic Conversations on the Music of World War I, edited by William Brooks, Christina Bashford, and Gayle Magee, tbd. Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press.
¶ 70 Leave a comment on paragraph 70 0 Macleod, Beth Abelson. 2015. Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler: The Life and Times of a Piano Virtuoso. Music in American Life. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press.
¶ 73 Leave a comment on paragraph 73 0 Moore, R. Laurence. 1975. “The Spiritualist Medium: A Study of Female Professionalism in Victorian America.” American Quarterly 27 (2):200–221. https://doi.org/10.2307/2712342.
¶ 78 Leave a comment on paragraph 78 0 Natale, Simone. 2016. Supernatural Entertainments: Victorian Spiritualism and the Rise of Modern Media Culture. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press.
¶ 79 Leave a comment on paragraph 79 0 Peyton, Dave. 1927. “The Musical Bunch: How to Play Picture Music.” The Chicago Defender (National Edition) (1921-1967); Chicago, Ill., August 13, 1927, Movie and Stage Department.
¶ 80 Leave a comment on paragraph 80 0 Pérez, Elizabeth. 2011. “Spiritist Mediumship as Historical Mediation: African-American Pasts, Black Ancestral Presence, and Afro-Cuban Religions.” Journal of Religion in Africa 41 (4):330–65. https://doi.org/10.1163/157006611X604760.
¶ 91 Leave a comment on paragraph 91 0 “Union Scale of Wages and Hours of Labor, Union Scale of Wages and Hours of Labor, May 15, 1921: Bulletin of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, No. 302. | Fraser | St. Louis Fed.” n.d. Accessed November 3, 2017.
¶ 92 Leave a comment on paragraph 92 0 Walkowitz, Judith R. 1988. “Science and the Seance: Transgressions of Gender and Genre in Late Victorian London.” Representations, no. 22:3–29. https://doi.org/10.2307/2928407.