Incredible footage from 1929 of old folks born in the 1800s

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While doing some genealogical research, I came upon the death record of a lady in England who had been born in 1820 and died in 1925. Virtually everything which is the foundation of our daily lives today was invented in her lifetime; paved roads, railroads, shipping powered by engines, not sails, electricity, radio, flight, cars, modern cement for buildings, telephones … the list goes on. Gas lights and indoor plumbing (modern, not Roman) may have predated her birth, but not by much. It was a busy 100 (and a bit) years.


One of my neighbors is a gent in his early '90s, still tack sharp and a great shade tree debater.

Just last year I found out that as a Boy Scout, he was an attendant at the 1938 reunion of Gettysburg veterans. So I’m talking once or twice a week to a man who talked to many of those who fought the Civil War.

History is often not as far away as we think it was.


Seeing wonderful sprightly older people in the year 1929 reminds you that the idea that people of the past didn’t live as long as they do today is usually based on averages. It seems there have always been some people who lived to a very old age and yet many people (myself included at times) have the idea that living past 80 is some sort of miracle of modern science.

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It’s official! Missouri is pronounced Missoura.


The miracle was living past 5.


Curious as to the audio - it seems astoundingly good considering the vintage and manner of recording. I have to believe that there was some after-the-fact dubbing.

it’s interesting how they all speak as if they were just doing audio, since they were all used to gramophones and the like by then, but not necessarily BOTH audio and video combined. i love the lady in the first clip who says, “well, the first 100 years were the hardest part.” haha.

and in the second clip, first interview, that man in back has the most glorious, enviable mustache i’ve ever seen. i want one like that.


Haha! Kansans jokingly pronounce it miseree.


Was like watching my friends and I get together, only there weren’t any hooch bottle being passed around.


I always thought they should change their slogan to Missouri Loves Company!


Well, the use of piped-in natural gas for heat and light in homes goes back around 1700 years to abotu 300CE. Piped-in natural gas for light goes back to 500BC.

Yep, I used to work at a military hospital, and some of our older folks were amazing.

I still remember one older lady - she was one of the first Army flight nurses, received her degree from Henry Ford, had a friend that worked for Patton (she had an opportunity to meet him, but turned it down at the last second because he was apparently really intimidating IRL) and was actually briefly captured by Nazis (they took over her medical unit and tried to force them to treat their injured - I love the fact that the whole unit agreed to lie and say they were out of morphine while they were treating them… Until a British SAS unit rolled through and killed the Nazis).

She was a real trip.


Realize this: Betty White is older than sliced bread.


The person doing the restoration is pretty clear on other videos as to when there’s nat sound/ambience added. The restorer is skilled at time correction, which in combination with audio noise reduction processes, yield some remarkable results. It’s a complex process and requires a deft touch, but this example provides evidence that it can be done.

It’s interesting to note that the microphone elements of the day were fairly narrowband (just like the handset microphone on a traditional telephone), so some harmonics are not captured. As a result some of the voices sound higher/twangier/nasal-er to us than than they would have sounded if we were there in person.


This is marvelous where can I get more? :smiley: What a time capsule, so many fascinating characters.

Start making recordings of your daily life, using your cars and smartphones and whatnot so that people in 150 years or so have something incredible to watch.


This. I encourage my family to make videos instead of taking still pictures. “Wouldn’t you love to see your great-grandparents goofing around on a video, rather than just sitting there looking stern?”


I’m guessing you remember a world without Internet. After we are dead, people won’t be able to imagine it.
“They had electricity? What for?”

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We aren’t as far removed from this era as we often think. Two of President John Tyler’s grandchildren are still alive. There are sons and daughters of slaves still among us. The last living person verified to have been born in the 19th Century died less than a year ago at age 117.