This reel of advertisements made by Orris D. Brown showcases several Houston businesses circa 1936 that acted as sponsors for a program put on by a Sunday School class, the Darcas Class, at Houston's North Side Methodist Church. An advertisement for W.E. Woodruff company captures scenes of the construction workers laying bricks for an elementary school in the Southgate neighborhood of Houston, likely what is now Oran M. Roberts Elementary which still operates in the building built in 1936. Other business sponsors include W.T. Matthews Meat Market, O.S. Brown Service Station, B.A. Passmore Groceries, American Marketing Co.'s Regal Gasoline and Motor Oil, Morse Funeral Church, Fonville's Drug Store, Sunshine Laundry, and Spencer-Sauer Lumber Co., all located in the downtown district of Houston. Scenes of employees and daily operations are included. The digital preservation of this film was made possible by a grant to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image and the Houston Public Library from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Orris Dorr Brown was born in 1890 in Henderson, Texas. He married Edna Myra Webb in 1923, and together they traveled domestically and abroad teaching cake decorating techniques using edible sugar. Brown became interested in filmmaking in the early 1930s and began filming scenery and sites as he traveled. Texas became the focus of many of his films, and he traveled extensively throughout the state to document historical figures and locations, most notably scenes of Uncle Jeff Hamilton, Sam Houston's personal slave (watch this film in the TAMI library). In 1936, Brown filed for a U.S. patent for a Moving Picture Machine through which to view films. He moved into professional filmmaking as an employee of Empire and Superior Studios in the 1940s and 50s to film full-length pictures. Orris D. Brown was a Shriner and a Free Mason. He passed away in 1965.
The digital preservation of this collection was made possible by a grant to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image and the Houston Public Library from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.