The Kaliska-Greenblatt Home Movies are the earliest moving images we hold documenting University of Georgia buildings and activities, Athens and Atlanta residents, and historic events which took place in north Georgia in the 1920s and 1930s. The filmmaker, William G. Kaliska (1886-1945), was a sales and promotion executive in charge of special events for Atlanta’s Coca-Cola Company. These films depict important subjects central to UGA’s history, Atlanta’s history, its Jewish community, and to Georgia at large, including:
• A 1929/30 UGA vs. Georgia Tech football game at UGA’s newly built Sanford Stadium.
• 1929 track and field competitions held at Georgia Tech, including footage of Olympic gold medalist (1928) and two-time national collegiate champion, Ed Hamm, of Georgia Tech.
• A ride on an early Goodyear airship, Defender, at Atlanta Airport, once Candler Field (land owned by Coca-Cola magnate Asa Candler). This 1929 footage also shows William Hartsfield (1890-1971), then a ward alderman, later Mayor of Atlanta, who was instrumental in the airport’s development and for whom it was later named.
• An elaborate 1931 garden party at the home of Robert and Nell Woodruff. Robert Woodruff was president of Coca-Cola, Nell Woodruff was an Athens native.
• Family of Atlanta building supply magnate/philanthropist Victor Kriegshaber (1859-1934) and scenes of “Camp Victor,” a summer camp he established for residents of Atlanta’s Hebrew Orphans Home.
• Footage of Atlanta’s first Jewish country club, Ingleside Golf Club (no longer in existence), for which very few early photos are known to exist.
• Vacation footage taken at the borders of Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky, including footage of an elderly African-American man wearing ribbons and medals (possible Civil War veteran?).
• 1929 footage of Stone Mountain (begun by sculptor Gutzon Borglum) being carved.
• The July 14, 1930 tickertape parade along downtown Atlanta’s Peachtree Street for champion golfer Bobby Jones after his Grand Slam victory. Jones created the Augusta National Golf Club, an institution important to Georgia’s sporting culture and the City of Augusta’s economy.
On one hand, these films document places and events as seen by a wealthy Jewish family whose circle included prominent Atlantans who were key to the city’s development. Most of the people shown in the films do not appear hurt by the effects of the stock market crash and the Depression and they participate fully in the Jazz Age: cloche hats, bobbed hair, and rolled stockings; young girls dancing the Charleston; Sunday afternoons watching polo matches and playing golf wearing “plus fours”; country clubs and summer camps; travel in airships; life in elite residential neighborhoods with servants in uniforms. Yet, on the other hand, the events and places filmed show the area changing from “Old South” to “New South.” For example, Stone Mountain is both famous for being the largest granite outcropping in the world, and infamous as the location for the birth of the second Ku Klux Klan in 1915. And Atlanta’s airport, then situated in wide-open rural land with a few areas of homes and roads, is now the busiest airport in the nation as Atlanta continues to lead the growth of the Southeast today.
About The Collection:
The entire Kaliska-Greenblatt Home Movie Collection as donated to us consists of 27 reels of home movies, newsreels, and commercially produced films, all on their original projection reels in their original humidor cans and Kodak boxes. All films are 16mm diacetate silent camera-original reversal black and white home movies shot on a Ciné-Kodak camera between 1927 and 1939. Of the remaining films in the collection, four of the home movie reels have been funded for preservation by private donations; eight reels are commercially produced films available elsewhere and too badly deteriorated to view; one home movie reel too badly deteriorated to handle or transfer; and nine home movies of more personal, family topics from 1941-42, which are in good enough condition to preserve at a later date.
The Kaliska-Greenblatt Home Movie Collection at the UGA Libraries’ Media Archives is the most locally significant film footage in the home movies collection. The archive has preserved many films made by Mr. Kaliska, who worked for Coca-Cola in the 1930s through 1950s. His friend Mr. Greenblatt’s films, also in the collection, document his young family but have not yet been preserved.Copies are available for viewing at the Special Collections Building by appointment only.