'The Night Before Christmas': A 107-Year-Old Film From Edison Studios

Tiny model reindeer dash across a painted, icy landscape in this technically sophisticated early film from Thomas Edison's pioneering film studio. The classic poem A Visit from St. Nicholas, aka The Night Before Christmas, comes to life with Santa Claus, reindeer, and in this version, music from the same time period. An anonymous Internet Archive user created the sound track mostly from "old cylinder recordings from the same studio and period ... all from the Archive." The film was directed by Edwin S. Porter in 1905, with text from the 1823 poem. 

For more films from the Internet Archive, visit http://archive.org/. The free digital library is currently fundraising to expand its storage capabilities. You can contribute here

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Desegregated, Yet Unequal

A short documentary about the legacy of Boston busing

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

Social Media: The Video Game

What if the validation of your peers could "level up" your life?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Video

Just In