Fantastic Etiquette Screen Cards for Unruly Cinema Goers In 1912

You think going to the cinema now is hard work, dealing with the smart phone users, the Nacho munchers and the language school teacher explaining to her students the Into The Woods plot in Spanish, French and whatever language they use in Hell. Well, in 1910, things were worse. In a word: hats. Back then the silent cinema was rife with bad manners. John D Scott and Edward Van Altena set about controlling the uncouth with screen cards.

The Library of Congress, describes them as words “superimposed on humorous photograph, and the whole shown in a fancy carved frame.”

And they are marvellous:


Screen shot 2015-02-21 at 21.21.43


Screen shot 2015-02-21 at 21.23.53

Screen shot 2015-02-21 at 21.23.32 Screen shot 2015-02-21 at 21.23.06
Screen shot 2015-02-21 at 21.22.43  Screen shot 2015-02-21 at 21.20.44
Screen shot 2015-02-21 at 21.26.03


Spotter: The Library of Congress

Would you like to support Flashbak?

Please consider making a donation to our site. We don't want to rely on ads to bring you the best of visual culture. You can also support us by signing up to our Mailing List. And you can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For great art and culture delivered to your door, visit our shop.