A children's party time capsule

BY BETH TAYLOR

In the spirit of celebrating Home Movie Day on 19 October we take a look at ‘children’s parties through time’.

Albion, Douglas: Children’s Birthday Party (c.1925)

These delightful clips from private home movie collections show how little the vital ingredients for a kids’ party have changed since the beginning of last century: cake with candles, funny hats, dancing, food, presents and games like ‘Ring-a-ring o’ roses’. We can also see fights and tears in evidence.

Equally as interesting are the things that have changed since then, such as the ubiquity of white dresses and huge white bows in little girls’ hair, and bow ties and ties for the little boys.

Take a look at some of the home movies below and go back for a trip in time. You may remember your own parties when you were younger, or catch a look at how your grandparents and great grandparents would have celebrated their birthdays.

Higgins, Bryce: Family and Holiday Scenes: 1909-1924 (c.1909). NFSA title: 278572. Please note this clip is silent

This is an excerpt of a beautifully filmed black and white silent home movie containing some of the earliest examples of home movie footage held by the National Film and Sound Archive. It was mostly filmed by Australian cinematographer Ernest Higgins and shows other members of the family.

Watch other excerpts of the film and read more about it on the NFSA’s australianscreen website.

Albion, Douglas: Children’s Birthday Party (c.1925). NFSA title: 327294. Please note this clip is silent

This short segment is one of three reels of nitrate film chronicling significant events and celebrations in the Albion family during the early 1920s.

Watch other excerpts of the film and read more about it on the NFSA’s australianscreen website.

Archibald Family: Family Scenes and Outings in Sydney (c.1932). This film was donated to the National Film and Sound Archive by Helen Phillips, the daughter of John Ernest Archibald. NFSA title: 488104 . Please note this clip is silent

This clip, shot by the Archibald family, shows a little girl’s birthday party in the early 1930s. Girls, all dressed in white dresses and with bobbed hair, play ‘Ring-a-ring o’ roses’ and ‘Oranges and lemons’ before they sit down to eat party food.

Watch other excerpts of the film and read more about it on the NFSA’s australianscreen website.

Dyer, Frederick Simpson: Children’s Party and Beach (1941). This film was donated to the National Film and Sound Archive by Joy Litherland of the Dyer family. NFSA title: 386601. Please note this clip is silent

This clip shows Janet Dyer’s sixth birthday party.

Watch other excerpts of the film and read more about it on the NFSA’s australianscreen website.

Gerakiteys: Greek Community Picnics (1950). This film was donated to the National Film and Sound Archive by Steven Gerakiteys. NFSA title: 511943. Please note this clip is silent

This film was donated to the National Film and Sound Archive by Steven Gerakiteys. The footage was shot by Emmanuel Gerakiteys and shows members of his family at a children’s birthday party.

Watch other excerpts of the film and read more about it on the NFSA’s australianscreen website.

To view all home movies available for please have a look at our access centres around Australia.

See all home movies on australianscreen.

View the Menzies Home Movie Collection and the Konrad Dimpel Home Movies collection.