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Catalog Number 2014.064.058
Object Name Film, Motion Picture
Title Air Trips 1941 to 1958, Belle Isle Aerial
Scope & Content Silent color 8mm film containing footage shot by and of Chester J. Selden of during several trips on airplanes between 1941 and 1958. Much of the footage was shot through the windows of airplanes, and includes aerial shots of Detroit's east side, Belle Isle, Lake Erie, the Mackinac Bridge, the Soo Locks. The footage also includes some video taken from ground level of Detroit City Airport, Cleveland Airport, Willow Run Airport, Windsor Airport, and around Amos, Quebec.

The first portion of the film records a trip aboard a small plane from Detroit City Airport to Cleveland Airport. The film begins with shots of Pennsylvania Central Airlines airplanes at Detroit City Airport. Then through a plane's window, the camera captures an aerial view of neighborhoods on Detroit's east side between the airport and Belle Isle. The camera rolls as the plane passes over Belle Isle's eastern trip, approaching from the north. As the plan continues south, the view becomes of Canadian farm land, Point Pelee, and Lake Erie. The filming resumes as the plane touches down at Cleveland Airport. The film includes shots of the airfield from out the planes window, shots from inside the airport's terminal, and shots of planes landing and taking off.

The next section of the film begins at Willow Run Airport with a shot of a plane's propeller spinning up, as shot through one of the plane's windows in the winter. The camera rolls as the plane passes above General Motors' Detroit Transmission Division, and then above rural areas and the clouds. Then the camera shoots passing trucks from the plane's window after it has arrived at an unidentified airfield. After a shot of another plane taking off shot through the window, the videographer's plane takes off again, and a shot of the clouds follows.

The next shot is taken out of a plane's window at Windsor Airport with no snow visible on the ground. As the plane taxies for take-off, the camera catches the "Hiram Walker & Sons" sign along one of the airfield's fences. Among the following shots of farm land passing beneath the plane is a shot of Detroit's skyline in the distance. A brief clip shows the plane landing again, but by the next shot the videographer is in flight again. Another plane passes by the window.

Following aerial shots of a city along a shore, a pan on the ground across a small town on the side of a lake, and shots of rural roads, Chester Selden and an older man are filmed beside French and English signs in Amos, Quebec. The following shots include the St. Teresa of Avila Cathedral on the skyline, the Harricana River, Roger Carriere Incorporated, and a drive along Amos' First Avenue. The filming then continues through the windshield of a car driving along a dirt road. The camera then pans around a small airfield and gets separate shots of a Trans-Canada Air Lines airplane on the field.

In the next shot, a plane is shown landing at a larger airport. Again a Trans-Canada plane is on the field. After more shots out the window of cities and lakes, the camera rolls as the plane flies above the Mackinac Bridge, and then the Soo Locks. The remainder of the film consists of further shots out the window of the plane of unidentified expanses.
Date c. 1941
Year Range from 1938
Year Range to 1941
People Selden, Chester J.
Extent of Description 00:11:02
Collection Transportation
Search Terms Belle Isle
Aerial views
Mackinac Bridge
Soo Locks
Detroit City Airport
Willow Run Airport