restricted access The Kaiser and the Cameraman: W.H. Durborough on the Eastern Front, 1915

Wilbur H. Durborough was an American press photographer employed by the Newspaper Enterprise Association, an agency which supplied feature news stories to the members of its syndicate, providing both pictures and text. After photographing Pancho Villa in Mexico in 1914, Durborough arranged with German authorities to travel to Berlin, eventually gaining permission to record the aftermath of German successes on the eastern front. Durborough returned to the United States and toured with the film in 1915–16. Apparently released under various titles, it proved most popular in the traditionally German-American regions of the mid-west. The National Archives received thirty-three reels of Durborough War Pictures in 1985. The paper examines the history of Durborough’s film project, and raises various questions concerning the relationship of the surviving material to the version seen by audiences at the time of the film’s release.