Gruenhut Family Home Movies Collection

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Collection Details

Scope and Content Note: Home movies of the Alfred Gruenhut family following their emigration to the United States, mostly filmed in Chicago, and home movies made by Joseph Gruenhut of his family, including in Atlanta, Georgia.  Alfred's papers are housed in the Hargrett Rare Books & Manuscripts Library.
Biographical Note:

Alfred Gruenhut (or Grunhut) was born February 1, 1905 in Augsburg, Germany. He was an inventor and designer. He and his family evacuated Germany prior to Kristallnacht and thus were able to keep their belongings, including a number of Leica cameras which he sold after arriving in the U.S. He arrived in New York City in August, 1937, sponsored by a distant cousin. He eventually moved to Chicago. He brought his wife, Edith, her mother and sister, and both of his parents to the U.S. by 1939.


Alfred Gruenhut worked in New York with Yermie Stern on the invention of "Talk-a-Vision," one of several "jukebox shorts" machines which enabled people to watch films in a department store or tavern, like a movie jukebox. His other inventions include a lo-jack for boats, vending machines, and an optical illusion carnival machine. Alfred was married to Edith Wortsman Gruenhut (b. May 24, 1909). Their three children - Joseph Howard Gruenhut, Harriet Gruenhut Guskin, and Michael Gruenhut - are seen in their home movies.

Extent: 28 16mm 5 8mm 29 S8mm home movies 19 artifacts (film spools and cartridges, splicers, light meters, rewind set, developer tank, etc.)
Provenance: Donated by Alfred's granddaughter Alex Kesler.

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