This home movie from the Harry and William Birch Collection shows Harry and Lucille Birch immediately following their 1917 wedding in Milwaukee, WI. Born in 1895, Harry first began filming news in Chicago sometime around 1915, and by 1919, he was a cameraman for Fox News. He continued to make news and industrial films in the Chicago and Detroit area until the 1950s.
Working at the time for both the Rothacker Film Co. and the Chicago Tribune Animated Newsreel, Harry Birch is the only known moving image cameraman to have captured the immediate aftermath of one of Chicago’s worst disasters: the sinking of the SS Eastland, on July 24, 1915. To learn more about Harry’s experiences on that tragic morning, visit our blog.