4/23/18

PALM BEACH PARTY-HARDY CIRCA 1930



Edward T. Stotesbury was a rich guy who worked for/with investment houses such as Drexel, JP Morgan, etc. There. That's all I know about Edward T. Stotesbury and it's a hell of a lot more than I knew twenty-five minutes ago when I first came upon the marvelous video posted above. It's raw footage of a party given at Stotesbury's Palm Beach estate in 1930, shot on a Fox Movietone camera which featured sound-on-film technology. Thus the orchestra you hear occasionally playing in the background is, in fact, a live orchestra playing at the party. We get whispers of 'What Is This Thing Called Love' and moments of the Gershwin's 'Mine', both new songs at the time. Lots of nice clothing. Some good smoking. Lovely flapper get-ups. (We don't, unfortunately, get to see any dancing or the orchestra itself but why carp?) This footage is a true time-machine back to a genuine 'society party' of the day, something akin to the party and setting of the Marx Brothers classic 'Animal Crackers'. Indeed, you kind of expect to see Margaret Dumont stride through the crowd. Stotesbury, by the way, was nearly wiped out in the depression. And the house that we see here was built by the legendary Addison Mizener, brother of the equally legendary Wilson Mizener. And that's all I know about Edward T. Stotesbury.

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