Historic Newsreel Freezes 12 Million Moments in Time

Mon Oct 13th, 2003
By Michelle Green

LONDON (Reuters) - A collection of more than 12 million historic photographs, capturing scenes from the Boer War to the D-Day landings, was published on the Internet Monday.

Reuters Photo



The images, which date back to the turn of the 20th century, have been captured from the archives of the British Pathe newsreel, a cinema news service that pre-dated television.

The unique collection has been created by re-scanning every inch of the archive's 3,500 hours of 35mm film.

A still image has been produced from every second of film, ranging from the earliest flickering monochrome pictures of the Boer War in 19th century Africa to Pathe's coverage of London in the swinging sixties.

Peter Fydler, archive marketing director at Britain's Independent Television News, which owns British Pathe, said the collection should provide a powerful learning aid and a trip down memory lane.

"By using the newsreel archive to create a huge collection of still images, people can have access free of charge to printable pictures which will add to their enjoyment of history," he said.

The collection can be accessed at www.britishpathe.com.

Memorable images include John Lennon and Paul McCartney with their 1964 NME award and England footballers Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst celebrating their 1966 World Cup victory.

Two unidentified soldiers are seen after their rescue from Dunkirk in 1940, while former British leader Winston Churchill is pictured enjoying a football match at London's Wembley Stadium at the height of World War II.

Classic actresses Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot and Marilyn Monroe also feature, along with silent movie star Charlie Chaplin, pictured in Venice in 1930.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth is seen at the annual Chelsea Flower Show in 1960 and the world's first supermodel, Twiggy, is captured in Hamburg.

Surrealist painter Salvador Dali was the highlight of Pathe's final newsreel in 1970, pulling a bizarre pose in Paris.