History Detectives

Orphan Film Reel/Chinese Opium Scale/Hermann Goeri

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ORPHAN FILM REEL: A contributor from Elsmere, KY was searching his grandfather's Ohio attic when he stumbled upon a reel of 35mm nitrate film in a canister marked "Dangerous Hour - Eddie Polo." Eddie Polo was a legendary stuntman in the 1920's silent film world, but very few of his films remain. In its early days, silent film was seen as a transitory production, and movie companies such as Paramount and Universal dumped entire archives into the Pacific Ocean, melted nitrate prints to extract the silver, or used the flammable stock for special effects on their back-lot sets. HISTORY DETECTIVES ventures to Kentucky and Ohio to determine whether this reel could be one of thousands of silent films that have been lost forever to film history. CHINESE OPIUM SCALE: A woman in Missoula, Montana bought an old fiddle case in the Montana mining town of Butte in the 1960s. When she made the purchase, she was told the case didn't hold a fiddle, but rather a scale that Chinese immigrants in the area had used for weighing out opium. Trade in opium was legal in the US until 1909, and it was commonly used both as a medicine and as a drug. The Chinese were among the first immigrant groups to arrive in Montana in the 1800s, working building the railroads, as gold miners, and in restaurant and laundry businesses. HISTORY DETECTIVES heads to Montana to find out how Chinese immigrants survived for decades in Big Sky Country, particularly during a time when anti-Chinese sentiment was rampant in the U.S. HERMANN GOERING'S SHOTGUN: In the dying days of the Third Reich, Hermann Goering, the former head of the mighty German Luftwaffe, was holed up in his castle in the German countryside, addicted to opium and terrified of capture by the advancing Allies. A Lewiston, New York, man believes his shotgun may have belonged to Goering and was looted at the time of his arrest in 1945. A signed affidavit from an American soldier says that he removed the gun from Goering's castle "from the wall over t
 

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