Mark Twain On Film, Filmed By Thomas Edison

Smithsonian Magazine has some pretty amazing historical footage, Mark Twain on film in the early 1900s:

Silent film footage taken in 1909 by Thomas Edison at Mark Twain’s estate

Here it is:

The magazine says that this is the only known footage of Mark Twain in existence.  Too bad it’s silent film because there are no known recordings of Twain’s voice. Although it has been reported that Twain did make recordings using Edison’s cylinders at some point, they have apparently been lost to history.

H/T: Pejman Yousefzadeh

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Franklin says:

    Someone clever enough could notice that film roll got partly damaged on one side (where it gets dark at regular intervals) and correct it, making it 30% less annoying.

    And then they should add some humorous voice dubs.

  2. Ben Wolf says:

    @Doug Mataconis

    Thanks for providing this. it really upped my day to see footage of a man I admire so much. I wish I could have heard his voice.

  3. Ernieyeball says:

    Edison shoulda’ been around when Jesus was alive…