Archive ID: 2015-034-1

Gust Mattson home movies

Date Created: 1930s-1950s

Donor: Chris (Christine) J. Walley

Media Type: Film/Video

Description:

16mm home movie footage taken by Gust Mattson. Footage includes Swedish-American dances and picnics, a party on a boat on the Calumet River, neighborhood scenes, and a return visit to Sweden.

Backstory:

These home movies were taken by Gust Werner Mattson, a Swedish immigrant born in 1896 in the Fjallbacka/Gothenburg area who arrived in the United States in 1914. Gust lived with the family of his older brother, Johan, who had previously emigrated to South Chicago. Both joined other Swedish immigrants from their village already in the region. Gust was a machinist who never married. In the late 1920s, he bought a 16mm home movie camera and took a number of home movies of Southeast Chicago between the 1920s and 1950s. The first clip is of a tugboat party up the industrial Calumet River. Churches and other social organizations would sometimes hold such tugboat events. Passengers can be seen listening to accordion music, drinking, and enjoying the ride. In the distance can be seen US Steel – South Works, the Life Saving Station, and the South Slip near the mouth of the Calumet River. Also visible is the lighthouse, alternately known as Calumet or South Chicago Lighthouse. The boat eventually heads into Lake Michigan past what appears to be the water intake crib. Later home movie clips show Mrs. Nyberg, a neighbor of his niece’s on 105th and Ave G, as she hangs laundry as well as Swedish dancing at a picnic at Eggers Grove on the East Side. The home movies were found in Gust’s niece’s East Side basement and were donated by Gust’s great-grandniece.

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Filters:

Home Labor   Other   Women’s Experiences   1940-1949 (WWII Era)   East Side   Other/Unknown   Film/Video  

Featured Curation: Women at Work

Featured Curation: From Old Country to New