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Archive and Special Collections

Before Hollywood, there was Betzwood

About the Collection

Since 1979, Montgomery County Community College History Professor emeritus Joseph Eckhardt has been researching the history of the early silent movie industry in the Philadelphia area. The primary focus of this work has been the life and work of early film pioneer, Siegmund Lubin, a Philadelphia optician who became one of the world's first movie moguls. Eckhardt’s biography of Lubin, The King of the Movies: Film Pioneer, Siegmund Lubin, was published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press in 1997. Eckhardt’s research serves as the basis for this exhibit.

Prof. Eckhardt's collection was donated to the Archives of Montgomery County Community College which continues to collect the films and materials related to the rich history of the Betzwood Studios of Montgomery County and its founder Siegmund Lubin.

Project Team

This exhibit was created by College Archivist Lawrence Greene, Professor Emeritus Joseph Eckhardt, Emerging Technologies Librarian Jerry Yarnetsky and Film archivist Katherine Pourshariati of Montgomery County Community College.

Contact Us

Lawrence Greene
Brendlinger Library Archives
Montgomery County Community College
340 Dekalb Pike
Blue Bell, PA 19422
(215) 619-7352