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Mail Tribune 100, July 17, 1920

The following items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.

July 17, 1920


Chester Conklin who with his large company is coming to the Page theatre Tuesday evening is one of the pioneers of the moving picture industry. He started at the old Keystone studio, the first home of Chaplin, Arbuckle, Mabel Normand, Charlie Murray and numerous other now famous stars. Mack Sennett, that well known producer of comedies that amuse was at that time the guiding genius of that studio.

At the time Conklin started, there was no such “animal” as an individual star in the picture business. Each picture turned out at that studio had a cast that would break the heart of a producer now, but as Chester says, “We made pictures in those days. There was no such thing as fighting for the camera. Every one did his or her work to the best of their ability and looked at the finished article for the results.”

Shortly after Conklin joined the Keystone company, Sennett decided to increase his producing staff, and to use but one comedian in each picture. Chester was one of the first chosen, and he has been going strong ever since. He has worked in over two thousand comedies in the past six years. If you think that is easy try it for a while. It means keeping the nose pretty close to the grindstone at all times as the average time required for the filming of a two reel comedy is six weeks. At times Conklin was working on three pictures at a time.


Trigonia Oil and Gas Co., last Saturday, July 10, lost a drilling bit in their oil well at a depth of 515 feet. Monday a special fishing tool was made and Tuesday afternoon the bit was recovered and sent to Portland by the evening express to have a new pin and thread turned on, to replace the part that was broken off.

Last night at 9 o’clock a new bit arrived from Los Angeles that had been ordered some time ago. This bit was taken to the well early this morning and drilling resumed.


Another Medford author is breaking into the limelight. This week A. C. Allen had a short story accepted by the St. Nicholas magazine which will be published under the title, “Christening of Four-Toes.” It is an animal story about a grizzly bear, one of the largest ever seen in Wyoming which was trapped by Mr. Allen years ago, but escaped leaving only four toes in the trap. Ten year later the bear was shot and killed near Cody, Wyo.


Features of the exceptionally fine public market this morning were the first appearance of sweet corn, the large ears of which sold for 45 cents a dozen, the scarcity of berries, and the sale of new potatoes at 8 pounds for a dollar. However, there was a small quantity of black raspberries of good size and quality, picked in the mountains, on sale which were quickly disposed of.