Heislers, Shays and Other Teakettles

Heislers, Shays and Other Teakettlescover

A & R Productions

Length: 45 minutes

Time Period: 1898- 1962

Locations: USA

Sources: Mac Owen, Thomas Edison, Blackhawk Collection

MSRP: 29.95

Various old steam is featured from the first half of the 20th century. Containing some rarities, an oddball film collection. The emphasis is on rural, or woodsy railroading. Title is not very accurate, unless you agree that: Consolidations, Mallets, Ten Wheelers and Decapods are ‘Teakettles’. Perhaps the odd title, is indicative of what to expect.

There is no sound – except the brief announcements of the scenes. The remainder are just silent movies. Annoying to have this format, with a 1994 production date. It is a deal breaker. That is too bad, the show does look good.

et208A mixture of color, plus black and white film. The earliest source is Thomas Edison circa 1898 and 1906. Other footage is late 1950’s to early 1960’s. Overall, good cinematography.

Ted Dalaku performs his usual good narration. The script is fine and concise. Brief mention of: locomotives, location and some line information.

Viewers will receive a decent introduction to the subject. After that, you may think that your television has broken! An abrupt change to dead silence ruins the flow of the show- every single time. A strange production decision that feels cheap.

etwnc 208ET&NWC aka The Tweetsie, leads off at Johnson City. Two former Southern Railway locos are operating there. Not the best composition, but a quick look at the power.

miss 77The Mississippian in the late 1950’s. Baldwin built power that was on Frisco. Number 77 is a 2-8-0 Consolidation. Excellent section that appears to be 16mm. Highlight and rare.

gainesville midland 204 paceGainesville Midland had 2-10-0 Decapods in service. Different scenes and pacing with doubleheaded engines. This rare material was shot in Georgia.

sw lumber 2 280 1959Southwest Lumber #2, at Flagstaff, Arizona in 1959. This ex: Rock Island locomotive is seen outside of town.

Rayonier is another logging line. Westside is the third line of logging roads. All three are in black and white. What is included in this program looks pretty good for the most part.       Note- if logging piques your interest, there are full shows available with plenty of color film.

nevada northern 40 1962 Curry                          Nevada Northern ten wheeler passing through Curry, in 1962.

mill valley stationThe Crookedest Railroad In The World is a fairly long closing subject. This consists of two films from Thomas Edison.  In 1898, we travel up the twisting trackage to a mountain destination that has tavern refreshments. The 1906 footage is a gravity driven car traveling downhill, and following another train. Again, the long silence could have been improved.

This show could have rated higher. Considering the train video market, it does not compare well to most other shows from the 1990s. Complete audio is an industry standard, which is lacking here.

Absence of a proper accompanying soundtrack is archaic.

Heislers, Shays and Other Teakettles is a big disappointment.

Rating: 2 Stars

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