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W.H. Tilley Collection, no. 5 - 1950s

Susan T. Solomon

Silent | 1957 | 1950s

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    Index of Intertitles
    •  Austin Horseless Carriage Club 
    •  Train Wreck in Austin 
    •  Our Hollywood Kinfolks 
    •  Paul Tilley's House 
    •  Family Photos 
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    • About the video
    • More About Wesley H... More About Wesley Hope and Paul Tilley
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    This film includes 16mm footage shot in the 1950s by W.H. Tilley as well as a slideshow of family photos. A 1957 meeting of the Austin Horseless Carriage Club opens the film, with footage of the meet and the motorcar parade down Congress Avenue afterwards. The next, also in Austin, follows workmen's activities and clean-up at the scene of a train derailment on West 5th Street. Following that is footage of Paul and W.H. (with unknown relations) in California, and the two brothers together in front of Paul's Riverside house. The set concludes with a slideshow of Tilley family photos (each separated with W.H.'s captions) stretching as far back as the mid-nineteenth century. Slideshow subjects include, among others, Mrs. John Wesley Tilley (Paul and W.H.'s grandmother), Joseph Edgar Tilley & Millee Davis Tilley (Paul and W.H.'s parents), Helen Grist, and Wesley, Jr., along with photos of W.H. through his years as a filmmaker, musician, and family man.

    Brothers Wesley Hope and Paul Tilley can be counted among Texas' pioneering filmmakers. Their movie work extends at least as far back as 1910.

    In addition to their short subjects (as for-hire filmmakers) and early documentary movies of Texas, the Austin-based Tilleys made cartoons, titles, slides, advertisements, newsreels, and comedy features. The brothers were also involved in the turn-of-the-century amusement business as carnival music producers and for-hire projectionists.

    The Tilley brothers are best known, however, for their three commercial narrative features: Mexican Conspiracy Outgeneralled, Their Lives By a Slender Thread and The Kentucky Feud. These films were produced in 1913 around central Texas (as well as Mexico) under the auspices of their Satex production company and film lab, one of the first of its kind in Texas.

    W. Hope Tilley eventually pursued his music-related activities full-time, remaining in Austin. Paul Tilley later worked with another fellow Texan in Hollywood, film director King Vidor.