We’re celebrating the Fourth of July by marking the centenary of an indubitably American film, U.S. Navy of 1915. Its close-hand observations of sailors training and working aboard vintage ships have only grown more captivating and unique with age, making it the most popular film on the NFPF website by far. Nearly 250,000 viewers have streamed this fascinating glimpse of our military heritage.
This 11-minute fragment represents all that survives from what was a three reel documentary by showman Lyman Howe, whose Famous Ride on a Runaway Train (1921) appears on our DVD Lost and Found: American Treasures from the New Zealand Film Archive. Few of his other films survive, and even U.S. Navy was considered lost until this portion of the film was discovered during the NFPF’s partnership with the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia in 2008. If you haven’t already watched it, please do, and have a happy Fourth of July!