Haynes’ Studio Car a Relic of the Past
“Hogs And Hominy” Makes Moving Picture Debut
October 4, 1915
Frithjof “Fred” Holmboe, who has operated a photographic studio here for several years, has made the state’s first moving picture which is now playing at the agricultural exposition in the city. J.B. Mills, publicity man for the state-sponsored event, hired Holmboe to make a movie that would promote home-grown products. The two men filmed in several towns, including Hazelton and New Salem. Just two years ago the Bismarck photographer purchased his movie-making equipment.
Last year he accompanied Governor Louis Hanna to Norway and filmed the presentation of a statue of Abraham Lincoln to the Norwegian people. While he was there, he made his own moving picture about Norway. Since most towns of any size now have a moving picture theater, the Norway movie has played around the state to enthusiastic audiences. Holmboe sees a great future for moving pictures in North Dakota.
The coming of moving pictures and resident photographers in most towns has derailed the famous studio railroad cars. The most well known of these moving studios belonged to Frank Jay Haynes who operated out of his Fargo business. Since the late 1870s Haynes and his photographers have taken thousands of photographs of North Dakota scenes and people.
Although he moved his headquarters to St. Paul in 1889, the “Haynes Palace Studio Car” was a frequent visitor to North Dakota towns along the Northern Pacific until it ceased operation in 1904. The studio car was completely outfitted with the latest equipment and a darkroom. Our knowledge of what North Dakota looked like in those early years, we owe to pioneer photographers like Haynes.
By Dr. D. Jerome Tweton
Originally published as The North Star Dakotan student newspaper, written by Dr. D. Jerome Tweton and supported by the North Dakota Humanities Council.