Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97205
31 film reels : silent, b&w; and color ; 16 mm.
William Cheney was a machine shop operator and inventor. As a child in Oregon City, Or., Bill became interested in photography. While still in school, he discovered astronomy and started mountain climbing to take advantage of the clear air at high altitudes. To further his photography, Cheney built telephoto lenses for his cameras and also experimented with slow-motion and split-screen photography. Cheney joined the Portland-based Mazamas mountaineering organization in 1922, when he lived at Tillamook, Or. He and his wife lived at Oceanside, Or., in 1927, then in the Portland area briefly before moving to Longview, Wash., about 1930. They moved to Seattle about 1933. This collection consists of Bill Cheney's home movie projects, filmed in black-and-white and color. Some record recreation and entertainment, such as mountain climbing; fishing; rodeos, including the Pendleton Roundup; circuses; and speedboat racing. Others cover travels to California and Oregon or document jobs he worked on, most notably bridge, railroad, and tugboat construction for logging. Many of the films record life in the Pacific Northwest, especially in the Seattle, Wash., area. A commercial film on a 1940 corn husking contest also is included. Although some of the films cover a single time period, many are compilations of material that cover extended time periods.