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Special Collections: Guide to the John Ames Travel Film Collection

Administrative Information

Collection title:  John Ames travel film collection
Collection number:  SpC MS 16
Dates of collection:  1940s? to 1960s?
Size of collection:  7 reels (1 linear ft.)
Provenance:  Unknown.
Restrictions on access and use:  Stored in the library's remote storage area.  One week's notice requested for access.
Note:  Inventory typed Feb. 2012 from handwritten notes dated 2/14/85 and marked with a stamp, "Sheldon Weiss Productions, Blue Hill Falls, ME 04615."

Scope and Content Note

Travel films made by John Ames.


Box 1206

6 reels of film and 1 reel of titles (3 black & white and 3 color).

All seem to be vacation footage. Mostly Mexico and some Jamaica. Black & white seems a bit earlier than color. All seem to be 40s, the color could be early 50s.

Brief notes of the contents of the reels are following.

Reel #1 – Black & White – 350 feet:

Two women

Pan of ocean and landscape

Shots of a harbor from a ship

Locals swimming by a ship

Cannons in front of large building (palm trees)

Reservoir & canal

High flood level marker 1924 & 1933



Picnic at waterfall on beach

Overexposed ruins (Mayan?)

A man in a garden

Drinks on a ship

Pan of a skyline from the ship

Fort on the coast


Kids on horses

Man & woman eating

Second woman

Overexposed beach

The suite?

Cows in the street

Unexceptional travelogue footage. Perhaps 2 couples take a cruise to tropical clime. Pan incessantly from verandas and staterooms. Probably goes with titles on the small reel. (Notes by David Weiss 2/14/85)

Reel # 2 – Black & White – 350 feet:

American Airlines de Mexico



Street scenes

Woman with flowers



Suntan lotion

The sea

Man and woman

Port area

Women at beach



United Fruit, Montego Bay Wharf

Peasants with bananas

Donkey carts

Store fronts and signs

In the country – landscapes

Peasant on tracks

Summit – Montego Bay Line

Palm trees, beach, boat

The sea

A few shots of somewhere else – coast

Jamaican stuff much more interesting than reel #1. Still pan crazy. Seems to be 40’s – Post war cars, I think. (Notes by David Weiss 2/14/85).

Reel #3 – Black & White – 400 feet:

Ansco leader at head

City scene – big cathedral

Crucifixion painting




Mexican lady making tortillas


Sculpted heads

Black woman

Guijos on a bicycle built for two

Cobbs Hill


Landscapes – ocean


Frolic at the pool

Sign – Apothecary

Horse carts in a city

Cruise ship in background


Car fords stream

Woman makes tortilla


“Gates Fort 1609 AD”

Ye Olde White Horse Tavern Private Bar

Tom Moore Horse Tavern

Cruise Ship


Reel #4 – Color – 175 feet:

Deep sea fishing (man with red bandanna)


Back to port

Sailfish caught

The market

Market scenes

Man with pig on a leash

Tourists dancing

Reel #5 – Color – 157 feet:

Flowers & wife

2 young couples


Cliff diving




“Pilgrimage Garden Club”



Woman swimming with flower petals

Boat ride swimming

Fishing (man with red bandanna)

Catching something

Reel #5 seems to be before Reel #4. Same trip.

Reel #6 – Color – 350 feet:

Ansco leader

Birds on a lake

[Tourist?] Man & Woman


Pan of skyline

Cliff diving

Man with red bandanna

Water skiing


Underexposed villa – pan of area

Ski plane

Peasants in boats full of flowers – floating market

Lots of boats


Beer on the lawn

All color rolls seem to be the same trip. Several couples – Looks like Mexico. Cliff diving, etc.


Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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Special Collections Staff: | Revised: 03/17/2015
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