SHSND Home > Archives > Archives Holdings > Archives & Manuscripts > Family/Local History > 10269


Digital Horizons

Federal Depository Library Program

Manuscripts by Subject - Family / Local History - #10269

Title: Frithjof Holmboe Papers

Dates: 1916-1921

Collection Number:

Quantity: 3.25 cubic feet

Abstract: Papers consist of correspondence, newspaper clippings, contracts, documents, financial statements, films, and lists of stockholders and inventors of the Publicity Film Company of Bismarck ND. Films from the collection are located with the audio visual material.

Provenance: The State Historical Society of North Dakota acquired the Frithjof Holmboe Papers from Thoralf F. Holmboe in 1973.

Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs. Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code or an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements are needed.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

Transfer: The photographs from the collection were transferred to the Photo Archives (Photo Collection 00834).


Frithjof Holmboe was born in Oslo, Norway in 1879, and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1882, settling in Minneapolis. He was a photographer for Northern Pacific before opening his first photographic studio in New Salem, ND in 1907. That same year, he married Jennie F. (Holmboe). In 1909, Frithjof moved to Bismarck, setting up a studio across from the McKenzie (now Patterson) Hotel. Self-taught, he became interested in motion pictures in 1913, and formed the Publicity Film Company soon after. He contracted with the North Dakota Department of Immigration and various counties to produce promotional films to encourage relocation to North Dakota. He also contracted with businesses and produced commercial films about products agricultural and artistic. Holmboe was selected to accompany Governor Hanna to Oslo, Norway for the July 4, 1914 presentation of the Abraham Lincoln Bust to the kingdom of Norway; he filmed the event. Holmboe left North Dakota in 1921 as the post-war agricultural depression reduced calls for his work. Frithjof Holmboe died in California in 1967.


BOX 1:
1 Publicity Film Company (Bismarck, North Dakota): stockholders, out-of-town investors, oath of office (Special representative of the Commissioner of Immigration of the State of North Dakota), film and service offering correspondence, film releases listing, contract for purchased films (Commissioner of Immigration), film footage on hand or charged in books, film inventory, correspondence, 1920-1921, n.d.
2 Endorsements, etc. for solicitors, 1916-1917
3 Routine of solicitors; contracts: (blank) contract form, letterhead, routine of solicitor, contracts, 1920
4 Negatives of newspaper advertisements, 1916
5 Newspaper advertisements, 1916
6 Booklet: proposition letter for showing of films, newspaper clippings, blank agreement form, portrait, 1916
7 Newspaper clipping, 1916
8 Research Materials - Frank Vyzralek: newspaper clippings and advertisements, correspondence, Publicity Film Company reel band, 1916-1917



0000-290 Contents of Original Can 2
Valley City - 34th Annual ND Firemen’s Association Convention, June 12-14, 1917

291-323 Contents of Original Can 3
Steele and Kidder County (?) 1912
John Adams Livery

372-467 Contents of Original Can 1
Miscellaneous, including boy and pony, tractor plowing, Apple Creek picnic and troops parading in Bismarck, 1917

466-668 Contents of Original Can 4
Miscellaneous - Bull tractor, much agricultural stuff, Mott, Reform School near Mandan (?), much on several unidentified towns (Mott?, Golden Valley?, New Salem?), road grader, Front Street in Fargo, Fargo College, Bull tractor. Generally poor condition.

668-819 Contents of Original Can 5
Miscellaneous – Williston Livestock Pavilion, Zahl, Fargo Fair interiors – follows log perfectly – Grand Prairie School picnic-Williston Railroad yards-pottery.

819-998 Contents of Original Can 6
Miscellaneous - follows log almost exactly.


999-1203 Contents of Original Can 7

1203-1237 Contents of Original Can 8
Miscellaneous - Manchester Biscuit

1236—1531 Contents of Original Can 9
Miscellaneous — much Morton County rural - Jamestown (Gladstone Hotel) — more rural Morton, including Great Plains Exp. Station — Garrison

1531-1856 Contents of Original Can 10
Hazen and vicinity


2000-2007 Contents of Original Can 12
Coy. L. B. Hanna. Close-up. Very fuzzy. Location and date unknown, possibly 1914.

2006-2256 Contents of Original Can 13
Hebron and vicinity, probably shot on Movie Day, October 20, 1916. Includes both town and rural shots, including footage of the brick plant and lignite research station.

2256-2324 Contents of Original Can 14
Miscellaneous scenes, as follows:Most in poor condition.
Shocks of grain (upside down) (2256-2264)
Bull, Williams County? (upside down) (2264-2269)
Mott High School (2269-2276)
Haying, Hettinger County (2275-2280)
Picking potatoes, Ward County (2279-2286)
Bureau of Reclamation power plane near Williston (2286-2292)
School in Emmons County (2291-2293)
Aberdeen Angus cattle near Donnybrook, Ward County (2292-2303)
William Keiler farmstead, Ward County (2302-2310)
Assembly room, Bismarck High School (2310-2314)
Unknown (2314-2315)
Ward county farm scenes (2314-2324)

2323-2545 Contents of Original Can 15
Killdeer and vicinity, probably shot on Movie Day, September 28, 1916. Both town and rural shots, including many of the railroad yards and of cattle being herded and loaded for shipment.

2544-2592 Contents of Original Cans 16 and 17
Footage shows a tractor demonstration in a rural setting, location and date unknown. The notes found in cans 16 and 17 do not match up with this sequence. It might possibly have come from can 15.

2591-2661 Contents of Original Can 18
Valley City Normal School, showing scenes from “A Pageant of Growth,” a grand exposition held on campus June 19, 1917. Much of this footage has deteriorated.

2660-2898 Contents of Original Can 19
Miscellaneous scenes, some of which were shot for the 1915 Industrial Exposition film.
Hazelton, probably shot on August 20, 1915 (2660-2690)
Elbowoods? (2689—2722)
Large street crowd listening to speaker. Location and date unknown, Bismarck? (2721-2734)
Harvesting; group of horse-drawn binders. Possibly on Patterson Farm near Bismarck? (2733-2760)
Large barn on farmstead (2759-2768)
Children in Mandan railroad park, 1915 (2767-2785)
Killdeer Mountain? (2784—2797)
Small dam, location and date unknown (2786-2799)
Reel 3 - 2

Bull Tractor demonstration, location and date unknown (2798-2847)
Horse-drawn binder, probably from 1915 film (2846-2869)
Main street of an unknown town, probably from 1915 film (2868-2889)
Threshing with a “Red River Special,” probably from 1915 film (2888-2898)

2898-2982 Contents of Original Can 20
Miscellaneous scenes, some of which were shot for the 1915 Industrial Exposition film.
Farmstead scene, Ward County? (2898-2913)
LaMoure and vicinity, probably shot during Movie Day on July 4, 1917 (2912—2934)
Car with red cross emblem on card, location and date unknown (2933-2940)
Irrigation with archimedes screw (2939-2949)
Scenes from Valley City Normal School, “A Pageant of Growth,” June 19, 1917 (2949-2979)
Flour Mill at Washburn (2978-2982)


3000-3245 Contents of Original Can 21
Wiltonand vicinity, probably shot on Movie Day, August 28, 1916. Includes views of the Washburn underground lignite mine east of Wilton. Some footage, particularly at beginning of sequence, in poor condition.

3245-3474 Contents of Original Can 22
Miscellaneous scenes, as follows: All were apparently shot while making a movie for the 1915 North Dakota Industrial Exposition at Bismarck.
Cattle being herded (3245—3260)
Binding and shocking wheat (3260-3268)
Children at Mandan railroad park (3267-3275)
Farmstead, with vehicles passing (3274-3296)
Valley City (3295-3375)
Fargo (3374-3403)
Farm scenes, probably from west of the Missouri River (3403-3437)
Mott (3436—3474)

3473-3759 Contents of Original Can 23
National Guard in camp at Fort Lincoln, near Bismarck, in July 1916 after call to federal duty in connection with hostilities on the Mexican border. Shows a review of the troops by Gov. L. B. Hanna, informal and formal activities in camp and the troops departing on a train.

3758-3961 Contents of Original Can 24
Rural scenes shot in the vicinity of New Salem and Hazen during 1915-16. Impossible to identify specific scenes but they were probably shot in the following order: New Salem, 1915; Hazen, 1916; New Salem, 1916.

3960-4053 Contents of Original Can 26 Miscellaneous, as follows:
Probably shot at the Belfield Fall Fair, September 30, 1916, although the early sequences, including the animal parade,
may have been shot at some other location (3960-4039~
Structure fire, location and date unknown. Belfield? (4038-4053)

4052-4214 Contents of Original Can 25
National Guard in camp at Fort Lincoln, near Bismarck, in July 1916 after call to federal duty in connection with hostilities on the Mexican border. Mostly shows activities of officers, although there are some non-marching views of massed troops.


0005-0219 Contents of Original Can 27
National Guard in camp at Fort Lincoln, near Bismarck, in Summer of 1917 following call-up for duty during World War I. Scenes include troops performing exercises and drills, in various formal and informal camp situations and under review on the parade ground at Fort Lincoln. Early footage has too much contrast.

0218-0337 Contents of Original Can 28
Promotional film shot for Great American Gas and Oil Co. of Mohall in early September 1919. Shooting done in and around Mohall, showing use of natural gas to power washing machines, tractors, etc.

0336-0413 Original Can number unknown
Shows large group of people in party attire descending the last flight of stairs to the lobby of the McKenzie (now Patterson) Hotel in Bismarck. Date unknown, but possibly a New Year’s eve or holiday party. Entire sequence is reversed.

0412-0418 Original Can number unknown
Two short segments showing a young girl posing and a second young girl posing with a small dog. Shot in a studio. Holmboe’s children?

0419-0718 Contents of Original Can 29
National Guard in camp at Fort Lincoln, near Bismarck, in July 1916 after call to federal duty in connection with hostilities on the Mexican border. Shows much camp activity, including haircuts, shots and inoculations, cooks at work, chow line, etc. Also part of a review by Gov. L. B. Hanna and a parade through downtown Bismarck.

0718-0937 Contents of Original Can 32
New Salem and vicinity, probably shot during Movie Day, September 23,
1916, but some of it possibly shot during preparation of the 1915
Industrial Exposition film when Holmboe visited New Salem on
September 22 of that year.


0004-0281 Contents of Original Can 33
Belfield and vicinity, including the animal parade, probably shot on Movie Day, September 30, 1916. (0004-0140)
Golden Valley and vicinity, probably shot on Movie Day, September 6, 1916 (0139-0281)

0282-0455 Contents of Original Can 34
National Guard in camp at Fort Lincoln, near Bismarck, in July 1916 after call to federal duty in connection with hostilities on the Mexican border. Segments show troops falling Out, a parade through downtown Bismarck and marching on the parade ground at the post.

0455-0624 Contents of Original Can 35
Promotional film demonstrating the Bull Tractor, probably shot at or near Bismarck, date unknown. Shows the tractor pulling a plow, powering a threshing machine, pulling a reaper and crossing the Missouri River from Bismarck to Mandan on a ferry boat.

0624-0745 Contents of Original Can 36
Promotional film of the Stone Piano Co. of Fargo and the Fargo Conservatory of Music, which operated upstairs in the same building. The former later became the Daveau Music Co. and is now owned by the Schmidt Music Co., while the latter eventually became the Concordia Conservatory of Music. Shows merchandising functions and also scenes of pianos and record players being rebuilt.

0744-0820 Contents of Original Can 37
Scenes shot during a formal dance in Patterson’s Hall in the McKenzie Hotel, Bismarck. Date unknown.

0821-0965 Contents of Original Can 38
Miscellaneous scenes shot in Bismarck and Burleigh County, dates unknown, as follows:
Ward hills from Ward Road, northwest of Bismarck (0821-0843)
Farm north of Bismarck (0843-0847)
Farmers Union hall, Sterling (0846-0852)
Ferry boats operating on Missouri River at Bismarck with Northern Pacific railroad bridge in background (0851-0860)
Bismarck business buildings, Grand Pacific Hotel, Lahr Motor Co. building (0859-0864)
Missouri River highway bridge at Bismarck under construction (0863-0875)
Bismarck scenes - Presbyterian church, looking south on 5th Street, old Federal building (0874-0893)
Biplane being service south of Bismarck (0893-0897)
Panoramic view of Bismarck from vicinity of country club (0896-0918)
Unidentified consolidated school from north part of county (0917—0929)
Views taken from moving vehicle along Main and 4th streets, Bismarck (0928-0965)


Note: The footage contained in reel 7 was originally positive prints found in original cans 31, 30, 11 and 26. For simplicity in processing, these segments were removed and reduced separately from the negative footage. While much of the footage in this reel duplicates that found in other reels, a substantial amount is original.

Contents of Original Can 31

0001-0103 Miscellaneous scenes, apparently from Warren, Minnesota, and within Marshall County, Minn. Original this reel.

0102-0126 Scenes from promotional film shot for Great American Gas & Oil Co. of Mohall in September 1919. Duplicate to scenes found in 5,0218-0337.

0126-0360 Scenes from New Salem, Hazen and Golden Valley. Duplicate to other segments of these towns in this collection.

Contents of Original Cans 30, 11 and 26

Miscellaneous scenes, as follows:
Tipple at Washburn mine near Wilton. Duplicate to scenes in 4,3000 - 3245. (0360—0366) Cattle in pond near New Salem (0365-0373)
Title-- “We Thank You For Your Attention.” Original this reel. (0372—0374)
Bull Tractor title and footage. Duplicate. (0373-0394)
Title — “Hogs and Hominy, Part II.” (0394-0398)
Title - “Hogs and Hominy, Part I.” (0398-0405)
Humorous fishing segment with title, “The Day’s Catch.” (0404-0410)
Long sequence, with titles, showing Bull tractors being unloaded and displayed at Fargo. Also some demonstration footage. (0410—0522)
Very long sequence, showing scenes from Golden Valley, New Salem and Hazen. Nearly all duplicated in other parts of the collection. (0522-0900)


Note: The less than 200 feet in reel 8 constitutes the first segments of film shipped for processing as an experiment in March 1973. Because of its extreme shortness it is attached to reel 7 and titled reel 8, although it was the first to be processed.

0904-0937 Scenes, with titles, from the “Missouri-Yellowstone Pure-Bred Livestock Breeders Association’s Annual Spring Sale,” at Williston, year unknown. (Positive print from original can #1)

0936-0944 “Camp at Fort Yates,” shows loaded wagons passed in front of a line of tents. (Positive print from original can #12)

7 & 8 - 2

0943-0950 Train crossing Northern Pacific Missouri River bridge at Bismarck. Very poor condition. (Negative from original can #l4)

0950-0956 “Indian boys doing gymnastics at Fort Totten.” (Negative from original can #5)

0955-0972 Three segments, all negative from original can
Cattle grazing in front of State Industrial School buildings near Mandan (0955-0965)
Roustabout moves bulk coal on deck of M.V. Frayne at Bismarck (0964-0968)
M.V. Frayne pulls away from river bank at Bismarck (0967-0972)

0972-1004 Two segments, all negative from original can #4:
Farm house and yard, with much activity (0972-0996)
Hay being lifted into loft of barn (0995-1004)

1004-1010 M.V. Frayne turning in mid-river and heading downstream (Negative from original can #6)

1010-1021 Closeup of starboard side and stern of M.V. Frayne pulling away from the river bank at Bismarck (Negative from original can #6)

1020-1029 Title - “Wheat Field, Emmons County,” and footage showing men walking through field of tall grain (Positive print from original can #26)

1029-1058 Title - “Boat on Missouri River, Bismarck, S.D.,” and footage showing M.V. Frayne loading at Bismarck, pulling away from the bank and heading down river. (Positive print from original can #26. Duplicates sequences on this reel, as follows - 0964-0968, 0967-0972, 1010-1021 and 1004-1010)

1058-1067 Title - “School Children, Mandan, N.D.,” and footage showing children playing in Mandan railroad park. (Positive print from original can #26)

1067-1073 Screw-type pump raising water for irrigation. (Positive print from original can #26)

612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
Get Directions

State Museum and Store: 8am - 5pm M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10am - 5pm.
State Archives: 8am - 4:30pm., M-F, except state holidays, and 2nd Sat. of each month, 10am - 4:30 pm.
State Historical Society offices: 8am - 5pm M-F, except state holidays.

Contact Us:
phone: (701) 328-2666
fax: (701) 328-3710