Feature Video–11th July–Scott Nixon Home Movies

The Scott Nixon Home Movies Collection by Charles Sinclair

Anyone who browses the Scott Nixon collection will begin to get to know the man behind the camera.  Mr. Nixon had many passions which he explored and documented habitually.  The stories reveal that he had a great interest in the mechanical marvel which is the railway train, a respect and pride for his local and extended communities, and an expansive love for his friends and family.  The collection contains hundreds of stories, spans decades, trots the globe, and captures moments in time that exhibit the history and culture of America.

Whether riding the rails, rolling down the road, soaring through the skies, or sailing the seas, Mr. Nixon was a man on the move.  Featured prominently in his collection is the railway train of which he captured many types. While training his lens, he obtained many creative shots including angles from locomotives, cabooses, passenger car windows, and even shots that appear to be from atop trains.  He shot trains from fixed locations in stations and beside tracks, and from moving automobiles traveling alongside them as they sped off toward their destinations.  The most prominent subjects of the collection, though, are Mr. Nixon’s two children, Brailsford and Cobbs and his second wife, Evelyn.  He used up a great deal of film shooting them as they played at their home, as they celebrated birthdays and holidays, as they attended family functions, and as they vacationed to places near and far.  Mr. Nixon documented many of his trips to great American cities and landmarks.  The collection contains footage of the monuments of Washington, D. C., Central Park and Rockefeller Center of New York City, Theaters of Chicago, Michigan, Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, Colorado, Washington, California, Florida the Carolinas, Georgia, and many other fine places.  He filmed mountains, beaches, rivers, swamps, waterfalls, lakes, oceans, plants and animals, and he always seemed to find a beautiful sunset.  Other impressive footage comes from his international travels to Bern, Switzerland, the Mayan ruins of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, Haiti, Jamaica, and the Bahamas.

Mr. Nixon also filmed sporting events including various college football games and the Masters Golf Tournament.  He documented political happenings as he followed the Eisenhower Bandwagon, and he was there with his camera in 1960 when then Vice President Richard M. Nixon gave a speech at the State House in Columbia, South Carolina.  On a more local level, he filmed events, parades, and fairs that took place in his Augusta community.  It is in these stories where the most tender moments of the collection can be found: children playing with toys and pets, family and friends laughing, a man and a woman sharing a dance, wedding ceremonies, and Evelyn, who always seemed to draw the focus of Scott’s camera whether she was lounging on a beach, reading a book on a blanket in the grass, strolling through a forest, or simply posing next to the sea.

The feature video shows a family trip to Hunting Island State Park in 1956 as they enjoy a nice summers day at the beach with a cook out and a picnic. You can watch the video here: http://library.sc.edu/mirc/playVideo.html?i=156 

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