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Edwardian Enigmas

Who, what, where? Calling amateur detectives - can you help us solve these mysteries?

Over the last few years we've learned a lot about the filmmaking partnership of Mitchell and Kenyon. Research by the University of Sheffield and the BFI has revealed an enormous amount of background detail about the films, the events they depict and the way in which they were commissioned and shown. But a few of the 826 rolls of films found in the basement of their former premises in Blackburn have so far stubbornly refused to offer up their secrets.

So now's your chance to play amateur detective. Do you recognise this town, that street, those factory gates, that football team... even a face in the crowd? Can you help throw some light on these shadowy mysteries?

Even if you can't, you can still enjoy these heady slices of Edwardian (or Victorian) life.

Digitisation of this collection was funded by The National Lottery.

"This is science served up to the public steaming hot, at a price which is, to borrow a phrase of the showman, 'within the reach of all.'"

Hull Times, 13 October 1900

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Edwardian Enigmas

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Can you identify this Edwardian comic, playing a gossiping Rajah?

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View Unidentified Trams and Walking Race
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Unidentified Trams and Walking Race 1902

Scenes of a crowded Edwardian city street with trams and an informal walking race on open ground.

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View Pay, Factory Gate
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Pay, Factory Gate 1901

An unidentified workplace is the scene of a vivid slice of turn-of-the-century life.

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View Exit of Clerical and Factory Workers
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Exit of Clerical and Factory Workers 1900

It's home time for men and women at an imposing but unidentified workplace - or two?

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View Parade of Schoolchildren
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Parade of Schoolchildren 1903

Can you identify this street corner, or perhaps a young face in the parade?

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View Ship Departing from Port
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Ship Departing from Port 1901

A large liner draws away from the quay, but where is she headed?

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View Scene Outside a Factory
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Scene Outside a Factory 1902

Men mill around the bustling yard of a large workplace, perhaps a brewery?

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View Factory Exit in Wigan
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Factory Exit in Wigan 1901

The largely female workforce of an Edwardian Lancashire factory parades past the camera.

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View Textile Workers Leaving a Factory
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Textile Workers Leaving a Factory 1901

An assortment of Edwardian workers, including many mischievous children who are far from camera-shy.

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View Workers Leaving a Factory
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Workers Leaving a Factory 1900

An unidentified factory is the setting for some lively Victorian characters.

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View Mitchell and Kenyon Fiction Offcuts
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Mitchell and Kenyon Fiction Offcuts 1902

Two tantalising fragments of Mitchell and Kenyon's fiction films - but what do they tell us?

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View Chinese Men
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How did these Chinese gentlemen end up in a Blackburn basement?

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