Depth of Field: 'A Day at St. Thomas' in 1924

An article from the October 21, 1955 Aquin highlights how Harry Webb discovered an "ancient campus film." (Click to see the article at a larger size)

A wake-up call by bugle, military drills, dorm inspection, church service, breakfast and a checkup from the campus doctor, all before classes start at 8:30 a.m. 

While this is drastically different from the life of a current St. Thomas student, it was the morning routine for St. Thomas Military Academy students who lived on campus in 1924. The daily routine of  the cadets was filmed and documented in the spring of 1924 for a recruitment video titled “A Day at St. Thomas.” The video shows students going through their morning routine before going to class and takes the viewer through Ireland Hall, the Chapel, the Infirmary and classrooms.

After it was filmed in the early 1920s, the video was stored and forgotten until it was rediscovered over 30 years later. Harry Webb, who was the head of the audio-visual department at the time, uncovered the film in 1955 in Albertus Magnus Hall, now known as the John R. Roach Center for the Liberal Arts.  The video offers a unique view of what life was like at St. Thomas nearly a century ago. The surviving reel of the original film is still preserved in University of St. Thomas Archives.