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The Vagabonds

 (One reel of 1,000 feet, August 29, 1915)

Print source: The Library of Congress, 12 minutes 58 seconds.

Scenario (uncredited) based on the poem “The Vagabonds” by J.T. Trowbridge (the poem was sometimes known by the title “Roger and I”).

Cast: Morris Foster (Tim), Grace DeCarlton (Amelia), Arthur Bauer (Grossbeck Upham), Carey L. Hastings (Tim’s mother).
Original music composed and performed by Raymond A. Brubacher.


A series of flashbacks where a penniless, friendless tramp and his dog relates the story of his downfall due to drink.

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 The Vagabonds source is a different kind of classic—a poem by an influential and prolific writer of inspirational and cautionary stories for children, particularly boys. The Vagabonds is a series of flashbacks where a penniless, friendless tramp relates the story of his downfall due to drink. The author J.T. Trowbridge (1827-1916) had also been a well-known pre-Civil War abolitionist. His poem “The Vagabonds” was first published in 1863.


This relatively fine print shows the rapid improvements in camera lenses in the mid-1910s, and independent studios like Thanhouser finally had access to the best cameras and equipment with the breaking of the Patents Trust in 1915.


The variety of camera setups and fluidity of editing is quite modern compared to just a year or two earlier.


Thanhouser Film Corporation was almost in disarray following the 1914 death of its brilliant manager Charles J. Hite and the subsequent departure of many employees. In addition, big studio competitors were realizing big profits from lengthier films and celebrity-star promotion that Mutual’s Thanhouser was not keeping pace with.


The turnaround began when Edwin Thanhouser returned as general manager in early 1915 and the company was soon reorganized. He also was made an executive and a director of Mutual.

This film Copyright © 2011 Thanhouser Company Film Preservation, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Copyright © 2007 Thanhouser Company Film Preservation, Inc., All rights reserved.