Black and white still photo from the movie Where are My Children in a scene which shows a couple in their late 40s/early 50s in front of a fire place. Three children under 4 play either on the man's knee or on the floor in front of the fire.

Lois Weber’s film Where are My Children? (1916) and the history of Abortion in America

When we discuss the topic of the history of abortion and birth control in the United States, where are the mentions of Where are My Children? (Universal Studios, 1916)? 

The movie was Universal’s top grossing film of 1916. It’s estimated to have grossed over $3 million at a time when ticket prices were less than 50¢ each.

Where are My Children? was written, produced, and directed by Lois Weber. The film was ultimately added to the National Film Registry in 1993.

Weber came from a devout middle class Christian family of Pennsylvania German ancestry. She left home & lived in poverty while working as a street-corner evangelist for two years with the evangelical Church Army Workers.

Her work with the Church Army Workers included preaching and singing hymns on street corners and singing and playing the organ in rescue missions in red-light districts in Pittsburgh and New York.

Meyer made the film at the height of her career when she was Universal’s top director. Her work and career was at (or perhaps above) the level of Cecil B. DeMille and D.W. Griffith, though it has largely been minimized subsequently because she was a woman.

Lois Weber was
– 1st woman accepted to Motion Picture Director’s Association, precursor of Director’s Guild
– on 1st directors committee of @TheAcademy
– Mayor of Universal City

Lois Weber was also one of highest paid and most influential directors of her time. She was also amongst the first directors to form her own production company.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lois_Weber

The Lost L.A. episode of Dream Factory (@KCET, 2017) covers portions of Weber’s career and provides clips from Where are My Children?
(@nathanmasters‘ entire series here is the real “California’s Gold”)
kcet.org/shows/lost-la/…

In addition to the site above, one can watch the @KCET episode of Lost LA: Dream Factory on YouTube:

I can’t wait to delve further in to the history and work of Weber by reading @StampShelley‘s book Lois Weber in Early Hollywood. University of California Press, May 2015. ISBN 9780520284463
amzn.to/3u7qzrO

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Chris Aldrich

I'm a biomedical and electrical engineer with interests in information theory, complexity, evolution, genetics, signal processing, IndieWeb, theoretical mathematics, and big history. I'm also a talent manager-producer-publisher in the entertainment industry with expertise in representation, distribution, finance, production, content delivery, and new media.

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