Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – New York, 1939

Take a look at some amazing found 8mm footage of the 1939 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Floats and balloons featuring: Pinocchio, Donald Duck, The Tin Man, The Scarecrow, Old King Cole, Uncle Sam, Gulliver, Acrobats, The Butcher, The Baker, and the Candlestick Maker, Santa, and more.

I bought this reel at a junk shop in Northampton, Massachusetts (I think?) about a decade ago. It sat unwatched in a box of other random Super 8/8mm reels for quite awhile, until I decided I wanted to capture some of my family’s own home movies. Since I had the projector set up, I ended up sifting through all my other ‘mystery’ reels, and this was one of them. Many of the captured film clips (some of the other ones are awesome, too!) ended up becoming a part of a music video project for my band The Demographic (This Broken Place). My film capturing setup wasn’t too elaborate, just an 8mm projector and a Canon HD camera pointed at a piece of paper, with some color-correcting and editing in After Effects (there is no audio track).

UPDATE #1: Thanks to Tom Malsbury for lending me his projector because the two I owned were crappy. Thanks to Bill Smith at Balloonworks for providing some background info and correcting me on the year.
UPDATE #2: Thanks to BoingBoing, One Cool Thing A Day, PetaPixel, The Daily What, The Gothamist, Retronaut, Laughing Squid, and Jezebel for spreading the clip around to their readers!

This reel is uploaded on Vimeo under a Creative Commons license. That means you can cut it up and edit it and do whatever you’d like with it, but you can’t use it for commercial purposes. That includes putting advertising on it. Any CC use should include the credit “Tom Pappalardo/Standard Design.”

Just for kicks/additional views, here are some photos from the 1938-1940 era:

One thought on “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – New York, 1939

  1. I caught this on PetaPixel thanksgiving night with friends an family, what a wonderful extra desert. everyone had a good thought over it thank- you so much for sharing… jamas

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