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History Detectives: Lubin Photos

Airs Monday, July 13 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Credit: Morgan Beatty

Above: These bulging photo albums, dated 1914 to 1916, contain hundreds of photos of film stars and behind-the-scenes shots. These handmade albums document the early days of Philadelphia film mogul Siegmund Lubin.

A contributor from Branford, Florida, inherited two bulging photo albums, dated 1914 to 1916, that contain hundreds of photos of old silent film stars and a behind-the-scenes look into an enormous film studio empire — not in Hollywood, but Philadelphia. She received the albums from a distant relative, Herbie Lubin. One of the books holds many Western scenes, including a cowboy character captioned “Herbert Lubin.” Other captions refer to the Siegmund Lubin Studios. Who was Siegmund Lubin? And was Herbie a movie star? HISTORY DETECTIVES host Tukufu Zuberi takes viewers on an excursion through an early movie mogul’s dramatic rise and fall. Watch an interview with Tukufu Zuberi and submit your mysteries online.

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