Discovery at antique mall gives Wichita glimpse 95 years into its past

Published: Jul. 15, 2019 at 6:44 PM CDT
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With an Ark City man's unusual discovery at a Cowley County antique mall, we get a glimpse 95 years into Wichita's past.

The man found film featuring rare footage from a 1924 parade in downtown Wichita. He donated the film to the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum.

The near-century-old footage specifically shows the Wichita Rotary Club's Boys Loyalty parade from May 1, 1924 in the 100 block of East Douglas.

Matt Carson, the man who found the film, says he was killing time looking through the antique shop when he came across the old film reel labeled, "Boys' Loyalty Rotary Parade." He says his curiosity compelled him to buy it for $10.

That approximate five-minute film took more than 90 days to develop. That process cost the museum about $500, or $100 per minute of footage.

Wichita-Sedgwick County History Museum Executive Director Eric Cale says you can't put a price on the film's value to Wichita's history.

"It's a priceless thing for us to have an artifact like this," Cale says. "We've been collecting for 80 years and have very little film. I can't imagine a better piece of film."