100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Released February 1, 1915

Charles Spencer Chaplin was born in April 1889. His childhood was marked by poverty and his mother’s mental illness. Chaplin began performing in music halls and later working as a stage actor and comedian. At 19 he was signed to the prestigious Fred Karno company in England which eventually toured America. Six months into the second American tour, Chaplin was invited to join the New York Motion Picture Company to work with Keystone Pictures and Mack Sennett.

Chaplin touring America with Fred Karno's troupe - 1913

Chaplin touring America with Fred Karno’s troupe – 1913


It was only one year ago that Chaplin made his first movie for Keystone, a one-reeler MAKING A LIVING. He started developing his “tramp” character and by May 1914 he directed his first film starring himself CAUGHT IN THE RAIN. In November 1914, he appeared in his first first feature length comedy film, TILLIE’S PUNCTURED ROMANCE. The success of this film increased his popularity to the extent that when Chaplin’s contract came up for renewal at the end of the year, he asked for $1,000 a week, an amount Sennett refused as too large. In December 1914, Chaplin signed with Essanay Film Manufacturing Company.

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On February 1, 1915 Chaplin’s first film for Essanay was released, HIS NEW JOB directed by Chaplin. This was the first film on which Charles Chaplin received screen credit. (On all his previous comedies for Keystone, he was not credited.) It was made on location in Chicago. One of the smaller roles of the Stenographer in the opening scenes is played by a young struggling actress Gloria Swanson.

HIS NEW JOB – 1915 Essanay Films
Starring, written and directed by Charlie Chaplin

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