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Photo and Artifacts of Bill’s Sweetheart

Josephine Woodman, born in November 1912, had provided a photo of herself in an early Edison movie, filmed in Long Beach when Mrs. Woodman was four months old, appearing in a western entitled Bill’s Sweetheart. In the photo, little Josephine is wrapped in a blanket, being held in the arms of Sydney Ayres, encircled by a crew of cowboys and one lonely cow. 

photo for Bill's sweetheart

Jim’s Sweetheart (Edison) 1913:  Baby, Josephine Woodman, née Munger (not credited in the Kinetogram review) in the arms of Sydney Ayres.  The other actors are not identified.  Photo, courtesy of Mrs. Josephine Woodman.

By January 1913, Southern California was teeming with film plants, with forty companies in operation in Los Angeles County, with more on the way. Among the film companies and troupes in Los Angeles County, there were 31 companies that represented the Edison trust–Selig (4 troupes), Pathé, Vitagraph, Kalem (2 outfits), Essanay (2 companies),  Edison and Biograph, Mutual Film Company, Kay-Bee, Broncho, Keystone (2 troupes), American (2 companies), Thanhouser and Majestic, Film Supply Company, Universal [Nestor (3 outfits), Powers (2 companies), Rex (2 troupes), and Bison (2 companies)]. Among the 9 independent producers in California by January 1913, one could count Kinemacolor (3 outfits), the Eagon (4 companies), the Monopol Feature Film Company, and the Amex (American-Mexican) Company. Of these 40 companies and troupes in Los Angeles County during this period, it will require additional research to determine which ones, besides Edison might have leased the well-equipped studio in Long Beach.

Letter from Edison thanking Josephine's mom

page two of Edison's description of Bill's Sweetheart

Edison description of movie

page 3 of Edison's description of Bill's Sweetheart