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HAKON CHRISTENSEN (1902-1956). Motion Picture Film; ca. 1939-1950. 0.6 cu. ft.

Hakon Christensen was born in Pastbro, Denmark in 1902. He learned to fly in 1917 and later performed as a barnstorming flier in the midwest, engaging in stunt flying and racing. In 1933, he sold his plane to Ed Lerdahl of Fairbanks, and came to Alaska from Iowa to fly it for him. Christensen set up his own charter flight service in Cantwell in 1934, flying between Peters Creek Mine, Valdez Creek Mine, Fairbanks, and Anchorage. In 1940, he moved his business to Anchorage and extended service to Seward. Christensen sold his business in 1952 and began a new air service. Hakon Christenson and his passenger, Anchorage businessman E. Wells Ervin, died in an airplane crash near Cordova in 1956.

The collection consists of thirteen reels or 102 minutes of Hakon Christensen's 16mm silent color motion picture film from his life and work in Alaska. Locations of the film include Anchorage, Palmer, the Matanuska Valley, Eklutna, Mirror Lake, Cantwell, Juneau, Ketchikan, Mount McKinley, McKinley National Park, and the Inland Passage. Notable subjects include footage of Hakon Christensen and a military cargo plane flying in a Mount McKinley expedition, led by Henry Bradford Washburn, Jr., onto a glacier (ca. 1944); a Fourth of July parade and other scenes in Anchorage (ca. 1939); planes landing and taking off from Merrill Field in Anchorage (ca. 1939); Christensen's cabin at Cantwell; Christenson's house in Anchorage; wildflowers on Eklutna Flats; the Moose Gooser Alaska Railroad train (ca. 1947); the Grandview Loop on the Alaska Railroad; rotary mining machinery at work at a coal mine (ca. 1950); and various hunting, fishing, and wildlife scenes from the ground and air.

The collection was presented to the archives by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Reed of Anchorage, Alaska in 1984.

JAS (4/2001)

Film list:

Note: The original 16mm silent color safety film in this collection are on thirteen different 400 foot film reels. The film has been transferred onto two VHS videocassettes for reference purposes. Digital MiniDV master tapes were also created. Dates provided are from Kodak date codes on the film.

Videotape #1. Reels 1-7 (63 minutes total).

Reel #1. "Juneau"; ca. 1939 (290 feet, 8 minutes).
Includes: Juneau harbor; airplane in flight; Matanuska River and King Mountain on Glenn Highway; airplanes landing and taking off at Merrill Field in Anchorage; wildfire from the air; Christensen cabin at Cantwell including airplane, garden, and dog; sunset; moose and mountain sheep on the Kenai Peninsula; and reindeer herders, dog team, and Ford Trimotor.

Reel #2. "Flowers"; ca. 1939 (375 feet, 10 minutes).
Includes: 4th Avenue, Anchorage; Anchorage residential street; 4th of July Parade, Downtown Anchorage; Mirror Lake; brown bear; apple tree; cabin on Otter Lake; Eklutna Cemetery; wildflowers on Eklutna Flats; Midge Andersen and Ruth Goodman with wildflowers; garden flowers; Matanuska Valley farms including hay, potatoes, sheep, and dairy cattle; King Mountain; Episcopal Church in Palmer; Pioneer Peak; storm on Cook Inlet; and gulls at Ship Creek.

Reel #3. "Fox, Bear, Moose"; ca. 1939 (265 feet, 7.5 minutes).
Includes: Native women in fur parkas; blanket toss; Hakon Christensen feeding fox from airplane; moose in lake; skinning black bear carcass; and salmon spawning in stream.

Reel #4. "California"; ca. 1939 (385 feet, 10.5 minutes).
Includes: Passenger steamboat in Inside Passage; ocean beach and amusement park; Hoover Dam (?); desert scenes; bull elk; farmhouse; house; interior footage of birthday party with cake; and relatives in yard of house.

Reel #5. "Cantwell"; ca. 1940 (350 feet, 9.5 minutes).
Includes: Inside Passage scenes; women ice fishing; Christensen airplane in flight; Ketchikan from boat; Christensen cabin at Cantwell; couple arriving on plane; Mount McKinley; and Cantwell cabin interior, flower beds, and garden.

Reel #6. "Flower, Tiny, Swan, Mike"; ca. 1941 (347 minutes, 9.5 minutes).
Includes: House in Anchorage: summer scenes, winter scenes with hoarfrost, house interior, and ivory carvings; fishing in river and cleaning fish; aerial view of Seward (?); wolf carcass; military parade in Downtown Anchorage; and swans on lake.

Reel #7. "Mt. McKinley"; ca. 1941 (260 feet, 7.5 minutes).
Aerial scenes of glaciers, ice fields, mountains, and Mount McKinley.

Videotape #2. Reels 8-13 (39 minutes total).

Reel #8. "Tony and Chris"; ca. 1944 (254 feet, 7 minutes).
Includes: Waco airplane on floats; fly fishing for grayling in river; and ice fishing.

Reel #9. "McKinley-Washburn"; ca. 1944 (400 feet, 11 minutes).
Scenes of Hakon Christensen and military cargo plane delivering Henry Bradford Washburn Jr., his crew, dog team, and equipment onto glacier for Mount McKinley expedition. Taken from the air and on the glacier. Film crew, Hakon Christensen, and Operation White Tower sign also shown. Winter footage of Anchorage house and trees in hoarfrost at end of reel.

Reel #10. "Mt. McK., Swan, Moose"; ca. 1946 (274 feet, 8 minutes).
Includes: Scenes of Mount McKinley from air and ground, possibly Wonder Lake; swans on lake; Cantwell cabin; party fishing from boat; and moose cow and calf swimming to shore.

Reel #11. "Moose Gooser"; ca. 1947 (152 feet, 4 minutes).
Includes: Moose Gooser train on Alaska Railroad; fireworks display; view of train station from train, possibly Cantwell; Hakon Christenson playing with three dogs, possibly at Merrill Field; and aerial of Alaska Railroad loop at Grandview.

Reel #12. "Flower, Mike (Dog)"; ca. 1948 (100 feet, 3 minutes).
Includes: Flowers at home in Anchorage; and winter scenes of hoarfrost and snow on fence.

Reel #13. "Nick, Pat, Gold Mine, and Dog"; ca. 1950 (220 feet, 6 minutes).
Includes: View of Cook Inlet from near Alaska Railroad; woman feeding ducks in park; tug boat; car on river ferry; someone playing fetch with Newfoundland dog; woman with Siamese cat; rotary mining machinery in operation at coal mine; small child; and convertible car.