June 8: Carl Laemmle

Universal Pictures was incorporated on this date in 1912 by Carl Laemmle, a German-born pioneer of the American film industry. Laemmle (pronounced lem-lee) was one of the first entrepreneurs to buy up nickelodeons and create a film-distribution network (which involved major legal battles with Thomas Alva Edison, inventor of the motion picture camera) before merging his operation with several others to create Universal. He had a hand in the creation of some 400 films in the course of his career (Universal’s most enduring contributions were Showboat and the classic horror films of the 1930s, by which time Laemmle’s son Carl Jr. ran the studio). Laemmle was also the publicist behind Hollywood’s first film star, Florence Lawrence, for whom he got newspaper attention in 1910 by planting and then retracting a story that she’d been killed by a streetcar! In the 1930s, Laemle sponsored hundreds of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, paying their emigration and immigration expenses to the U.S. and lobbying the Congress and the State Department to let them in. He also unsuccessfully tried to save the Jewish refugees aboard the S.S. St. Louis, who were returned to Europe. To see a Universal News clip featuring Laemmle defending Roosevelt’s NRA, click here.

“His was the only studio that allowed tourists to visit (a practice that has evolved into a $100 million annual business with Universal Theme Parks in Los Angeles, Orlando and Osaka, Japan). On the lot he was affectionately referred to as Uncle Carl – though with his penchant for nepotism, for many the moniker wasn’t a nickname. At one point he was said to have had more than 70 relatives on the payroll, causing poet Ogden Nash to quip in verse, ‘Uncle Carl Laemmle/Has a very large faemmle.’” —Legacy.com

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Comments (10)

  1. Carl Jr. is an unusual name to be given to a Jew. Carl Laemmle Sr. must have had strong Jewish identification, since he sponsored so many Jewish refugees. Naming his son Junior suggests the opposite.

  2. Filthly parasite Jew who stole Thomas Edison’s invention and violated countless patent laws to make obscene wealth in coordination with the rest of his Christ killing tribe. Nice try and a white wash of the facts.

  3. morton mecklosky - Reply

    Mitch,your comment is terrible. a Jew makes an error,in your mind,and the entire Christ killing tribe takes the hit. You need help. seriously. your bordering on the dangerous. 6 million weren’t enough? God help you.

  4. Harold L. Orbach writes:
    Why do you permit such crap as a comment on your JEWDAYO site? It seem ridiculous to have unmediated / unedited
    comments that permit right-wing nuts and anti-Semitic provocateurs to poison your pages, a practice which has made the Washington Post’s Comments pages worthless as they are filled with right-wing nuts criticizing all “liberals,” “Democrats,” and everything positive that has been accomplished since the 1930s. It reminds me of a dictionary, the first I personally owned, that I got by collecting Planter’s Peanuts wrappers in Central Park and sending in a few cents for postage in the 1940′s. This “dictionary,” which, alas, was lost when I moved west to go to graduate school, defined “The American way of life” as “the form of government in the United states before the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt.”

    Fortunately, the Planter’s Peanuts people had a better set of choices when it came to literature, as I got a small cloth-bound boxed set of Shakespeare’s plays from them for a small cost of about a dollar, at that time the equivalent of four hours of work at 25 cents an hour. The text wasn’t exactly a great edition, but it made for great reading alongside used paper-backs from a local store-front lending library that lent out books for a few pennies a day and better fare from the old used book heaven of shops that dotted 4th Avenue between 12th Street and Astor Place.

  5. Lawrence Bush replies:

    I think it’s valuable every once in a while to let an anti-Semitic comment get posted so that readers of JEWDAYO have a real sense of who’s out there in the world. I screen out the worst of them, but I let one through on occasion, intentionally. If this is offensive to JEWDAYO readers, I could erect a stricter screen; would love to hear your thoughts.

  6. Larry: Don’t give a thought to tighter censorship on this site. Let the bigots and crazies reveal themselves.
    They suffer from a social and mental sickness and it is probably better to allow them some avenue that
    might help them relieve the debilitating pressure in their skulls. They need help more than silencing, and
    maybe some day a way will be found to free them from their sickness. The better reader response is to
    feel pity for them.

  7. Can you imagine what’s going on in his mind as he reads all the contributions of the Jews and the only “card” he has to play is to demonize them.

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