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The Charles E. Krosse Collection contains films produced and/or distributed by a Peoria film production company, C.L. Venard Productions, a company that became known for its educational films dealing with agricultural subject matter. The collection contains both 16mm and 35mm films, a number of which may also be titles that Venard employees collected. Included in the collection are promotional and in-house training films made for Caterpillar, a fundraising film made for the city of Peoria, some soft-core erotic shorts, unrelated animated shorts, silent film comedies, and unidentified home movies.
This collection of thirty-four 16mm "physique" or erotic films were donated to Chicago Film Archives by Chicago realtor Stephen Waters in 2010, who received the films from a former client. Because these films are essentially orphaned, their provenance and custodial history can only be approximated. However, it is likely that the films would have been shown in coin-operated Panoram Jukeboxes created by the Chicago-based Mills Novelty Company in 1939, which played closed-loop 16mm silent and sound films and were placed in numerous locations including train and bus stations. Jukeboxes exhibiting adult movies or “peep shows” would most likely have been found in penny arcades that were prominent in the Illinois Central Railway Station at the time. Some of the films may have also been distributed on the home-projection market. The films feature nude or barely clothed women and range from bedroom and interior scenes or created sets where these women undress in a variety of scenarios, to a series of films where the women model poses that are supposedly made for artists to study the human figure.