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Chicago, Illinois 60616
(312) 243-1808

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Perser Family Collection

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Collection Identifier: C.2019-15
Extent of collection
107 reels of 16mm film totaling approximately 133,850 feet; 44 reels of Super 8mm film totaling approximately 15,500 feet; set of Bell & Howell Filmo 16mm rewinds; Accura film changing bag; Kodak Presstape Universal splicer
Inclusive Dates
1940 - 1986
The Perser Family Collection contains home movies shot by William Ballert and his son-in-law Donald Alan Perser between 1940 and 1992. Most of the footage was shot around the family homes in Chicago, Northbrook, and Delavan, WI, as well trips to visit family in Toronto and Florida. Some of the home movies have sound. The collection also contains elements for "A Step in Time Saves Nine," an industrial film made by Donald Perser for Avon Cosmetics.
Perser, Donald (was created by)
Donald Alan Perser (1933-1998) was public relations director of Avon Products and president of Ballert Orthopedics in Chicago, a company started by his father-in-law William Ballert. Perser attended Northwestern University where he graduated with a degree in business and law. He married Verna Ballert in 1956 and had three daughters, Laurie, Carrie, and Wendy. Born in Canada, he became an American citizen in 1967.
Ballert, William (was created by)
William Ballert was born in Germany in 1905. He was married to Irmgard Ballert (nee Thalacker), and had two children, Verna and Arvin. The family lived on Campbell Avenue in Chicago. He was a certified orthotist and prosthetist, and co-founded Ballert Orthopedics on Peterson Ave in Chicago with his father-in-law, Carl Thalacker, in 1930. He provided services for the Polio Foundation in the early 1930s. He died in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1975.
Custodial History
Films donated to CFA by Laurie Perser in late 2019. Previously, the films were stored by Laurie's grandfather (William Ballert) and father (Donald Alan Perser).
Language of Materials
Access Restrictions
This collection is open to on-site access. Appointments must be made with Chicago Film Archives. Due to the fragile nature of the films, only digital copies will be provided for on-site viewing.
Use Restrictions
CFA owns rights to the home movies.
Publication Date
November 10 2022
1941 Vacation Pine Lake
1947 Medinah Caravan
1952 To Florida By Train / Havana . Cuba
1953 Mexico . Part 1 / Magnetic Sound Striped
1953 Mexico Part 2