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329 West 18th Street Suite #610
Chicago, Illinois 60616
(312) 243-1808

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John Dame Collection

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Collection Identifier: C.2018-03
Preservation Sponsor: John Dame
Extent of collection
69 reels of 8mm totaling approximately 9,631 feet; 66 reels of 16mm totaling approximately 23,673 feet; and 42 glass slides.
Inclusive Dates
1929 - 1984
Bulk Dates
1940 - 1977
The John Dame Collection consists of 16mm and 8mm home movies shot by multiple generations of an Illinois family. Most of the home movies document life in the western Chicago suburb of Elmhurst, Illinois, including community parades, graduations, weddings and high school football games. The collection also contains extensive footage of global travel, sailing, and kayaking.
This collection of home movies was shot by Illinois family members James Stokes Dame, John Stevens Dame, Byron Francis Stevens, Charles Francis Stevens and Cynthia Charlotte Stevens. The films shot by John Dame document his childhood in Elmhurst, Illinois, his wife and her family, his extensive travels, his love of aviation and filmmaking, and his passion for sailing. The home movies taken by Byron Stevens record family life in Elmhurst with his wife, Charlotte Huntington Wood Stevens, and their children (Gloria, Richard, Charles, Elizabeth and Cynthia) and their vacations, including regular trips to the lake cottage at Lac Courte Oreilles near Hayward, Wisconsin owned by his father Francis Oscar Stevens. Charles Stevens’ home movies depict family life in Villa Park, Illinois with his wife, Mary Stevens (formerly Burlie), and their children (Stan, Mark, Sharon, Marcia, Scott and John) and their travels. Cynthia Stevens’ home movies document family life in Waukesha, Wisconsin with her husband, Gary and their children (Elizabeth and Rebecca), and their travels. John Dame and the Byron Stevens children attended York Community High School in Elmhurst (Charles Stevens also attended Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin and the Missouri Military Academy in Mexico, Missouri). The collection also includes two films showing family member Kathryn Joan Schmidt competing in javelin at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada.
Dame, John (was created by)
John Stevens Dame (1938- ) was born September 15, 1938 in Elmhurst, Illinois to James Stokes Dame and Hazel Stevens Dame. He grew up in Elmhurst, Illinois and attended York Community High School. He played French horn in the Chicago Youth Orchestra and the Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Department One Orchestra. John studied at Northwestern University, where he was a member of the Northwestern Film Society and filmed the halftime band performances during football games. He also studied at the Argonne National Laboratory and the Illinois Institute of Technology. From 1962-1999 he worked for Motorola where he traveled extensively as part of their International Division from 1972-1988. His travels include trips to Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Central and South America. John is an amateur filmmaker who enjoys sailing and is an avid kayaker as well as an aviator. He was also a member of the Chicago Whitewater Association and was part owner of the WCSJ AM and FM radio stations in Morris, Illinois.
Stevens, Byron (was created by)
Stevens, Charles (was created by)
Stevens, Cynthia (was created by)
Dame, James (was created by)
Language of Materials