A Morning Bath
A remake of rival Biograph's popular A HARD WASH, this film's "joke" plays with racist clichés as well as theatrical conventions where blacks, whether impersonated by white actors or played by African Americans, performed using burnt cork as "masks." No matter how vigorous the bath, the baby's skin remains dark and corky. Granted, for contemporary viewers, this interpretation might be lost. It merely looks like a woman having a difficult time giving a bath to a child. However, the original listing in the Edison catalog clarifies this point somewhat: "Mammy is washing her little pickaninny. She thrusts him, kicking and struggling, into a tub full of foaming suds." Racist? Indeed.