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Hakon Christensen film

Guide to the Hakon Christensen film

Collection number: HMC-0089.
Creator: Christensen, Hakon.
Title: Hakon Christensen film.
Dates: 1939-1950.
Volume of collection: 0.8 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Collection summary: Motion picture film from an Alaskan bush pilot.

Biographical note:
Hakon Christensen was born in Pastbro, Denmark in 1902. He learned to fly in 1917 and later performed as a barnstorming flier in the midwest, engaging in stunt flying and racing. In 1933, he sold his plane to Ed Lerdahl of Fairbanks, and came to Alaska from Iowa to fly it for him. Christensen set up his own charter flight service in Cantwell in 1934, flying between Peters Creek Mine, Valdez Creek Mine, Fairbanks, and Anchorage. In 1940, he moved his business to Anchorage and extended service to Seward. Christensen sold his business in 1952 and began a new air service. Hakon Christenson and his passenger, Anchorage businessman E. Wells Ervin, died in an airplane crash near Cordova in 1956.

Collection description:
The collection consists of thirteen reels or 102 minutes of Hakon Christensen’s 16mm silent color motion picture film from his life and work in Alaska. Locations of the film include Anchorage, Palmer, the Matanuska Valley, Eklutna, Mirror Lake, Cantwell, Juneau, Ketchikan, Mount McKinley, McKinley National Park, and the Inland Passage. Notable subjects include footage of Hakon Christensen and a military cargo plane flying in a Mount McKinley expedition, led by Henry Bradford Washburn, Jr., onto a glacier; a Fourth of July parade and other scenes in Anchorage; planes landing and taking off from Merrill Field in Anchorage; Christensen’s cabin at Cantwell; Christenson’s house in Anchorage; wildflowers on Eklutna Flats; the Moose Gooser Alaska Railroad train; the Grandview Loop on the Alaska Railroad; rotary mining machinery at work at a coal mine; and various hunting, fishing, and wildlife scenes from the ground and air.

Arrangement: The film reels are arranged in chronological order.

Alternative formats: VHS tapes are available for reference viewing. Mini-DVs have also been created.

Digitized copies: This collection has not been digitized. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Access restrictions: The original motion picture film reels are not accessible for viewing. Users will need to consult the VHS copies.

Rights note: Copyright to these materials is not held by the Archives. The materials should enter the public domain in 2031.

Preferred citation: Hakon Christensen film, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Acquisition note: Frank and Maxine Reed gave the films to the Archives in 1984.

Processing information: This collection was arranged and described by Jeffrey Sinnott in 2001. The guide was updated to meet current standard by Arlene Schmuland in 2017.

Container list:

Reel Description Date
1 1 Juneau: Juneau harbor; airplane in flight; Matanuska River and King Mountain on Glenn Highway; airplanes landing and taking off at Merrill Field in Anchorage; wildfire from the air; Christensen cabin at Cantwell including airplane, garden, and dog; sunset; moose and mountain sheep on the Kenai Peninsula; and reindeer herders, dog team, and Ford Trimotor. 290 feet, 8 minutes 1939
1 2 Flowers: Fourth Avenue, Anchorage; Anchorage residential street; 4th of July Parade, Downtown Anchorage; Mirror Lake; brown bear; apple tree; cabin on Otter Lake; Eklutna Cemetery; wildflowers on Eklutna Flats; Midge Andersen and Ruth Goodman with wildflowers; garden flowers; Matanuska Valley farms including hay, potatoes, sheep, and dairy cattle; King Mountain; Episcopal Church in Palmer; Pioneer Peak; storm on Cook Inlet; and gulls at Ship Creek. 375 feet, 10 minutes 1939
1 3 Fox, bear, moose: Native women in fur parkas; blanket toss; Hakon Christensen feeding fox from airplane; moose in lake; skinning black bear carcass; and salmon spawning in stream. 265 feet, 7.5 minutes 1939
1 4 California: Passenger steamboat in Inside Passage; ocean beach and amusement park; Hoover Dam (?); desert scenes; bull elk; farmhouse; house; interior footage of birthday party with cake; and relatives in yard of house. 385 feet, 10.5 minutes 1939
1 5 Cantwell: Inside Passage scenes; women ice fishing; Christensen airplane in flight; Ketchikan from boat; Christensen cabin at Cantwell; couple arriving on plane; Mount McKinley; and Cantwell cabin interior, flower beds, and garden. 350 feet, 9.5 minutes 1940
1 6 Flower, Tiny, swan, Mike: House in Anchorage: summer scenes, winter scenes with hoarfrost, house interior, and ivory carvings; fishing in river and cleaning fish; aerial view of Seward (?); wolf carcass; military parade in Downtown Anchorage; and swans on lake. 347 minutes, 9.5 minutes 1941
1 7 Mt. McKinley: Aerial scenes of glaciers, ice fields, mountains, and Mount McKinley. 260 feet, 7.5 minutes 1941
2 8 Tony and Chris: Waco airplane on floats; fly fishing for grayling in river; and ice fishing. 254 feet, 7 minutes 1944
2 9 McKinley-Washburn: Scenes of Hakon Christensen and military cargo plane delivering Henry Bradford Washburn Jr., his crew, dog team, and equipment onto glacier for Mount McKinley expedition. Taken from the air and on the glacier. Film crew, Hakon Christensen, and Operation White Tower sign also shown. Winter footage of Anchorage house and trees in hoarfrost at end of reel. 400 feet, 11 minutes 1944
2 10 Mt. McKinley, swan, moose: Scenes of Mount McKinley from air and ground, possibly Wonder Lake; swans on lake; Cantwell cabin; party fishing from boat; and moose cow and calf swimming to shore. 274 feet, 8 minutes 1946
2 11 Moose Gooser: Moose Gooser train on Alaska Railroad; fireworks display; view of train station from train, possibly Cantwell; Hakon Christenson playing with three dogs, possibly at Merrill Field; and aerial of Alaska Railroad loop at Grandview. 152 feet, 4 minutes 1947
2 12 Flower, Mike (Dog): Flowers at home in Anchorage; and winter scenes of hoarfrost and snow on fence. 100 feet, 3 minutes 1948
2 13 Nick, Pat, gold mine, and dog: View of Cook Inlet from near Alaska Railroad; woman feeding ducks in park; tug boat; car on river ferry; someone playing fetch with Newfoundland dog; woman with Siamese cat; rotary mining machinery in operation at coal mine; small child; and convertible car. 220 feet, 6 minutes 1950


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