Theodore Pedersen Collection Description

THEODORE PEDERSEN (1905-1990). Videocassettes and Papers; 1914-1915, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1989, 1992, 2001. .35 cu. ft.

Theodore “Ted” Pedersen, son of well-known whaler
and arctic coastal trader Captain Christian T. Pedersen, was born
on Samalga Island in the Aleutians in 1905. He was a resident
at the Jesse Lee Home in Dutch Harbor, Unalaska Island, until
1916, when his father took him aboard the whaler Herman
as a cabin boy. Beginning in 1922, he attended Mount Hermon School
in Massachusetts. After completing his education, Pedersen worked
as a lighthouse keeper at Cape St. Elias on Kayak Island (1927)
and Cape Sarichef on Uminak Island (1929-1934). He was aboard
his father’s last arctic coastal trading trip on the Patterson
out of San Fransisco, California, in 1935. Pedersen moved to California
1936, where he worked at several light stations. He married his
second wife, Elsa, in 1942, and the couple later returned to Alaska
and homesteaded at Bear Cove on Kachemak Bay, in 1945. Pedersen’s
later years were spent harvesting clams and shrimp, fishing for
salmon, and working as a ship’s pilot in the Aleutians, among
other activities. During his life in Alaska, he documented his
activities and those of his father with photographs and motion
picture film. Ted Pederson died in Homer in 1990.

The collection consists of videocassette copies of original motion picture film and television productions concerning the life of Theodore Pedersen and his father Captain Christian T. Pedersen, published articles about Theodore Pedersen, and a photograph of his grave marker. The collection consists of four different videocassettes. The first is of an early motion picture film with titles, held at the National Archives, documenting a trip aboard Captain Christian T. Pedersen’s ship, the whaler Herman, in about 1914 or 1915 (53 minutes). The second is of a selection of episodes of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, British Columbia documentary television series, The Northerners, from 1978 (109 minutes). The episodes
examine arctic lifestyles, transportation, and traders. In three
segments in from these episodes, Ted Pedersen speaks about his
friendship with Captain Henry Larsen, helps start the engine of
the dry-docked schooner Fox, once owned by Captain Christian
T. Pedersen, and talks about life aboard his father’s trading
vessels, showing film footage he took during a trading voyage
in 1935. The third is a 1983 KAKM public television documentary
entitled, “Ted,” on Ted Pederson’s life (29 minutes).
The documentary includes early footage taken by Pedersen in the
arctic. The fourth is a working tape from the documentary “Ted,”
of Pedersen’s film footage with voiceover of producer Carroll
Hodge interviewing him about the footage and about his father
(62 minutes). The archives also holds a collection of Christian
T. Pedersen’s business records.

The collection was presented to the archives by Denise McDonald in 2001, 2003 and 2005. The UAA archives does not hold the copyright to any of the film or video productions on these videocassettes. Please contact the appropriate institutions for copies or use of this material. Duplicates may not be made of any materials within the collection.

JAS (8/2005)

Item List:

1. “Bowhead Hunting in the Arctic, Or, Cruise of the Whaler ‘Herman'”; Dr. L. Lawrence, Director; Aurora Film Company, San Fransisco; ca. 1914-1915 (Second generation copy of b&w motion picture film, ½ inch VHS videocassette, 53 minutes) (Original film located at the National Archives and Records Administration, American Film Institute Collection, Item 387; Former record group number: 200).

2. The Northerners; Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, British Columbia production; 1978 (109 minutes, ½ inch VHS videocassette, 4 approx. 30 minute programs in documentary series, including breaks).

3. “Ted”; Produced by KAKM; Presentation of the Public Television Network of Alaska (KTOO, KUAC, KAKM, KYUK); 1983 (28.5 minutes, ½ inch VHS videocassette).

4. Ted Pedersen: Historic Film, Narrated by Ted Pedersen, Interviewed by Carroll Hodge; Working tape for documentary, “Ted”; ca. 1981 (62 minutes, ½ inch Betacam SP videocassette; ½ inch VHS videocassette reference copy).

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