Last week, I mentioned that Chicago played host to many large, well-known studios from the silent film era, including Essanay Studios which claimed Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson and Ben Turpin as their own for a period of time. In the brief time that Chaplin lived in Chicago, he starred in a short film that featured Turpin *and* Swanson. That film was “His New Job.”
When Chaplin joined Essanay in 1915 it was huge news in the world of film. Chaplin had grown tired of Mack Sennett’s knockabout, slapstick Keystone comedies and longed for more subtle and clever gags than Sennett wanted. By joining Essanay, he was beginning to gain the freedom he would need to create his later masterpieces, and Essanay was reaping the benefits of having an internationally known comedian as part of their stock. And Essanay didn’t hold back when it came to announcing their acquisition.
For more silent film ads from Essanay and Chaplin, check out my Pinterest boards.