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An early (and lighthearted) documentarian of life in Old Colorado City in the early 20th Century, Ira Current was born in Colorado Springs October 30, 1910. He developed a keen interest in photography when he was 16 years old which would soon lead him to a job with Stewart Brothers photo finishing in Colorado Springs. In 1928, shortly after his graduation from Colorado Springs High School (now Palmer High School) he used the salary he earned at Stewart’s ($5 a week) to purchase a Cine Kodak, the first amateur film camera produced, for $25, a tripod for $25 and two hundred feet of film for $5 and produced his first film, “Four Wheels” (above), a chronicle of soap box style races, inspired by the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, near the Garden of the Gods.
Current went on to study Chemistry at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1930 and earned a degree that led to a career in photochemistry in Rochester, NY.
Here are two more of Current’s films, one chronicling everday life of the Westside in the 1930s (including golfing near 32nd st., smoking pipes and cigarettes in Red Rock Canyon & more soap box derby action) and one about his 1929 journey to Cripple Creek on the Midland Railroad, which includes an interview with Mr. Current, himself:
Prior to Current’s death in May of 2009, he wrote an account of the making of “Four Wheels” which you can read at the Old Colorado City Historical Society’s website, here.
Many thanks, as always, to the Pikes Peak Library District for posting these great videos.