Ball Brothers Factory Band, Digital Media Repository
Gas Boom to Glass Jars: Ball Brothers Documentary Premieres This Week
A Legacy Etched in Glass: The Ball Brothers in Muncie, a documentary produced by the Ball State University Department of Telecommunications as part of an immersive learning project, premieres on Thursday, September 25 at 6:00 pm at Minnetrista in Muncie. The documentary tells the story of the five Ball brothers—George, Lucius, Frank, Edmund, and William.
The Ball brothers moved their glass manufacturing business from Buffalo, New York, to Muncie during the Indiana gas boom of the 1890’s. Locating the factories on the south side of Muncie, the Ball brothers expanded their operations enormously in the early 20th century. The film explores the lives of the brothers, their families, the ongoing Ball legacy in Muncie, and the core values that propelled them to success as industrialists and community leaders.
The story weaves motion graphic animation, beautiful cinematography, and archival materials with interviews and analyses from expert historians. Sanborn Fire Insurance maps (above, click to enlarge) and maps showing the Trenton gas field are featured in the film. Historic maps from the GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) used for the film are available for viewing in the Ball State University Libraries’ Digital MediaRepository. The map collections include: Muncie Sanborn Insurance Maps, United States Transportation Maps, Ball State University Campus Maps, American Cities Historic Maps, Indiana Natural Resources Maps, International Historic Maps, Delaware County Aerial Plat Maps, Indiana Historic County Atlases, United States Soil Maps, and United States Topographic Maps. The University Libraries’ YouTube channel allows users a different format for viewing some of the resources from the Digital Media Repository.
For questions about the documentary, please contact the executive producer and faculty advisor Chris Flook at 765-730-0841. For more information about the Digital Media Repository, contact John Straw in the Archives and Special Collections at 765-285-5078.