Agricultural Explorations in Ceylon, Sumatra and Java (1925-1926)

Date Posted: 23-02-2019

"Agricultural Explorations in Ceylon, Sumatra and Java"is a silent motion picture produced by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Plant Industry. The film features footage of plant explorer David Fairchild and his expedition team during a trip to the East Indies in 1925 and 1926. Among the members of the expedition were plant explorer P. H. Dorsett and his son James, who shot the film footage.

The film follows the explorers as they seek out tropical plants that could be grown in the United States and provide economic benefits, whether as food, ornamentals, or crossbreeding stock to improve species already grown there. Much of the film shows gardens, landscapes, and village scenes from the three islands visited by the explorers. In some scenes, native people demonstrate their uses of particular fruits, vegetables, and plant materials. Segments of film footage are interspersed with title cards that narrate the expedition story.

This motion picture is from the Special Collections of the USDA National Agricultural Library.