Thanks to Jim for passing this along.  Up on now, writer Nathan Bomey explains how a old home video of what appears to be a 1930s-era Michigan football game at the Big House surfaced:

The startup, Priceless Photo Preservation, restored a home movie featuring “field-level footage of a Michigan football game inside the newly built (and nearly empty) Michigan Stadium,” co-founder Rob Hoffman said in an email.

The video owner, Ann Arbor native Susan Pearlman, said her grandfather, Ovid Weldon, shot the film, which shows extensive action featuring the Michigan football team, marching band and several views of the crowd. Two punts are clearly visible.

Pearlman believes that her grandfather, who earned a degree in landscape architecture from U-M in the late 1920s, shot the film sometime between 1931 and 1935 because other footage on the reel shows her father or uncle as a toddler. Her uncle was born in 1928, and her father was born in 1932. She said no one had seen the video since at least 1960, when her grandfather died.

Here’s the video:


It’s definitely the Big House of course, but there’s not enough data offhand for me to place the year or the opponent for that matter.  The uniforms look very similar to the footage that’s in the Black and Blue documentary on the 1934 season and story of the the Georgia Tech/Willis Ward/Gerald Ford game.

I love this kind of thing surfacing because to me, each day, instead of losing Michigan football history as the days on the calendar fly off, we seem to extending and enhancing it (sorry to sound like an Enzyte commercial).   I feel like this site is a small piece of that, but there’s so many more—Bacs, the guys at Stunt3,, James Dickson, many of the writers for Michigan Today and the Ann Arbor Chronicle and on and on.

Naturally one bone to pick with Bomey.  He writes:

Michigan Stadium opened on Oct. 1, 1927 with a capacity of about 84,000. After a minor expansion in 1928, the stadium wasn’t expanded again until the late 1940s.

The first expansion was in 1927.  The original capacity was 75,000 but to meet the ticket demand for the dedication game against Ohio State (and for the games against Navy and Minnesota for that matter), Yost dragged in bleachers from Ferry Field, affixed them around the stadium and rose the capacity to 84,000.

The Bentley has footage from both 1926 and 1927 (Wesleyan, and Ohio State games) worth a look.

Full story here on

1 Comment

  1. Fascinating footage and story behind it. I hope somebody is able to figure out the year and opponent.