Creative Inspiration: Studio Prop Dept. Photos from 1937

Wonderful photos by Margaret Bourke-White inside the Warner Brothers and Paramount Prop Depts. back in 1937. Found these (and more) on the LIFE magazine gallery site.

Break-away club and prop filled pockets.

Old time practical effects - unicorn horn for a horse, turtle on wheels to move, knife stabbing gags.
Martha Raye marionette.
Mosquito prop on thread of human hair to make fly.
Spinning faux spider webs.


  1. i kept getting distracted by the looks on their faces. awesome.

  2. These are so cool! Any idea why that turtle has a candle on its back?

    1. I was wondering that myself.

      The only thing I recall which is possible was an old Little Rascals short called "First Round Up" when Spanky and Scottie where camping out overnight by a lake and unknowingly placed their lantern on a turtle and it walked into the water.

      I don't think it's that though as it was a different studio. But who knows... props where probably rented out back then too.

  3. holy poo- look at the size of that web caster!