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Earl Theisen (1903-1973) was born in Denver and educated in Chicago and Los Angeles. He entered the film industry in 1922 when he took a job with the Alexander Film Company. He left Alexander for Consolidated Film Company. In 1931 he began researching early cinema history and collecting artifacts under the auspices of the Los Angeles Museum and the Society of Motion Picture Engineers. He later became associate editor of "International Photographer," lectured at the University of Southern California, and became the West Coast representative for the Register Tribune Syndicate and a photographer for "Look."