ESCAR, INC., a Cleveland based sponsored film studio, incorporated in 1925, was the brainchild of E. S. (Ernest Swaim) Carpenter (1890-1970). The company name comes from Carpenter's initials and the first three letters of his last name.

In an ad campaign in Business Screen in 1944, ESCAR traced their history back to 1912 when Carpenter was operating the "picture machines" in the Strand Theatre and other theatres in Louisville, KY.

"1912…1944 We’ve Come Long Way. We've grown up with motion pictures. Thirty-two years of experience and our modern plant ensures pictures that get results. We are still making training films for Uncle Sam but have some time for industry." ESCAR ad in Business Screen, v. 5, no. 8,(August 1944), p.23

Carpenter was an early film pioneer and innovator. He was on the Board of Directors and a supporter of standards and code of practice for educational and industrial pictures promoted by the Institute for the Advancement of Visual Education and Vocational Training, Inc. Carpenter was issued a patent for a motion picture projector in 1932. In the 1950s, he was working on new technologies for lacquer coating film.

ESCAR began as a film equipment distributor and evolved into educational and training films in the 1940s and 50s. The studio was a major supplier of training films in World War I and II.

ESCAR made a number of notable films including the STANDARD OIL (OHIO) film “Let's Explore Ohio: Ohio at Play” (1939). The film shows people enjoying themselves in various Ohio museums, zoos, and parks. Footage includes Cedar Point in Sandusky and EUCLID BEACH PARK in Cleveland. The film critic from the CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER, W. Ward Marsh, usually a critic of "advertising films," wrote: "I am going to write about one set of reels I saw the other day and, more, I shall recommend them highly to you to see them the first opportunity you may have." "The subjects are all well covered, the editing is well done, and the story is told as simply as possible." "SOHIO is to be congratulated for these nice records of the state preserved in celluloid and made available to practically any group asking for them." 

ESCAR clients included: the US Office of Education, the US Army and Navy, the Cleveland Range Company, CLEVELAND GREENHOUSE VEGETABLE GROWERS’ COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATION, Cleveland Paste and Cleaner Company, the CLEVELAND TWIST DRILL COMPANY, Goodyear Aircraft, Inc., B. F. Goodrich tire company, the Kiwanis Club, the Euclid Road Machine Co., Zeen Chemical Co., WHITE MOTOR CO., and  Standard Oil (Ohio). Advertising agencies that worked with ESCAR include D'Arcy Advertising and the GRISWOLD-ESHELMAN CO

FRANK SIEDEL was a writer and producer at ESCAR Motion Pictures for five years before he went to work with CINECRAFT

ESCAR Motion Pictures faded away in the 1960s ending its life as a supplier of film printing and sound recording services. 


Jim Culley


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