Lassen's eruptions occurred from 1914 to 1917, but the USGS initially did not believe the eruption occurred on the earliest date. However, Hammer who lived so close to the volcano, witnessed the first eruption in 1914. Hammer would stay at his cabin unless heat, lava, and ash from the eruption forced him briefly away. Quite the adventurer, Hammer was the oldest man ever to scale the mountain's North Slope at age 70.
Craig Martin comments, "National Geographic was sold the rights to the film in exchange for saving as much of the film as they could in the 60s. They found the film so brittle that when it was handled, it splintered into pieces. The film you see is all they could save of all the eruptions. The rest was explosive, so it was destroyed." The film was, at one time, over 20 minutes long. Prior to the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980 this was the only film of a volcanic eruption within the continental United States.
Craig has also promised me exclusive rights to his family archive of Lassen photographs; I simply cannot wait to see them. I am elated that Craig's and my paths have crossed and that along with making a new friend, we both can share a story that might otherwise not obtain the attention it so rightly deserves.
PS Audio was supplied by Craig, as the film was originally silent.