Josephine Rector’s brief career in cinema as a scenario writer and actress is closely associated with the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company. Essanay was founded in Chicago in 1907 by George K. Spoor, distributor of screen equipment, and Gilbert M. “Bronco Billy” Anderson, actor, director, and producer, who became known as the first cowboy star. Convinced that Western adventure stories should be filmed in the real West, Anderson and a small crew set off in the direction of the Rockies sometime in 1909 or 1910 (Bell 1984, 39) to establish a second Essanay office. In April of 1912, the group, after short sojourns in Colorado and several towns in California, settled in Niles, just east of San Francisco, building a film studio and housing for its personnel.
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