In the movie industry, there has always been a disconnect between the actors and directors and then the people that make the sets and costumes, that make the film come to life. Without set designers like A.D. Chadwick, and others like him, movies would be much less interesting to watch, being just actors talking to each other. Recently, there has been a move to give more respect for the usually unknown people working behind the scenes. Big companies, such as Marvel, have started to add extra content, a “post-credit” scene, to make people watch all the names and jobs come across the screen. As the people other than actors and directors that work on films are starting to get more recognition within the general population, an understanding that there are big names within these communities and one of them is Archelaus D. Chadwick, working in the Wharton Studio in Ithaca, New York.
Archelaus D. Chadwick, known to some by A.D., Archer, Arch, Chad, and other nicknames, was born in Ovid, New York on May 18, 1871. When he was 18 years old, he opened his own photography studio in 1889. He then moved his studio and life to Interlaken, New York, where he worked with the fire department there, eventually serving as Fire Chief in 1910. He moved on to doing set design for silent films starting in 1914 and continued to do this until 1925, when he retired from actively making sets for films. After retiring he became a professor at the Theater Department at Ithaca College until his death on June 5, 1939 from a heart attack.