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The beginning of the yellow card system

Photo caption: One of the earliest film studios, called the Black Maria, in West Orange, New Jersey.

Source: Museum of Modern Art (New York)

The first blanket contract was established for individuals traveling with attractions. Under this system, a bond posted with the International guaranteed transportation home, and two weeks’ pay for suddenly closed shows.

District No. 1, composed of locals in the Northwest, created a system allowing workers to send basic information such as the size and length of time the local crews would be needed ahead to the next destination. This assured that there would be enough people to staff each theatre, and helped ensure these were union crews.

It worked so well that the International adopted the system a few years later. It is known as the yellow card system, and is still in use today.

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