Poor Baby (1915)

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Raymond McKee was Edison's star comedian when he made this one-reeler. Mrs. Smith (Lucille Allen) offers to give some clothes to Pete, a tramp (McKee), if he'll chop some firewood for her. While Pete is working, Mrs. Smith sets out a bundle containing the clothes and his lunch. Her friend, Mrs. Jones (Lou Gorey), stops by to visit and leaves her bundled-up baby on the doorstep next to the package meant for Pete. When the tramp finishes working, he grabs the wrong bundle -- which he doesn't discover until he gets to a boxcar. He places the baby on the doorstep of Matilda Jenkins (Caroline Rankin), a spinster who has finally found a sweetheart. The baby's presence causes the gossips to start talking, so she puts it on the doorstep of a newlywed couple, which causes more talk. The baby is passed around from home to home, each time causing much embarrassment, until it is finally returned to its worried mother. Oliver Hardy, then billed as O.N. Hardy, has a bit role as Matilda's sweetheart.