PHOTO: Library of Congress
Founded in 1882, the Actors Fund bankrolled everything from burial plots to elder-care accommodations for destitute theater professionals. In 1917, the group organized the 10-day Actors Fund Fair at New York's Grand Central Palace to help finance those efforts. The event included stage actresses dressed as nurses who stood next to machine guns and demonstrated how to roll bandages. In addition to exhibits selling hot dogs and Native American crafts, there was a makeshift studio filming movies with Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and Fatty Arbuckle, all of which helped the fair raise $80,000.