Movie blogger Pedro Cinemaxunga put together a really informative compilation of early silent films that shows and explains in great detail how special effects were achieved for those particular scenes. Long before CGI and green screens, all effects had to be done through very creative illusory camera tricks and custom sets.
How some cool silent film effects were done. In Silent movies, effects had to be done in camera. Enjoy these amazing feats of engineering.
via Miss Cellania