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Made in 1947, "Human Growth" was the first film about human reproduction to be approved for screenings in American public schools. The film uses a film-within-a-film technique, showing a seventh-grade class as they view and discuss an animated movie which traces human growth from conception to adulthood. Differences in male and female structural development are emphasized. A mixed group of seventh grade youngsters in a class situation view and discuss the cartoon. "Human...
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Created by famed cameraman Burton Holmes, this short newsreel shows the "Streets of Paris" exhibition at the Chicago World's Fair "A Century of Progress" in 1933.  The risque nature of the exhibit is a bit dumbfounding to a modern audience, as it features a "nudist colony" and "live model" art class. However most of these appear to be sight gags of one kind or another. One sight that is something to behold is Sally Rand, who performs her famous fan dance...
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This black and white documentary, Wright Builds for Supremacy, is a film on how to create and build Curtiss-Wright aircraft engines, and was probably produced around 1941 to 1942. The documentary was presented by Wright Aeronautical Corporation which was in business from 1919-1929 and then merged with Curtiss to form Curtiss-Wright, remaining one of the divisions of that corporation. This film was narrated by Lowell Thomas, an American writer, broadcaster, and traveler, and was produced by...
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This footage from just after the 1967 Six Day War begins with footage from an Israeli beach where civilians are seen swimming and relaxing despite the sound of distant shell fire and transport jets screaming overhead. At 1:35 , the Israeli cabinet is seen emerging from an emergency meeting at military headquarters. Golda Meir addresses a camera crew at 2:40 , telling them to film the assembled soldiers. At 3:00 , an Israeli tank is seen on the move and at 3:09 Moshe Dayan is seen, probably in...
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This short, silent film from the 1940s features "Glamorous, Exciting Stars" -- pin-ups, dancers and burlesque acts. It was one of many films made during this era which were called "smokers", and ranged from harmless films like this one filled with posing, to more raunchy XXX movies. At  1:22  the film includes a segment featuring Josette, the "darling of the American Army in Africa and Italy" who was "photographed in Oran, North Africa in 1943". Josette...
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Shot by a news cameraman in the late 1950s or early 1960s, this film contains disturbing images of car accident aftermaths. It's unclear why this footage was shot, but we suspect it may have been intended to be shown to young drivers as part of driver's education or, another possibility, it was being shot to create a film about safe driving techniques. The footage is not in sequence and various locations are shown; and in some cases the accidents are clearly fatal. At  5:48 , a funeral home is...
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One of the all time most infamous of the highway safety scare film genre, HIGHWAY OF AGONY was made by Highway Safety Films of Mansfield, Ohio. This was the filmmaking arm of the Highway Safety Commission, an organization responsible for haunting the dreams of an entire generation of young drivers. In this era, when safety belts were not mandatory and air bags were yet a distant dream, and things like disc brakes and powered steering had yet to be widely adopted, America's highways were the...
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This film begins with a promo for the documentary film "Killers All", a 1945 exploitative documentary about organized crime. Following the promo is a related film, "Dealers in Death", which is a cut-down of a feature-length movie "The Vanishing Gangster". "Dealers in Death" primarily focuses on John Dillinger and Bonnie & Clyde, and contains famous footage of the young lovers' bullet-ridden death car. “Get ready for the SHOCK of your Life!” That...
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Made in the 1970s this film THE DEEP SCATTERING LAYER tells the story of the search for a mysterious "second floor" in the ocean, as recorded by sonar devices. This floor -- consisting of marine animals such as shrimp, whales and dolphins -- moves to different levels at different hours, different days, and different seasons. It is probed by U.S. Navy sonar, deep-trawled nets with hydrophones and instruments, and finally by by ocean going submersibles. While the film presents the...
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Made in 1968 as American servicemen fought in Vietnam, LSD: TRIP TO WHERE? highlights the dangers of the hallucinogenic drug LSD. Widely shown to U.S. military personnel (including those stationed in Vietnam), the film was supplemented with a brochure for "Operation Janus", a brigade-level amnesty and treatment program aimed at helping soldiers, airmen and sailors with marijuana, heroin and other substance abuse problems. In this film Bill, a sailor on leave, takes acid and is so...
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Made in the 1950s (or possibly the late 1940s) by Ciba Pharmaceutical Products with the co-operation of the U.S. Air Force and the University of Chicago Medical Center, this film shows the use of Nupercaine (a form of dibucaine) spinal anesthetic in the vaginal delivery of triplets. At the time this type of spinal anesthesia (now commonplace) was fairly new. The first use of similar continuous caudal anesthesia in a laboring woman was on January 6, 1942, when the wife of a United States Coast...
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This extraordinary silent film dates to 1925 and presents a tour of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios in Culver City, California — today the Sony Pictures Studios. The film opens at 1:33 with a sweeping shot of the studio lot. At 3:30 the studio gate on Washington Blvd. is shown and at 3:55 , the studio's wire to New York (a telegraph!) At 4:00 MGM's main building on Washington Blvd. is seen with Model T Fords running past. At 6:37 Stage 14 is shown under construction; it is one of many on the...
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The 1947 film The Biography of the Motion Picture Camera is an art documentary produced by Les Films du Compas and Roger Leenhardt, and narrated by Tony Kraber. The film traces the history of the development of motion pictures from the first camera to Edison’s kinetoscope and the Lumiere brothers’ cinematograph. The film begins with a brief recap of photographing still simple subjects. The issue of animating still photographs is apparent with the “School of the Successive Pose” ( 01:51...
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An official War Department film produced by the United States Army Signal Corps during WWII, “How Good Is A Gun?” opens with a scene from “a valley where Nazis rule. A valley of death.” As the camera pans across the ruins of what was once a town, the narrator says that no rocket or “mysterious ray” destroyed this place. “Just firepower — firepower of American war production … fighting to save this town and every town from the swastika.” American infantrymen are shown sharing...
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The Battle of Midway is a stirring, beautiful, and poignant 1942 American documentary film short directed by John Ford. It is a montage of color footage of the Battle of Midway with voice overs of various narrators, including Johnny Governali, Donald Crisp, Henry Fonda, and Jane Darwell. The film begins with a male narrator (Ray Milland) explaining where Midway Island is and its strategic importance, and shows the PBY Catalina seaplane base (previously used by Pan Am for its flying boats)....
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This film is presented by the United States Navy (:10). The Naval Gun Factory is spread out over 125 acres in Washington DC by the Anacostia River (:52) and is composed of about 260 buildings.   It is the largest Naval armament in the world ( 1:25 ). Old cannons are poised out front of the factory as it has been an arsenal, school for midshipmen and a naval base is it’s past ( 1:32 ). An example is depicted of a work order which will be studied by various staff departments ( 2:06 ). A...
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This black and white film, one of the Andre de la Varre "Screen Traveler" series, recounts the history of the Philippines and shows the island nation as it appeared in the 1930s. Opening sequence: :01-:21. Narrator: March 1521, Magellan discovers the Philippine Islands, :55. Philippine Islands over 7,000 islands, become subject to King of Spain 1:18 . Magellan is killed 19 days after declaring this, 1:26 . Spain returns to their homeland through Cape of Good Hope and first around the...
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This film is by Encyclopedia Britannica Educational Corporation (:08). Its topic will be lysergic acid diethylamide (:53) the natural and synthetic hallucinogen. A bottle containing LSD is shown and one ounce is capable of producing 300,000 hallucinogenic trips (1:23). It has been produced by Concept films (1:48). It begins in 1951, in southern France where citizens had been hit with a strange illness constituted with pain, high fever and hallucinations (2:24). The plague was dubbed ‘St....
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Dating to the year 1933, this silent film from the Chicago Public School System under Superintendent of Schools, Dr. William J. Bogan celebrates "A Century of Progress handicapped children". (The "Century of Progress" was the name of the Chicago World's Fair of this same time period). The film gives an extraordinary glimpse into "state of the art" education for children with disabilities in the first part of the 20th Century, and is one of a couple films in our...
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FINLAND FIGHTS! was released theatrically as a sound film in 1940 by Emerson Yorke, an independent producer in New York, in cooperation with Castle Films. The footage shown was originally material assembled for an humanitarian reel, made on behalf of the Finnish Relief Fund, so that American audiences could see how Finland was withstanding Russian invasion. The original theatrical release was only five minutes long, but Eugene Castle brought it up to standard one reel length and released it as...
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This “restricted” United States War Department Film Bulletin provides the viewer with footage of the German Army’s invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. Historians mark the invasion as the start of World War II. “Poland’s 34 million inhabitants, crushed, scattered and enslaved,” the narrator grimly states at mark  00:35 . The attack was characterized by extensive bombing to destroy Poland’s air capacity, railroads, communication lines, and munitions dumps. As the narrator...
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One of the Ministry of Information's "Into Battle" shorts, "These are the Men" was written by Dylan Thomas. This incredible film uses footage from Leni Riefenstahl's "Triumph of the Will" and other speeches by Hitler and other Nazi leaders, and replaces normal translations with bombastic, over-the-top confessions. Various leaders including Hitler, Goebbels, Göering, Streicher and Hess bare their terrible sins and character flaws as frankly as if they were victims...
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The Red Adair Co., Inc. presents “The Devil’s Cigarette Lighter.” This circa 1962 color film features the first person narration of famed oil well fire fighter Red Adair, who takes you step by step as he and his fire fighters (including Boots Hansen and Coots Mathews) extinguished the oil well fire that put the Red Adair Company on the map and made him a celebrity. The natural gas well fire was nicknamed “The Devil’s Cigarette Lighter. The fire, in the Sahara Desert of Algeria,...
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This U.S. Marine Corps film from the Vietnam War in 1968 documents the Chi'u H i Program (loosely translated as "Open Arms"). Chieu-Hoi was a psychological operations initiative by the USMC and South Vietnamese to encourage defection by the Viet Cong and their supporters to the side of the Government during the Vietnam War. Defection was urged by means of a propaganda campaign, usually leaflets delivered by artillery shell or dropped over enemy-controlled areas by aircraft, or...
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A Chronicle of America's Jazz Age is a 1950 American documentary film produced by Richard de Rochemont. The film is narrated by Frederick Lewis Allen, Robert Q. Lewis, Allen Prescott, Red Barber, and Elmer Davis. The film opens with shots of city streets lined with cars and sidewalks full of people, before cutting to the front of the New York Public Library ( 01:21 ), where a young man browses the American History section before coming across the book that leads into the footage of the 1920s....
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This 1960s color film is about WABCO Motor Graders (LeTourneau-Westinghouse) and made by WABCO Earthmoving Equipment, Peoria, IL. The film opens with motor graders in action along the side of roads, including a 440H. A closeup of mud rolling in front of the blade from the operator’s point of view is shown (:04- 1:54 ). Preventive Maintenance. The Operator’s Guide is shown for the Models 666 and 777; the H and NH series; In-Line 71 Engines Detroit Diesel; Model 330, 330H, and Model 440. The...
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In 1938 Theodore Andrica, the Nationalities Editor of the Cleveland Press and author of the "Around the World in Cleveland" column, paid a visit to Nazi Germany. As part of his journey he shot this astonishing film which shows what appears to be the pastoral German state, but was actually a nation on the brink of war. Unlike many of the films from this era which have been colorized, Andrica actually shot this motion picture on Kodachrome stock.   Although the material is silent the...
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This 1944 black-and-white film is the second part “Castaway” — a Willard Pictures creation for the Bureau of Aeronautics. It continues to follow a downed pilot, who after being adrift at sea for several days finds his way to a dry island. “The hunt for food is on and you’re not overlooking anything,” the narrator immediately explains at mark  00:10  at the pilot walks along the shoreline, picking up snails, scallops, and conch. Sleep envelops the pilot but by mark  1:30  he is...
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The short U.S. Navy training film Submarine Salvage shows the process Navy salvage crews use to retrieve sunken submarines. USS Hoist ARS-40 is shown in operation in the film. The submarine shown being salvaged appears to be a WWII boat; the techniques shown probably would not work with a modern submarine due to the size of these vessels. The film begins with a submarine sinking and the rescue of the ship’s survivors. Rescuing survivors is the only goal immediately following the sinking of a...
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The 1963 America’s Junior Miss Pageant is the subject of this color film. The film opens with 1962 pageant winner Jean Allen (mark  00:25 ) who calmly explains that the pageant “is the search for the ideal high school senior in the nation” and details the various competitions leading up to the Junior Miss Pageant as scenes from her competition are shown. After being crowned, Allen recounts her world wind year as Junior Miss starting at mark  02:25  with a montage of scenes from parades...
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This Soviet propaganda newsreel (entirely in Russian) attempts to show the progress made in the modern USSR, and the improvement in everyday life, under socialism. The film shows modern buildings, industry, laboratories, schools, power plants and electrification, the oil industry, and more. The film then transitions to speak about exporting socialism to other nations so that they can enjoy similar progress in their societies. If only the on-going threat from the West including the USA, can be...
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NOTE: We could use some help identifying the types of cars used in these tests. Please if you know the models leave information in the comments below thanks! This film shows highlights of high speed car crash tests made in the late 1970s using crash test dummies, which include early versions of air bags. Although it's not well known, in the early 1970s both Ford and General Motors began offering cars equipped with airbags, initially in government fleet purchased Chevrolet automobiles. GM's...
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Made in the 1940s, this profile of the famed Fuller Brush Company and its products and manufacturing techniques, gives some insight into one of America's most famous brands of the 20th Century. The film stars Alfred C. Fuller, who began what was to become Fuller Brush Company in a basement shop in Somerville, Massachusetts; In 1906 he moved to Hartford, Connecticut (the factory is seen at  3:00 ) and founded the company. The company began with door-to-door sales of brushes of various sorts,...
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This silent newsreel was released by Kodak as part of their Kodascope Library in 1927. The contents were shot by veteran journalist Lowell Thomas, who reported from Egypt during WWI and helped Lawrence of Arabia come to international acclaim.   At :17, Port Sudan (on the Red Sea) is shown where supplies for Lawrence are being loaded. At :40 are shots aboard a transport ship bound for the front, where bearers bathe and eat. At 1:20 the ship is unloaded at the Arabian coast. At 1:52 , a...
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This black and white instructional education short film The Steam Engine (as it applies to locomotives) was produced by Young America Films (Centron Corporation), using footage originally shot by British Information Services. The film was most likely released in the 1940s due to the presence of streamline “modern” trains. It opens with a steam engine train coming up the tracks (:34-:43). Passengers inside are shown, including some being waited on in a dining car (:44-:56), before returning...
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An informative film about LSD, this 1960s educational tells the story of the discovery of the drug and its affects. The film begins in 1951 after a naturally induced mass hysteria episode in France, and then traces the work of Dr. Albert Hofmann who suffered similar symptoms after exposing himself to synthesized LSD in the 1930s. The film shows the effects of LSD on rats in a laboratory, including catatonia. The film features Dr. Jean Houston and Dr. Robert Masters, who used LSD to probe...
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“Liquid Oxygen Receipt Transfer Storage Disposal” is a 1961 US Air Force training film prepared for personnel handling liquid oxygen — a fuel used in liquid-propelled rockets including the Titan I and Titan II ICBMs. The film also discusses the handling of liquid nitrogen. Mark  01:00 takes the viewer to an unidentified USAF base generating plant where the liquid is manufactured into a cryogenic, or low-temperature, material. There are scenes of scientists testing the propellant (mark ...
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Life In The Sahara is a short 1953 film from Encyclopaedia Britannica Films that gives viewers a glimpse of life in the Sahara Desert in the 1950s, touching on the geography of the region as well as the people who live there. The film opens with shots of the Sahara Desert, including sand dunes, mountains, and salty flats ( 00:22 ; 01:05 ). Massive sand dunes tower above the desert floor ( 01:27 ; 13:52 ). Wind blows sand along desert, making travel no easy task. A train moves along one of the...
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WITH THE MARINES AT TARAWA is a 1944 short documentary film directed by Louis Hayward. It used authentic footage taken at the Battle of Tarawa to tell the story of the American servicemen from the time they get the news that they are to participate in the invasion to the final taking of the island and raising of the Stars and Stripes. The film is in full color and uses no actors, making it a valuable historical document. The documentary showed more gruesome scenes of battle than other war films...
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This silent German educational film dates to the 1940s and shows the cultivation, harvesting and drying of corn. The end product will likely be used for animal feed.  We encourage viewers to add comments and, especially, to provide additional information about our videos by adding a comment! See something interesting? Tell people what it is and what they can see by writing something for example like: "01:00:12:00 -- President Roosevelt is seen meeting with Winston Churchill at the Quebec...
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Made by Kodak in the 1920s or early 1930s, "An East Indian Island" looks at the land and people of Bali, Indonesia. At 2:13 rocks are harvested for use as a roadbed from the seashore. All of the work is done by hand and at 2:35 , transported atop women's heads.   At 2:54 ox carts move along the gravel road. At 3:00 rice cultivation is seen and a series of paddocks. Water buffalo are the primary beast of burden here ( 3:50 ). The harvest is seen at 4:50 . At 6:09 , typical housing is...
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Since 1915, the United States Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in South Carolina (or simply Parris Island) has trained enlisted personnel. This 1960s Marine Corps “unclassified” film introduces the viewer to Parris Island, and opens at mark  00:32  with a shot of the United States Marine Corps enlisted contract, as the narrator spells out the basic requirements of a Marine. Nervous recruits stand at attention as a Marine captain delivers the oath of enlistment. A smiling master...
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This silent film is a home movie that shows a trip to Southern California that dates to 1954. The film starts with a shot at :20 of Mann's / Grauman's Chinese Theater with "There's No Business LIke Show Business" which debuted in December of 1954. At 1:08 the names of the famous are seen in the concrete at the theater. At 2:05 the Hollywood sign is visible in the distance. At 2:15 are shots from near the 101 Freeway of the approach to the Hollywood Bowl, and the entrance to the Bowl...
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This silent 8mm home movie shows a variety of things but by far the most exciting is a stunt show by Jimmie Lunch and his Death Dodgers. You can see it starting about 20:41 into the film. Daredevil Jimmie Lynch and his "Death Dodgers" traveled the country throughout the 1940s and ‘50s, performing spectacular stunts in flimsy cars. They jumped over cars and trucks, smashed through flaming walls, and sent their vehicles tipping over on two wheels. Lynch himself was famous for riding...
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Made by Arthur Barr, this short film shows some of the technologies used by prospectors to find gold in the 1849 California Gold Rush. At 2:00 , a prospector shows how a pan is used to sift river sand in search of gold flakes. At 2;24 a claim is staked out with a claim post. At 3:30 a rocker or cradle is made to sift gravel. At 3:53 , wooden bars called riffers and a hopper to hold the sand and gravel are created from wood. At 4:40 the operation of the hopper is shown. At 6:17 a Long Tom sluice...
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“U-47 in Scapa Flow” is a 1958 black-and-white episode of the docudrama “The Silent Service” —   a show that was typically about the U.S. Navy's submarine fleet. This particular episode is different in that it tells the story of a German U-boat. "Silent Service" episodes were based on fact and the realism was heightened by actual use of combat footage from the files of the Navy. The stories were varied between the South Pacific during World War II and the Korean War. The...
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“Tehuantepec” is a 1940s color tourism film presented by the Tourist Department of the Mexican Government and the Mexican Tourist Association. Tehuantepec is located in southeastern Mexico in Oaxaca. Actress Linda Darnell provides the film’s narration and describes the tropical setting of Tehuantepec (similar, she says to a South Seas island with sugar cane and golden pineapples) and we see palm trees swaying in the breeze at mark  01:00 . The warm sun and idyllic condition encourages...
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Trieste is a Swiss-designed, Italian-built deep-diving research bathyscaphe, which with her crew of two reached a record maximum depth of about 10,911 meters (35,797 ft), in the deepest known part of the Earth's oceans, the Challenger Deep, in the Mariana Trench near Guam in the Pacific. On 23 January 1960, Jacques Piccard (son of the boat's designer Auguste Piccard) and US Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh achieved the goal of Project Nekton. Trieste was the first manned vessel to have reached the...
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An excerpt from a longer documentary film about Adolf Hitler, this 7.5 minute segment follows the Fuhrer from the assassination attempt on July 20, 1944 through his suicide on August 30, 1945. The film begins with some of the last footage of Hitler shot before the assassination attempt, and shows him visiting injured staff in the hospital after the incident. At :51, Hitler is seen visiting with Mussolini. At  1:19 , the public trial of the plotters is seen. At  3:00 , footage of the...
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Made in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster, this Ukranian propaganda film takes a hard look at nuclear energy and the threat posed to humanity by the atomic bomb and radiation. The film was most likely made by the government of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine in 1987, just three years before the Soviet Union crumbled. The Chernobyl accident severely undermined the Soviet government, and this film may be seen as evidence that within Ukraine, the incident was perceived as the...
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Made in 1942 during the German occupation of France, PAR 18 METRES DE FOND or 18 METERS DEEP is a pioneering film shot partially under water by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Philippe Talliez. It was directed by Frederic Dumas who met the pair in 1937. The film was shot in 1941, and its production did not benefit from the SCUBA breathing system that Cousteau would develop and use later in his career. To shoot the underwater scenes a special depth-pressure-proof camera case developed by mechanical...
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These extraordinary Super 8mm home movies from the Vietnam War, come from a member of the "Ravens". The Raven Forward Air Controllers were pilots used for forward air control by the Central Intelligence Agency. This film focuses on 1968. ( 00:00:00 ) Kim Chi with friends walking down street in Tuy Hoa, Viet-Nam. ( 00:00:31 ) American soldiers on Personnel Carrier in Tuy Hoa valley. ( 00:00:39 ) U.S. Army command post in Tuy Hoa valley. ( 00:01:00 ) U.S. Army on Personnel Carrier. (...
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Made in the 1950s, THE PASSENGER TRAIN is an educational film that shows a boy named Bobby making a cross-country trip aboard a Santa Fe Railroad train known as the The Chief. The train is pulled by a diesel-electric locomotive and features aluminum-sided streamline Pullman cars. At the start of the film Bobby arrives at a train station in a big city (probably Chicago) to board the train. The film then shows the operation of the train as it heads west towards Los Angeles. Bobby disembarks at...
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Made in 1947, SILENT LANDSCAPES / PAYSAGES DU SILENCE is one of the earliest films made by Jacques Cousteau. The film was shot at a depth of up to 60 meters depth in the Mediterranean sea. This version is entirely silent, but the theatrical release version has an accompanying soundtrack.The plot of the film is simple enough as a team of divers explores undersea animal and plant life and revels in the majesty of the underwater world.   Cousteau had made his first underwater short "18...
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This 1958 color film shows the Navajo Nation of the 1960s, with a postscript from the 1970s (:13). It’s “A Line on America” film presentation of “A People Between Two Worlds” (:50), produced by Francis and Helen Line. This largest Indian tribe lives on a reservation mostly in Arizona into New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado ( 1:18 ). Sheep provides resources and an income ( 1:50 - 2:08 ). Most of the 15 million acres are too barren, mountainous, or heavily forested ( 2:10 - 2:34 ). Only 4...
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This is a 1960’s era, color movie about the Grace Line that opens with a married couple speaking on the couch in their home. They are talking about taking a vacation. They discuss going on a cruise. The ships mentioned are the SS Santa Rosa and the SS Santa Paula. The couple visits a travel agent, 2:00 . Sights of NYC are shown, 2:30 . The couple boards the cruise ship, 3:08 . The ship departs, 3:45 . View of ship on the NYC skyline, 4:08 . The couple enters their stateroom, 4:49 . View of NY...
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This travelogue film is by James A. Fitzpatrick, an American producer who had earned the title of ‘The Voice of the Globe’ for his involvement in films such as this. This particular film is accompanied by Nathaniel Shilkret’s Traveltalk Orchestra (:15). It centers on Iceland (:27) a continent largely isolated by the rest of the world and founded by Vikings from Norway (:27). The population at the time barely exceeded 100,00 (:41) and we begin in the streets of the capital of Reykjavik...
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This episode of Jack Douglas’ television series Across the Seven Seas, “Seven Splendors of Persia,” joins American travel filmmakers Clifford and Bunny Kamen on their trip to Iran for a look at the splendors of old Persia. The episode opens with a shot of the Kamens leaving their home. Clifford Kamen speaks to the camera about his travels (brief footage shows him in Greece and Peru) and his recent trip with his wife to Iran, formally known as Persia. The couple walk of an airplane....
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This 1960 B&W film by the Editors of Fortune revolves around the executives in a marketing company deciding whether or not to buy an EDP (electronic data processor), which they also refer to as a computer. Featured in the film (although not mentioned by brand name) are IBM mainframe computers including the IBM 026 key card punch (seen at 15:59 ). In the film, five well-dressed executives sit in an office discussing whether purchasing an EDP will provide enough benefits to offset the cost (...
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Made just prior to U.S. entry into World War II, this Official Films newsreel, “News Thrills: 1941, Vol. II,” recaps some of the social, military, and political events of 1941. The newsreel begins with photographers having fun photographing people on the sandy beaches of Venice, California ( 00:19 ). The next segment covers the first test flight of the world’s largest bomber, the Douglas B-19, as it takes off from Santa Monica, California ( 01:34 ) and lands at March Air Base near...
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This silent film shows a tour of China and was likely shot in the early 1930s as a promotional film for a tourism company. Some title cards are marked "Wonders of the World" which might suggest it was also simply a commercial release of a travel record. Most of what you see in this film no longer exists. At :59 a "one wheel taxi" -- a wheelbarrow carried by a very strong Chinese man -- is shown. At 1:28 the houses of farmers are seen and at 1:38 a man poses with a child. At...
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Made during WWII by Curtiss, this film was created to introduce U.S. Navy pilots to their new SB2C Helldiver, a carrier-based dive bomber aircraft produced for the US Navy. Due to the advent of air-to-ground rockets, the SB2C was the last purpose-built dive bomber produced. The aircraft was one of the more maligned planes to be put into production, and developed a bad reputation in early service. While manufacturers produced many similar films during the war, one has to wonder whether this...
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This silent 16mm film shows an experiment undertaken to show how a small, light car like the VW Bug could be driven for long distances at low cost due to its fuel efficiency. At the start of the film a brand new VW Beetle is prepared for the trip with a visit to a full service gas station. A clock is used to record the time and a shot shows the odometer ( 3:50 mark), and then at the end these are revisited. In roughly nine hours the car travels 426 miles, although it's unclear exactly whether...
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Made by the Caterpillar Corporation SPLIT SECOND SHIFTS promotes their new D8 tractor bulldozer and the legendary Powershift transmission. The single-lever Powershift allowed the operator to shift quickly, with more power per load being delivered and resulting in more efficiency. The Powershift gives the power of direct drive and torque converter tractors through the planetary gear, as seen through animation at the  3:00  mark. At  7:30  the film shows the Powershift transmission up close,...
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This Soviet film, made for the indoctrination of Red Army infantry troops, highlights many aspects of marksmanship including the use of the standard issue Kalashnikov rifle AK-47, small arms, and the Kalashnikov machine gun. Narration: We’ve been doing marksmanship training for many days now. It is difficult. But as Suvorov said, “What is difficult in training will become easy in a battle.” (01.00) The Kalashnikov assault rifle is the powerful and reliable service rifle of the Soviet...
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Produced in 1945 by Jam Handy, "The Naval Gun At Iwo Jima" is a sister film to "The Naval Gun at Okinawa". This film details the important role Navy guns played in assaulting Japanese forces that were dug into caves on the island. It also shows the close support of Marines during the long assault. Naval gunfire at Iwo Jima was critical, the film explains, due to the fact that low visibility limited air operations. The film details the role played by battleships, cruisers,...
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Poland Forever is a 1944 film produced by Pofomo Pictures that champions the Polish people’s perseverance for a single, great, and free Poland during World War II. The film is considered a “pictorial document of the fight of Democracy against [Nazi] Invasion.” The film starts with a brief history of Poland’s pre-war growth. Warsaw ( 1:32 ) with its old monuments of art and culture is the nation’s growing capital. Modern buildings reveal the nation’s progress as it grows and...
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Made by Castle Films, "Land of the Pyramids" shows views of Egypt and Cairo as it appeared in the 1940s when it was a "shining example of 20th Century progress." The film opens with a stunning image -- a modern airliner flying past the Great Pyramid. At  1:00  modern Cairo is shown with its train station. A long camel train brings goods into the city. At  1:40  there are street scenes in Cairo, and a policeman directs traffic. At  1:50  the entrance and interior scenes...
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“Operation Ivy” cold opens with an address by President Dwight D. Eisenhower discussing the rapid advancement of the Atomic Age. A scroll at mark  00:45  then details how the Federal Civil Defense Administration “firmly believes it is necessary for the American public to know the facts about the destructiveness of nuclear weapons” and leading to the “public issuance … a non-secret portion of a secret film” that takes the viewer to the Pacific Proving Ground “to witness an...
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Presented as a promotional film by Rothmans of Pall Mall, a British tobacco company, "The Wind in the Wires" is a short 1970s aviation film narrated by James Mason that recounts the history of modern aviation (primarily in Britain) from roughly 1900 until the inter-war period. The film uses both old monochrome footage of original aircraft as well as contemporary color footage of replica planes in flight, and includes a number of photographs of famous aviators. The film begins with a...
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This episode of "The Big Picture", the U.S. Army's long-running TV program, shows the exploits of the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam. It dates to 1968. The film shows military as well as civil work, including nation building programs which it was hoped would stabilize South Vietnamese support against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese. At  2:00 , the 25th Infantry Division, also known as "Tropic Lightning" is seen being welcomed by South Vietnamese. The unit is shown...
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Produced in 1937 and released in both silent and sound versions for the home market by Castle Films, WAR IN CHINA shows the 1937 Japanese assault on Shanghai. At the time the newsreel was produced the United States was strictly neutral and thus the newsreel tended to look more closely at the civilian victims of the conflict and the horror of war than did later Castle releases. The newsreel highlights some of the many Japanese atrocities including the bombing of the Cathay Hotel ( 8:00 ) and the...
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This 1970 color film on Morocco and Kenya is one of a series of Pan Am New Horizons travelogues. It is a J.T.E./Intercine Production in association with Film Services, London, Ltd. A Pan American Jetliner lands, the jet bridge is placed, and passengers disembark to awaiting trains to the older parts of Morocco (:59- 1:23 ). Mint tea is served, using metal and sterling silver containers ( 1:40 - 1:55 ). A Moroccan Fantasia performance involves horseback riders and rifles shot in unison ( 1:56 -...
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This promotional film for the Bofors Oerlikon 20 mm cannon shows the popular weapon mounted in an armored vehicle. This gun is one of a series of autocannons, based on an original German 20 mm Becker design that appeared very early in World War I. It was widely produced by Oerlikon Contraves and others, with various models employed by both Allied and Axis forces during World War II, and many versions still in use today. The weapon can be used as an anti-aircraft gun (used against helicopters...
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Made in the aftermath of the Chernobyl Disaster in 1986, this bizarre Ukranian government film attempts to alleviate some of the worry that civilians must have experienced as a result of the incident, by showing some of the steps that can be taken to decontaminate in the wake of the release of nuclear material. It's all set to an amazing soundtrack! The film begins with images of the Chernobyl disaster, with the ruined reactor building seen at :21 seconds, and the interior of the control room...
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Produced by Republic Aviation Corporation and in co-operation with Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, “Foreign Object Damage” (aka Foreign Object Debris ) is a short film presented by the Aeronautical System Division, Air Force Command; Tactical Air Command; and Mobile Air Material Area, Air Force Logistics Command. The film discusses the issues with foreign object damage (FOD) to aircraft and what the US Air Force is doing to combat the problem. The short film begins with a shot of three F-105...
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In this short promotional film by Zenith, the consumer electronics company touts the many advantages of its new color television sets. The film opens with a father taking his daughter to a Chicago Cubs baseball game ( 00:30 ), who are hosting the San Francisco Giants. His daughter’s reaction to seeing her first live baseball game, “in color,” causes him to make the decision to buy a color television set. Interviews with people on the street ( 02:29 ), who own Zenith products—including a...
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This black and white travelogue film about Egypt was produced by Castle Films in 1951 as part of its “The World Parade” documentary series. It opens with a plane circling the Giza pyramids, interspersed with Arab camel drivers (:25- 1:03 ). Cairo is shown from the air, followed by trains at the station. The streets are full of camel trains, shown crossing a bridge ( 1:04 - 1:32 ). A traffic officer directs cars, buses, motorbikes, and donkey carts ( 1:33 - 1:50 ). The Shepheard’s Hotel...
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Made for an American audience to demonstrate Dutch resolve and Holland's value as an ally, HOLLAND CARRIES ON was released by the Instructional Films Division of I.T.&T. in 1945. Adapted from a Dutch documentary made by the Netherlands Government, the film looks at Holland in WWII and looks at its present and future. The film stresses that Holland's problem is not merely reconversion but a task of reconstruction. It suggests that the Dutch dike building tradition carried on into the Dutch...
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Produced in the 1980s at the peak of Cold War paranoia, this Grumman Aerospace film discusses the theoretical first five days of air combat that would occur in the event of an outbreak of hostilities between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. It emphasizes the EF-111A electronic warfare and penetrating aircraft's capabilities as part of the tactical package, performing jamming of Soviet radars. The film showcases the capabilities of the USAF and its high tech weapons and examines the Soviet threat. It...
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One of a series of classified films made for the Army Air Forces during WWII about the Norden Bombsight, this film focuses on the importance of properly leveling the device so as to minimize the error of deflection. During the entire war the Norden was considered a top secret piece of equipment and normally when it was shown in training films, it was hidden behind a piece of canvas or otherwise "blacked out". This series of films provides a rare look at the operation of the bombsight...
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This short newsreel recounts the coronation of Pope Saint John XXIII, who reigned as Pope from 28 October 1958 to his death in 1963 and was canonized on 27 April 2014. The film shows the process by which the public sees that a new Pope has been selected -- through the white smoke emitting from the chimney. It then shows the coronation at St. Peter's Square at  3:58 , followed by the Papal blessing at the end of the film. Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was the fourth of fourteen children born to a...
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This film about the LCVP provides an introduction and look at the nomenclature ( 00:44 ) of systems aboard these vessels. The film dates to 1944. LCVP is short for Landing Craft, Vehicle-Personnel, also known as a Higgins boat (named after its creator Andrew Higgins). The film begins by detailing the stats of the LCVP while showing footage of LCVPs skipping along the water then landing on shore ( 02:11 ), where they unload soldiers ( 02:15 ), vehicles ( 02:23 ), and cargo—such as ammunition (...
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Made for the home market and sold in department stores and by mail order during the war, this 1942 Official Films newsreel features newsreel highlights from 1942 including the Second Battle of Alamein, landings on the Solomon Islands, Dieppe, as well as RAF hedge-hopping missions. It opens with the Second Battle of Alamein (:23). British forces are seen mobilizing in preparation against Marshal Erwin Rommel (:34). Tanks, trucks and troop transports move through a heavily crowded supply line...
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Made prior to the outbreak of World War II (WWII) as the United States began a build-up of its naval forces, "The Battle" shows a gigantic fleet exercise (known in the day as a "fleet problem", see below) and promotes the capabilities of the two ocean navy. Features footage of battleships, aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, submarines and various support craft including hospital ships and supply vessels. Many vessels are shown including the North Hampton class...
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This black and white mid-1950s television show was part of the "Conquest" series, which in season two looked at "Great Achievements of the 20th Century.”   A montage of achievements are shown. Early 1900s women punch a time clock dressed in long blouses, skirts, and updos, followed by dancing ( 1:38 - 2:04 ). A crowd gathers outside a Nickelodeon. A one-cent post advertises Billy West in The Absent Minded Janitor and Ham and Bud in The Sausage Factory. A hand inserts a penny...
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This World War II-era Army Air Forces film demonstrates the proper method of bomb handling and loading of a B-29 Superfortress, including the use of a C-3 bomb hoist. (A scroll at the start of the film reminded the viewer that the C-3 was later replaced with a C-6 bomb hoist, though the operations were basically the same.) The film takes its viewer to the Army Air Forces Board headquarters in Orlando, Florida, where offers are discussing “Project No. F-3607” — a test of bomb handling and...
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This silent, color film shows a visit to the ruins at Petra made in the late 1940s. Apparently it was shot by a visiting tourist, as portions of it are a bit amateurish (including the shot at 1:41 of the gorge leading to the city -- which seems to have been shot from aboard a horse.)   Petra, originally known to its inhabitants as Raqmu, is a historical and archaeological city in southern Jordan. Petra lies on the slope of Jabal Al-Madbah in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern...
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“Spectacular Disasters” is a 1950s black-and-white film combining real footage and commentary on a variety of calamities, beginning at mark  00:30  with a freak accident in 1932 when three sailors were hoisted into the air by USS Akron (ZRS-4)— two of them plummeting to their demise. The film continues wth footage of a helicopter crash, a smokestack crashing onto nearby buildings, and a bridge being destroyed by an ice flow in Warsaw, Poland. Mark  03:00  covers the dramatic 1940...
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This film made by General Dynamics shows the cruise of the submarine USS Triton (SSRN-586) around the world (underwater) in 1960. Triton was one of the largest submarines of its era and equipped with twin nuclear reactors. The circumnavigation of the world, codenamed Operation Sandblast, was conducted under the command of famous submariner Edward L. Beach. This color film details life aboard Triton during that epochal trip, and shows its triumphant homecoming, including a visit from President...
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This 1950s black and white film “Battleship” is from the Adventure Today series with Ray Forrest and focuses on the USS Wisconsin (BB-64) [decommissioned in 1958]. Ray arrives at the battleship and the sailors release the mooring ropes from the dock. Captain RJ Foley talks to Ray (:24- 1:55 ). Ray adjusts the settings on his video camera. Footage from the top down shows sailors walking below.   The ship’s service ribbons are shown. Sailors perform various tasks, including thoroughly...
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Made by Grumman Aerospace to promote their newest high-performance aircraft F-14 ONE OF A KIND celebrates the Navy's F-14 Tomcat, and features comments by Navy pilots and commanders. It gives an impressive overview of this amazing airplane. The opening of the film discusses how a multi-role interceptor is needed that can also "go it alone", with long-range capabilities -- and then states that the only aircraft in the world capable of performing that multi-role today is the F-14. The...
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You're watching something few people got to see during WWII -- a special African American newsreel made by and for African Americans. The story behind this begins in November 1942 when producer E.M. Glucksman founded All American News of Chicago, Illinois. The company began releasing newsreels showcasing the lives of America's African Americans, including showing their contributions to the WWII war effort. The newsreels were shown only in African American movie theaters (and did not get shown...
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Industry on Parade was a short television program that aired in the U.S. from1950-1960. It was produced by the National Association of Manufacturers. The series demonstrated complicated industrial processes that transformed raw materials into finished products. Industry On Parade Wisconsin is one of those black and white, public service, industrial films, probably produced in the mid 1950’s. Narrators used were Bob Wilson, Peter Roberts, and Radcliffe Hall. It was produced by Arthur Lodge...
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This episode of the popular 1950s TV show NAVY LOG tells the story of the USS Barb and its famous 11th patrol mission. USS Barb (SS-220), a Gato-class submarine, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for the barbus. The craft compiled one of the most outstanding US-submarine records of World War II. Under Commander Eugene B. Fluckey, her 11th patrol (as shown in this episode) lasted from 19 December 1944 – 15 February 1945, in the Formosa Straits and East China Sea off the...
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One of a series of silent short films made just after WWII by a young Jacques Cousteau ...AUTOUR D'UN RECIF (Tour of a Reef) is an impressive introduction to the undersea world, a world that Cousteau would chronicle over his long career as an innovator, inventor and media personality. Audiences who saw this film in the 1940s were completely astonished by the views it presented of the underwater world, seen starting at the 1:40 mark. The films shows an impressive array of sea life including...
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Made during World War II, "Corvettes" profiles the Royal Navy's ships of the same name. These were rapidly built ships meant to counter the Nazi threat to Great Britain by protecting convoys. Ships of the Flower Class are seen being launched and joining a convoy, and then practicing anti-aircraft gunnery, and conducting a U-boat patrol as part of convoy duty. The term "corvette" was originally a French name for a small sailing warship, intermediate between the frigate and...
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This Soviet propaganda film recounts the crucial events of 1919 with the White Army battling the Red Army for control of Russia. Narrator: In the summer of 1919, the Soviet Republic was threatened by a new military power. General Denikin formed an army of 200,000 people out of officers, Cossacks, and groups of local nationalists in the south. In July 1919, in Tsaritsyn, general Denikin issued a directive ordering the forces to take over Moscow. (01.00) An offensive was launched. In October...
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“Basic Typing Methods” is a 1943 black-and-white Encyclopedia Brittanica film produced under the supervision of the Bureau of Aeronautics for the Division of Personnel Supervision and Management. “The typewriter has greatly influenced the business, commercial, and economic progress of the nation. Today, typewriters enable women and girls to perform military and industrial services as important as those performed by men,” the narrator explains starting at mark  00:26 , as we see women...
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Rescue and recovery the of the submarine USS Squalus, SS-192, after a disaster, sinking off the coast of New England.  Featuring the use of USS Falcon and its highly trained crew saving lives using the Navy's Diving Bell.
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