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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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eye 3,910

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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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eye 3,151

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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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PeriscopeFilm
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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...
( 1 reviews )
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HMS DRYAD is a 1970s recruiting film produced by International Cine for the British Royal Navy. The short film features a former student of the naval school in Hampshire, England, who trained there to become a Royal Navy Radar Operator. The film opens with a shot of a battleship at sea ( 00:16 ), as the narrator says that defense at sea in the 1970s has progressed a long way since the early days of naval warfare. One of the biggest advances is radar. The narrator, John Fox, says he went to...
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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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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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Directed by Dr. Futer, MAN AGAINST MOUNT EVEREST shows the 1952 Swiss Mount Everest expedition led by Edouard Wyss-Dunant.  His team including Raymond Lambert and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay reached a height of about 8,595 metres (28,199 ft) on the southeast ridge, setting a new climbing altitude record, opening up a new route to Mount Everest and paving the way for further successes by other expeditions. The oxygen sets were barely operable and when the two men continued in the morning, they were...
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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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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 silent German film "Mit Kruezer Emden In Die Welt" shows the exploits of the light cruiser Emden in World War II, starting with footage shot in 1936/1937. The film shows the ship cruising to Cagliari, Sardinia at  1:14 , with rare footage shot aboard the ship showing crew activities including cleaning, sewing, laundry, etc. At  2:30  the ship arrives to a heroic welcome in Sardinia. At  3:03 , the title card states "a visit to the Opera Ballila", or the Opera...
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“A City, Gone to Sea,” is a circa 1972 film discussing the cruise ship Spirit of London. (At the time the vessel was being operated by P&O Cruises). At mark  00:24 , Pulitzer Prize-winning travel writer Stanton Delaplane (who is credited with introducing Irish coffee to the United States) is introduced as the narrator with an explanation that he would be sharing some of the things he saw and wrote about while on a cruise. British cruise ships, Delaplane explains, are all about service,...
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This promotional film by North American Rockwell shows R.A. "Bob" Hoover performing maneuvers in the Shrike Commander. The Shrike was a twin piston-engined business aircraft which developed a rather staid reputation, one that Rockwell hired Hoover to debunk. As this film documents, Hoover more than did that -- showing how an aircraft not designed for stunt flying could perform incredibly well.   The Aero Commander 500 family is a series of light-twin piston-engined and turboprop...
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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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"Sea Legs” is a 1980 film produced by the US Navy in cooperation with Grumman Aerospace Corporation and details aircraft carrier landings. It features extensive footage of the launching and recovery of carrier aircraft, both from the deck and from within the cockpit. A carrier landing causes incredible tension and stress among pilots, the narrator explains at mark  00:45 , as numerous landings are shown. Night landings are even more stressful, we’re told, as jets touchdown in the...
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Featuring actor / pilot James Stewart and beloved newsman and entertainer Arthur Godfrey, this film promotes the International AeroClassic, an air show that took place only once — in November of 1965 at Palm Springs, California. Unfortunately for Palm Springs and event organizers, the event took place in inclement weather. The AeroClassic racked up considerable debts and put the organization behind it into bankruptcy. At  4:20 , Miss Ila Johnson is seen arriving to open the AeroClassic....
( 1 reviews )
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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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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 promotional film for the Bofors SR-375 anti-submarine rocket system dates to the 1960s. The Swedish system was deployed with the Indian Navy in the 1970s. It is a forward throwing rocket launcher which is deployed using sonar. Anti-submarine mortars and rocket launchers are essentially artillery pieces deployed on ships for the purpose of sinking submarines by a direct hit with a small explosive charge. They are often larger versions of the mortar or rocket launchers used by infantry and...
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Produced in 1945, "The 6th Marine Division on Okinawa" is documentary film about the Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg. The film was released shortly after the event as part of the WWII war bond effort. During the campaign for Okinawa (Operation Iceberg) the Sixth Marine Division was assigned to the III Amphibious Corps. This Academy Award nominated documentary film tells the story of the 82 days fighting on the Island of Okinawa. It was shot in Kodachrome color. The...
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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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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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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 1940s British instructional and educational film, produced with the Ironfoundry Association, shows the process by which cast iron products were made prior to the highly-mechanized era. Here, almost every step of the process to make a finished article, is done by hand and with very little mechanization.  A foundry is seen at  1:00 , with pig iron being brought into the factory to make stove hotplates. A pattern maker is seen at  1:29  using lead and tin to make a mold. At  2:00 , sand...
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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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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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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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RKO Radio Pictures presents “The Holy Land,” a 1934 black-and-white film that was part of the Vagabond Adventure Series. Opening with the Easter hymn “Jesus Christ is Risen Today,” the film quickly takes the viewer to the Israeli seaport city of Jaffa (mark  00:35 ). There are scenes of merchants selling their wares in marketplaces and children frolicking in the Sea of Galilee (mark  02:25 ) and see a 1,000-year-old yet still operational water wheel at mark  02:40  that provides...
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"Our Enemy—The Japanese” is the second of three 1943 short training films produced by the United States Navy and Office of War Information to provide background knowledge about the wartime foe. The film begins with the narrator, former U.S. ambassador to Japan, Joseph C. Grew (mark  00:38 ), stating that he has lived in Japan for ten years (mark  01:07 ) and that their logic is incomprehensible by Western standards, and that they are 2,000 years behind in ethical and social thinking....
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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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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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AMERICAN COWBOY is a documentary about Gus Roberson, an American cowboy who has a ranch at Gunnison, Colorado. The film is part of the Ford Motor Co.'s "Americans At Home" series, and is narrated by journalist Joseph March and was directed by Larry Madison. The film shows a modern portrait of cattle ranching in the West, showcasing the difficulties of raising animal herds in tough environmental conditions. The film begins with the journalist arriving in Gunnison by steam train, and...
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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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“Mecca The Forbidden City” is a black-and-white British picture taking its viewer to the Saudi Arabian city. The center of the Islamic religion is shown beginning at mark  01:00 , with a brief narrative of Islam’s origins. The film shows how Muslims travel as part of the Hajj to Mecca from all over the world. At mark  03:53  we see Mecca’s market places, where bartering and trading occurs just as it had for 2,000 years, as well as a look at a solemn moment of prayer (mark  04:46 )....
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Made in 1943 during WWII, "Down Where North Begins" was one of many films made by the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs to encourage unity and cooperation among Latin countries and the United States. The film includes an overview of the geographic, economic, and social aspects of Ecuador: mountains, jungles, Riobamba, and Quito; farms, Indian handicrafts, volcanoes; pre-Inca and Inca ruins.  This story is about Ecuador. Ecuador is the only country whose name means...
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This 1965 color film highlighting the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair was produced by Francis Thompson and narrated by actor Robert Fields. It provides an incredible variety of mid-1960s clothing, shoes, and hairstyles for men, women, and children as people dressed up to attend the fair held in Flushing Meadows Park, Queens, New York. The crowd streams through the front gates ( 1:57 - 3:15 ). A family boards the Greyhound-sponsored motor train ( 3:15 ). It passes the flags of nations lining...
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Made by Consolidated Vultee to promote the B-36 Peacemaker strategic bomber, this rare Cold War film is dedicated to the 8th and 15th Air Forces of the Strategic Air Command (SAC). As the narrator says, the mission of the aircraft was to serve as a strategic deterrent against the threat of a nuclear sneak attack: "When reason fails, strength prevails. If potential aggressors know that any armed attack will result in immediate retaliation, there may be no attack. Today the target is...
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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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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 "Air Mobile Feasibility Demonstration" chronicles the development of an Air Launched Ballistic Missile system. The ALBM concept was viewed as a potential game changer for strategic deterrence, allowing missiles to be deployed to remote locations at a moments' notice. As shown in the film, starting in the early 1970s, the USAF tested air-launching a Minuteman 1b ICBM from a C-5A Galaxy transport aircraft. Starting around  11:30 , the film shows the final test on 24 October...
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Made in 1956 by Castle Films, this movie "The Fabulous Harlem Globetrotters" was originally released as a silent for the home market. We haven't been able to confirm it, but we believe this film includes Clarence Wilson, George "Meadowlark" Lemon, Charlie Hoxie, Roman Turmon, Andy Johnson, Woodrow "Woody" Sauldsberry, Carl Green, Leon Hillard, Willie Gardner, and others. The famed Washington Generals are also shown in the exhibition match that occurs about halfway...
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This historic film, originally released as part of the Army-Navy News Magazine of the Screen in December of 1942, features Movietone cameraman Al Brick who photographed the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. As he explains, much of Brick's footage was seized by the U.S. Government as the extent of the damage to the U.S. Pacific Fleet had to be concealed from the American public and the world-at-large for national security reasons. By 1942, with the Japanese reeling...
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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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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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“Design For Survival” is a black-and-white educational film from the Atomic Age telling the viewer of advancements in air travel. Produced for the Aircraft Industry Association by Arthur Lodge Productions, the late 1950s film opens with various aircraft in flight including the NB-36H Nuclear Test Aircraft (NTA) bomber aircraft equipped with a nuclear reactor (a test bed for the time when, the narrator assures us, nuclear aircraft will be the norm). Also shown is the rocket powered Bell X-2...
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Produced during the 1970s, the Price of Peace and Freedom is a Cold War film that attempts to show the Soviet Threat to the United States and its Allies. This is an Armed Forces Information Film produced by the Office of Information for the Armed Forces Department of Defense in affiliation with the AFL-CIO. The film states the opinions of the American Security Council Education Foundation concerning the military threat posed by the Warsaw Pact countries to the United States and its allies. It...
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The Bodybuilders is a color documentary filmed by Fisher Body between 1970 and 1972. Fisher Body was an automobile coachbuilder founded by the Fisher brothers in 1908, in Detroit, Michigan, and was dissolved in 1984 to be blended into General Motors. This film looks at the engineering and manufacturing needed to produce car bodies and their assembly.   The film opens showing industrial metal stamping machinery, presses, and sewing machines all   doing their work making automobile parts that...
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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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This 1954 CBS Television public affairs presentation of the news program “The Search” is titled “Automobile Safety Research” and takes the viewer to Cornell University for a look at the latest in automotive safety. Hosted by revered newsman Walter Cronkite, he explains how an increase in cars on the highway has also led to increased traffic fatalities. There is a scene of a mangled automobile (mark  02:08 ) as men survey the wreckage and we learn how investigators use highway accidents...
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Dating to the 1970s, this silent film shows a crash test performed by General Motors during early tests of air bags. This particular test is for a front impact at an angle, and various views show the collision and resultant deployment. In the 1970s, General Motors marketed its first airbag modules under the unwieldy name "Air Cushion Restraint System (ACRS)".  G.M.'s history with airbags dates back to the 1972 model year, when the Chevrolet Division built 1,000 1973 Chevrolet Caprice...
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This silent film from Vietnam begins with footage of a Bird Dog L-19 type airplane being checked out prior to a flight. These planes were built by Cessna for observation purposes and known as the 305 Bird Dog.   At 1:40 rockets attached to the plane are checked out. At 1:50 the aircraft takes off and flies into the combat zone. At 2:20 aerial footage of South Vietnam is shown. The Cessna L-19/O-1 Bird Dog was a liaison and observation aircraft. It was the first all-metal fixed-wing aircraft...
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“A World of Difference” is a public relations video produced in the mid-1960s to promote World Airways Charters. Narrated by Lowell Thomas, the film opens with a jet in flight (mark  00:45 ) as the company is described as “the best there is in air travel.” Via an animated sequence we see the various parts of the planet to which World Airways travels before visiting the company’s center of operation — Oakland. A Boeing 707 touches down at mark  02:20  and heads to the hanger as...
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This footage shows a three rotor German Enigma machine invented by the German engineer Arthur Scherbius at the end of World War I. Early models were used commercially from the early 1920s, and adopted by military and government services of several countries, most notably Nazi Germany before and during World War II. Several different Enigma models were produced, but the German military models are the most commonly recognized. German military messages enciphered on the Enigma machine were first...
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Created for home use, this short, silent version of TAG DER FREIHEIT: UNSERE WEHRMACHT (English: Day of Freedom: Our Armed Forces) was directed by Leni Riefenstahl, following Victory of Faith and Triumph of the Will. Her third film recounts the Seventh Party Rally of the Nazi Party, which occurred in Nuremberg in 1935, and focuses on the German army. The film was originally released in December of 1935. The film depicts a mock battle staged by German troops during the ceremonies at Nuremberg on...
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This is the story of the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center or MASDC. Here at mark  0:42  are USAF planes lying in wait in the Arizona desert. It is an older, priceless air force. Many of this aircraft had been used to fight in battles in World War II and they are worth fortunes to taxpayers and as parts. There’s no air force like it in the world. Until 1965, the military services maintain separate storage facilities and hence there is a private company known as MADC located...
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Produced in 1945, "The 6th Marine Division on Okinawa" is documentary film about the Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg. The film was released shortly after the event as part of the WWII war bond effort. During the campaign for Okinawa (Operation Iceberg) the Sixth Marine Division was assigned to the III Amphibious Corps. This Academy Award nominated documentary film tells the story of the 82 days fighting on the Island of Okinawa. It was shot in Kodachrome color. The...
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This “Yesterday’s Newsreel” 1950s TV show (episode 40) offers the viewer “television highlights of the news of yesteryear” by providing vintage clips of famous people and events from the first half of the 20th century. The film begins with “1901-1949: A New World Power,” an overview of the rise of broadcast radio. At Rocky Point, New York ( 00:37 ) in 1933, Guglielmo Marconi—inventor of the radio—and David Sarnoff—American radio and television pioneer and protégé of...
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Made in 1988 as the Soviet Union ended its long struggle in Afghanistan, this odd and haunting (and really -- experimental) Soviet era propaganda film "Afghanistan Dreams" traces some of the history of the Soviet invasion and looks at its aftermath. The film seems to be told from the perspective of a Russian soldier who survived the war but is haunted by some of what he saw in country.  The film begins with images of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, which were boycotted by the United...
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In 1952, actors performed the musical ADAM TO ATOM for the 160th Anniversary of American Society of Chemical Engineers. This musical featured music by Isaac Van Grove, choreography by Joan Woodruff, and a script by Ben Aronin. This 1952 color film shows the stage production of Adam to Atom as it was presented at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (:21), interspersed with clips of actual items discussed in the musical. It highlights a history of man beginning with creating fire,...
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Hollywood star Humphrey Bogart expressed his disappointment on multiple occasions about being too old to serve in WWII, but the veteran actor did his part working for the USO and making this film, "Report from the Front". The plot of this 3 minute short is simple: As Humphrey Bogart (clad in his distinctive overcoat and trademark fedora) and his wife Mayo Methot arrive home after a Red Cross tour, they are met by reporters who ask Bogie about the work of the Red Cross overseas. The...
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This Castle Films News Parade episode from 1954 tells the story of Pope Pius XII. Born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli, Pope Pius XII ( 00:42 ) served as Pope of the Catholic Church from 1939 until his death in 1958. The film opens with an aerial shot of the Vatican ( 00:21 ) and St. Peter’s Basilica ( 00:30 ). Before becoming the 266th pontiff of the Catholic Church, he visits the Shrine of Lourdes ( 01:10 ), Budapest ( 01:16 ), and Fordham University ( 01:40 ) in the U.S. In 1939,...
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Directed by Max Miller, LSD: INSIGHT OR INSANITY is one of the classic anti-drug films. Dating to 1967 and featuring images of hippie youths and mini skirt girls, this documentary about the potentially dangerous and unpredictable drug LSD was narrated by Sal Mineo. The film even includes images of car-driving boys playing a game of "chicken" as in "Rebel Without a Cause." Various experts discuss how LSD is made and the hazards involved in using it while avid users explain...
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This WWII indoctrination film PERSONAL HYGIENE attempts to educate new soldiers in the value of staying clean and in good health, even in difficult wartime conditions. The film highlights some of the dangers to personal health from mosquitoes to dirty hands and germs, venereal disease, and lice and crabs.   The film begins with a "movie within a movie" where new recruits watch and learn about cleanliness. One part of the film shows new recruits being examined for medical fitness as...
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This is a collection of seven short black and white segments copyrighted in 1961. Not a formal TV show, these short Ripley’s Believe It or Not segments were shown as interstitials on TV stations, filling up time left in the program schedule. It seems likely the date of their production was actually 1949-1950, an earlier era of television when short form TV shows were more common. These shows were directed by Ray Kellogg, and a Sceptre Production. Thomas Edison’s Secret features Edison’s...
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“Electronics at Work” is the title of this black-and-white film produced by Westinghouse, and focuses on the role of electronics during World War II. Mark 00:48 introduces the viewer to a diode (a specialized electronic component with two electrodes — the anode and the cathode — separated by a vacuum). At mark 01:35 , the film offers further illustration as to the process. When the cathode is heated, negative electrons fly to the positive anode. This “new kind of switch,” the...
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Made by veteran animated John Sutherland for the General Electric Company, A IS FOR ATOM presents fundamentals of atomic structure, and looks at the potential peaceful uses of the atom. It dates to 1953. The short explains what an atom is, how nuclear energy is released from certain kinds of atoms, the peacetime uses of nuclear power, and the by-products of nuclear fission. It is Sutherland's most-decorated film, having won numerous honors at film festivals. In 1964, A is for Atom was...
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This film profiles Dr. Otto Reitlinger and the Otto Fuel II monopropellant he developed, which is used to drive torpedoes and other weapon systems. The film touches on the safety issues affiliated with the fuel and potential ill effects from exposure to the product. It features extensive footage inside the Naval Propellants Plant of the Bureau of Naval Weapons, located at Indian Head, Maryland. Otto fuel II, or just 'Otto fuel,' was a mixture of propylene glycol dinitrate (the explosive fuel),...
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Released by the short-lived company Mercury Pictures for the home market in the 1950s, SILK STOCKING PARADE is a fun short that shows some mannequins in a department store window coming to life. The attraction of course are the legs on view, which might have excited a 1950s audience with their shapely curves. While there were many risque stag films made in this era -- this one is strictly "clean fun".   We encourage viewers to add comments and, especially, to provide additional...
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Made by Victor and Ellen Landweber, this film was made just before the moment that home computing became widespread. The film is filled with imagery of early computers, and also presents the concept of the "counting machine" starting with the abacus and moving through history to the mechanical computer ( 1:50 ). Charles Babbage's counting machine is shown at 2:12 . At 2:32 , integrated circuits are presented and electronic circuits described. Basic concepts such as Input, Storage,...
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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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Dating to the 1960s, this filmic record of the U.S. Navy's Point Mugu base, entitled WEAPONS THAT WORK, features Commander Glenn Ford as host. Pt. Mugu served in this era as one of the primary test ranges for guided missiles, sea launched weapons, and other important missiles and weapon systems of the Cold War.It is now part of Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC).   The film begins with images of the Sparrow III missile being used against a target drone, as well as many of the other missions of...
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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 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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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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Produced by Simmel-Meservey and with a story by Jackson Winter, THE MYSTERY OF EASTER ISLAND is an obscure documentary look at the stone statues that populate Easter Island. It likely dates to the late 1940s or early 1950s. The film does not present any answers to the questions it raises, and has many false assumptions that have been disproven by modern research. Still, it is an interesting look at the island in the mid-20th century. The Compania Explotadora de las Isla de Pascua, the Chilean...
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One of a number of short films sold to the public for home entertainment during WWII, this film shows the activities of German U-boats on the high seas. The boat featured is that of Captain Luth, U-181, whose boat sank 47 Allied merchant ships and a submarine during WWII. He became the first of just two naval officers to win the Third Reich's highest award for valor.  The film shows Luth and U-181 deploying into the Atlantic, forming up into a Wolf Pack on orders from Admiral Donitz ( 1:51 ),...
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Combat Bulletin 56 shows propaganda leaflets dropped on German forces. A 57mm recoilless bazooka is shown. Hamburg is liberated. Tarakan Borneo assault. Baguio is captured. Japanese suicide plane, the Baka is captured on Okinawa. The Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka was a purpose-built, rocket powered human-guided anti-shipping kamikaze attack plane employed by Japan towards the end of World War II. United States sailors gave the aircraft the nickname Baka (Japanese for "fool" or...
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The Lure Of New England, directed by Bon D. Grussing and produced by Martin Bovey Films in the mid-1940s for the Minneapolis-Moline Company, takes viewers on a short tour of America’s northeast. The film opens with shots of New England food, statues, beaches, rocky coasts, and covered bridges. Rural snow-covered New England ( 01:22 ) beckons to visitors with its scenic houses, fields, and churches. People check and empty buckets of sap on tapped maple trees ( 01:57 ). A man drives a tractor...
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Produced by the Public Relations Department of the New York Central System and New York Central Railroad, the 1942 film New York Calling offers viewers a tour of all they can see in New York City by visiting via New York Central’s many lines that connect the country with the famed city. The film opens with a shot of the skyline of New York City ( 00:10 ), and then follows a modern and luxurious train as it follows the Hudson River ( 00:38 ), passing the highlands ( 00:52 ) with Breakneck and...
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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 13:00 a title card proclaims that "Allenby's army, made up of seventeen nationalities, marched from Egypt to Palestine." A view of the Black Watch is shown.   At :33, the Australian Camel Corps. is shown. At :56 Gaza is bombarded by artillery...
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Made by the McDonnell Corporation (before it became McDonnell Douglas), THE RECORD BREAKING PHANTOM II presents the story of the F-4 Phantom, a tandem two-seat, twin-engine, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor and fighter-bomber originally developed for the United States Navy. The aircraft first entered service in 1960 with the U.S. Navy. Proving highly adaptable, it was also adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Air Force, and by the mid-1960s had become a major part of...
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The Los Angeles Police Department presents “Your Traffic Officer,” a late 1940s black-and-white training film that shows what it takes to be a motorcycle patrolman on the new freeways in post-World War II California. Six people lost their lives on a “modern highway” in the past year (probably the 110 Freeway) the narrator explains at the film commences. The efficient execution of traffic regulations is key to keeping the roads safe. A motorcycle officer zooms across the screen (mark ...
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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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Dating to the 1950s, this biography of Admiral Richard C. Byrd presents a pioneer in aviation, a scientist, a great explorer who challenges the unknown. As the narrator says, "His is a lifetime of danger and knowledge and this is his biography."  He was one of the pioneers who traveled to the frozen wasteland of Antarctica, a barren world of eternal cold. Antarctica is seen at mark  1:43 . It is vast, white, silence but even Richard loved the region. But most of all he loved the...
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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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This silent home movie (although, it could have been professionally made it appears likely to be an amateur production) shows the 1939 World's Fair in New York. It includes views of the iconic Trylon, Perisphere and Helicline, as well as major exhibits. At the  4:15  mark, an auto exhibit is seen, likely the Ford Pavilion, where race car drivers drove on a figure eight track on the building's roof endlessly, day in and day out. At  7:30 , the Billy Rose Aquacade is seen. This was a...
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The US Air Force Film Report, Special Air Warfare Forces (F R 426), produced by Air Photographic and Charting Service, Military Air Transport Service in 1965, shows how the Special Air Warfare Forces are structured and what they do. The film begins with a brief history of the creation and expansion of the Air Force Air Commandos ( 01:13 ), a special force designed to combat communist insurgencies throughout the world. The Air Commando force begins with the activation of 4400 Combat Crew...
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This German film, created in the post-WWI period, features historic newsreel footage of the Western Front in the First World War. Following the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by first invading Luxembourg and Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. The tide of the advance was dramatically turned with the Battle of the Marne. Following the race to the sea, both sides dug in along a meandering line of fortified...
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THE FIGHTING LADY is one of the great documentaries to emerge from WWII. Shot in 1944, this documentary was produced by the U.S. Navy, directed by famed photographer Edward Steichen and narrated by Lt. Robert Taylor USNR. The plot of the film revolves around the life of seamen on board an anonymous aircraft carrier. Because of war time restrictions, the name of the aircraft carrier was disguised as "the Fighting Lady", although she was later identified as the Essex class USS Yorktown...
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Presented by Caltex, this 1959 profile of South Africa presents an outline of South African history is followed by descriptions of the Union as it existed in that decade: the Boers and agriculture; measures to advance the Bantu; the Cape Malayas and Indians; mining and industrial developments. New towns. The film completely ignores apartheid. At mark  1:20  is how South Africa came to existence. In 1652, small group of Dutch colonies established the first European settlement at the southern...
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This silent documentary film "Big Boy and his Brothers" shows the big steam locomotives of the Union Pacific Railroad. Shot by Gene Miller primarily in western Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado, this film gives a rare look at some of the largest locomotives ever built.  It includes images of the 4-12-2s known as the "Union Pacifics" at  2:43 , the largest non-articulated locomotives at the time they were made, and featured 67-inch drivers. At  5:14 , a 4-6-6-4 Challenger...
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This short, silent, b&w film from Harold F. Jenkins' short-lived "World in Color" company, shows views of Hollywood in the late 1940s. It was shot by Jack Leppert, an actor whose career hit a road block before WWII. The film was sold at tourist shops on Hollywood Blvd. for a couple of bucks. At :24 you will see a birds eye view of Hollywood, and at :25 views of the Broadway Hotel and Hollywood Blvd. At :30 the intersection of Hollywood & Vine is shown. Unknown movie stars...
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Released to the home market by World in Color Productions in 1948, this silent color film consists of captured footage of V-2 rocket development tests at Pennemunde in Germany. It includes successful tests and failures. If you watch closely you will see a visit by Nazi brass including Henrich Himmler ( 7:03  mark), one of the primary architects of the holocaust, and Wehrner Von Braun ( 7:17 ) the inventor of the V-2. The V-2 rocket (German: Vergeltungswaffe 2, i.e. retaliation weapon 2),...
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This official NASA film covers the X-15 rocket research aircraft program of the 1960s. Though undated, references in the narrative suggest this film was made circa 1964 era. Photography of the X-15 flights at the edge of space and landings on dry lake beds are included. The film opens with scenes of the X-15 being launched from a United States Air Force jet (mark  01:10 ) as the narrator discusses “manned flight in a near-space environment” including structural design. Prior to the...
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Produced by Vision Associates for Pan American Airlines, the 1960s short film Wings To Germany promotes travel to Germany with the U.S. commercial airlines. A trip to Germany provides the traveler a trip full of history, culture, scenery, delicious food, city life, and more. Fly into Berlin ( 01:28 ), and visit the bustling streets with all they offer. Stop in at the Pan Am office ( 01:51 ) or visit famous coffee houses, such as Café Kranzler on Kurfurstendamm Street ( 02:16 ), which always...
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“Flying Fun” is a 1960s color film created by the Cessna Aircraft Company to promote aviation and aerobatics. The first 90 seconds of the film features scenes of a Cessna in action in the sky before the narrator explains at mark  01:50  how pilots are constantly looking for excitement in the air and can find it via such aircraft as the Cessna 172 Skyhawk, Silver Eagle, or Gull, nearly becoming capable of imitating the free-flight of a bird. We are introduced to Mary Akins (mark  02:22 ),...
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This film familiarizes the viewer with the Lockheed T2V SeaStar, later called the T-1 SeaStar, a turbojet trainer aircraft for the U.S. Navy that entered service in May 1957. It was developed from the Lockheed T-33 and powered by one Allison J33 engine. As the year 1955 began, Lockheed Aircraft Corporation had design built and delivered to the arm forces more than 6,000 jet fighter and trainer. Of this total the trainer accounted for more than 300 planes including air force T33 and navy TV2s....
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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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