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Produced in 1945, "On to Tokyo" is a cautionary film made by the U.S. Army Pictorial Service. Featuring Chief of Staff George Marshall, the film speaks to the troops who won the war against Germany about the absolute necessity to defeat the Japanese. "They think we will grow tired of war," says Marshall, "and call it quits...our purpose is to crush Japan just as quickly as we can." To do this, Allied forces must be redeployed as soon as possible, and sent to Asia...
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“Dear Boss” is a 1952 United States Navy recruitment film that tells the dramatized story of a small town girl who joins the United States Naval Reserve Women’s Reserve (WAVES) and, in a letter to her former boss, tells of her experiences in boot camp and on her first assignment. The “nonclassified” film opens to the strains of “Anchors Away” and WAVES marching in formation before returning to their barracks and the letter-writing begins. Her old boss laments to her successor on...
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eye 422

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Made by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the 1976 film, “Operation Breakthrough Equal Opportunity Housing,” profiles the United States’ first large-scale, unprecedented industrialized housing program. The opening sequence opens with an up-tempo theme, and we’re shown several images of tall residential and business buildings, crowded sidewalks, and streets jam-packed with cars. At mark 02:00 the commentator lists the various factors that limited housing production...
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eye 364

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This “This World of Ours" film series was created by Dudley Pictures for classroom use. This film focuses on Cuba, considerably one of the largest and most important islands of the West Indies (:33). It lay about 150 miles south of Florida discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492 (:43). The island remained under Spanish rule until 1898. Havanna, a metropolis of three quarter million residents, is the capital (:55). It's harbor was constructed in 1597 as a defense against the British (...
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PeriscopeFilm
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eye 527

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The 1960s television program LEADERSHIPS SPEAKS featured prominent members of the U.S. military, speaking about defense and other issues. Here Vice Admiral William F. Raborn presents views on leadership to Howard K. Smith. At the time Raborn had risen to public attention through his work developing the Polaris missile system and leading the project to build and deploy it. The complex, high tech Polaris system was innovative in the way it was managed because it was developed in record time, and...
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This 1948 black and white promotional film is a presentation by the Association of American Railroads showcasing steam and diesel trains. These include ALCO PA, Southern & Pacific, Atlantic Coast Line, and Baltimore & Ohio. The film opens with a view of the tracks from the engineer’s perspective and the sounds of track and whistle (:02-:18). A curtain blows over a sleeping boy, awakened by the train (:19- 1:25 ). The steel bands of the track shine at night from the engineer’s...
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PeriscopeFilm
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eye 749

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“The Longest Street” is an early 1960s color film that explores international trade — which, we are told at mark  00:36 , involves not only the trading of goods and services but also plants the seeds needed for the development of mutual respect that leads to world peace. Produced by the International Trade Communication and Research Institute (in association with the University of Redlands in California), the economic-themed film explains, in detail, how the United States had been...
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The sunlit landscapes of “Golden California” is brought to the viewer via this 1930s black-and-white picture. “A land of magic at the rainbow’s end” is how a title card introduces California as Pacific Ocean waves crash upon the rocky shoreline at mark  00:15 . San Diego is the first “port of call” (mark  00:42 ) and we learn how the city was the first settlement on the Pacific Coast. At  1:09 , the steamship SS Pennsylvania is seen in Long Beach harbor. The film quickly takes...
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eye 164

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Dating to 1948, this delightful 16mm silent home movie shows views of Washington D.C., Boston and New York City in color. The film begins in Times Square where "Easter Parade" and "Abbott and Costello vs. Frankenstein" are playing. At :51, you will see a U.S. Air Force F-84 Thunderjet outside the recruiting station. At :54 the Empire State Building is shown. A view from the Observation Deck is seen at 1:01 . At 1:23 the cameraman is in a more rural area. At 1:35 , a two...
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Made in the late 1960s or early 1970s, FLORIDA SEAFARE shows Florida's fishing industry on the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts. It includes coverage of commercial fishing boats, oystermen, crabbing, shrimping and seine net fishing for mullet. It also shows the 6th Annual Apalachicola Seafood Festival in 1969. The Florida Seafood Festival is a two day event annually drawing tens of thousands of visitors to the historic town of Apalachicola in scenic Franklin County. The Festival is held at the mouth of...
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eye 179

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This gorgeous 1980 color film “A World of Pictures” was produced for famous Swedish inventor and photographer Victor Hasselblad. It is a series of images set to music and is a long advertisement for Hasselblad cameras for Has. It opens with a crowded street of people walking into the camera intermixed with an outdoor book and magazine stand (:06-:40). The bright blue of a Kippah is shown (:32). Closeups are taken of the magazines and the rack is scanned before taking more photos of people...
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eye 298

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This late 1940s color film about France is one of a series of Pan Am travelogues as A Hartley Production. The film opens with a man in a beret talking on a 1940s telephone (:36- 1:24 ). He discusses the Pan American double-deck Clippers on the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser (introduced in 1947) and the lounge area is shown with a stewardess serving canapes ( 1:24 - 2:08 ), followed by the sleeping berths ( 2:25 - 2:30 ). In Paris, the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Elysees Avenue has jaywalkers picked...
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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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eye 176

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American Can Company presents “Vitamin Rivers,” a color film produced Caravel Films, Inc. of New York in the 1950s. A typical 1950s family opens the picture with the teenaged daughter working on a school project on fruit and vegetable juices. She explains the history of oranges to her father (and the audience) starting at mark  01:45 , having originated in China, and ultimately finding their way to the New World thanks to Christopher Columbus. Thankfully, dad went to Agricultural College,...
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This “confidential” Cold War-era United States Navy training film follows the Sonobuoy Indicator Group AN/AQA-1. The expendable sonobuoy was developed during World War II in response to the devastating destruction of Allied shipping in the Atlantic caused by German U-boats. The simple radio-linked listening device, thrown out of an aircraft, proved revolutionary. The indicator is shown at mark  01:18  as the narrator explains its operation and types, including the Range-Only Echo-Ranging...
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eye 772

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“The Race For Space” is a 1959 made-for-television documentary film directed by David L. Wolper and narrated by famed newsman Mike Wallace. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, and originally aired in April 1960.  The film opens with a countdown in Russian and a rocket streaking into the night sky in the opening seconds before Wallace notes “you are the first Americans to see this launching of Sputnik 1.” (Sputnik, the first artificial Earth satellite,...
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Santa Fe Railway presents “Seek Strike Destroy,” a World War II-era color film made in cooperation with the US War Department’s Bureau of Public Relations and the Fort Hood military post (at the time called Camp Hood) in Texas. The film opens with a scroll supporting WWII servicemen and encourages the viewer to “redouble our resolve to speed the victory which must and will be our!” The film opens with an aerial view of Camp Hood as soldiers march in formation, prepare meals, and...
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eye 418

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The black-and-white circa 1943 film from the Apartheid era, “Know Your Commonwealth South Africa” compiled material shot for the South African Bureau of Information to take viewers to African nation. It of course is a colonial film at its core, and ignores the racial problems that haunted the nation. Farmers are shown in fields as we’re given a brief history of how the Dutch Trading Company came to South Africa more than 300 years ago, later joined by the British. It is a land of...
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eye 580

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The 1960 film by famed industrial director Carl Dudley takes its viewer to the newly added 50th state — Hawaii. The capital city, Honolulu, is introduced at mark 00:46 , and at mark 01:05 we see Diamond Head — a volcanic tuff cone on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. A United Airlines jet lands at Honolulu International Airport at mark 01:35 and we begin to follow four girls visiting the tropical paradise courtesy of a graduation gift from their parents. Warmly greeted by native Hawaiians at...
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eye 448

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Created in 1921, Manhatta is a short documentary film directed by painter Charles Sheeler and photographer Paul Strand, which uses the words of Walt Whitman to paint a vivid portrait of New York City. Manhatta documents the look of early-20th-century Manhattan. With the city as subject, the film consists of 65 shots sequenced in a loose non-narrative structure, beginning with a ferry approaching Manhattan and ending with a sunset view from a skyscraper. The primary objective of the film is to...
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These silent 16mm home movies are from the estate of someone who was close to Admiral Louis E. Denfeld and likely date to the mid to late 1950s. It's just possible that they are from 1950, when the subject of the film Admiral Denfeld was forced to retire due to his participating in the so-called "Revolt of the Admirals." The film begins in Hawaii where the sign for "Admiral L.E. Denfeld" is seen at 13:00 . Admiral Denfeld led Battleship Division 9 in 1945, and was the...
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This color film “Space in the 70s” was produced by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It’s broken into seven segments. This is a look forward to the 1970s, as at 23:25 , it mentions testing that will take place in 1971. Aeronautics (:50- 3:52 ). The footage is a rapid mix of various planes taking off and landing, pilots, the terminals with people, control towers, and airports. Short Haul Aircraft ( 3:53 ). Short haul aircraft is defined as speeds to 575 mph and a 1,000...
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Created by MGM for American President Lines, "Departure" shows the round-the-world cruise of the SS President Wilson from San Francisco to the Orient and Europe in the late 1940s. A few other ships that were part of American President Lines (APL) are briefly shown as well. The SS President Cleveland and SS President Wilson were shining symbols of post war American technology, design and style, with streamline moderne styling.  After leaving San Francisco, at  8:00 , the ship arrives...
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“Communications: The Story of Communications” is a 1947 20th Century Fox black-and-white production explaining the importance of communication to mankind. Narrated by radio and television announcer Nelson Case, the film opens with scenes of street celebrations at mark  00:50  as residents celebrate news of an unidentified event (though likely the end of World War II). Printing presses run off newspaper copies as newsboys rush into the streets, “shouting a story that everyone knows...
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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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The Northrop T-38 Talon is the focus of “The Versatile T-38,” a 1960s promotional film on the supersonic aircraft. The two-person aircraft is shown in the air and on the runway as the narrator offers a detailed description of its turbo jet engines and its thrust-to-weight ratio. Again shown in flight at mark  01:55 , we’re told how the aircraft is considered one of the safest used by the Air Force and we learn more of the aircraft’s attributes as well as some of the records the...
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eye 568

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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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The 1944 U.S. Army training film Introduction to Combat Fatigue (T.F. 8-1402) is designed to help U.S. soldiers suffering from combat fatigue understand the origins of their physical and emotional symptoms. An officer narrates the short film, which uses combat scenes to recreate the stresses that lead to combat fatigue, following U.S. Marine Ben Edwards as he experiences combat situations that lead to combat fatigue. The narrator explains that fear is a universal emotion, and it has its uses....
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This black-and-white Douglas Aircraft Company “welcome film” dates to the early 1960s but begins with a 1924 proclamation: “World Cruisers Make Aviation History New York, N.Y.” — a nod to an accomplishment by the company after the first around-the-world flight was by a team of aviators of the United States Army Air Service (predecessor of the U.S. Air Force) using a modified Douglas DT.The trip took 175 days and covered nearly 28,000 miles. The celebration of the final landing in...
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This color film provides an overview of the X-15 from 1960 to 1980, predating Astronaut Joe Engle as Commander of the second orbital test flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia on November 12, 1981. The film opens with a view of the X-15 #3 plane dropping from a B-52 (:33). A photo of 6 of its 12 pilots is shown (:36), with an up-close shot of William Dana (:38), Milton Thompson (:41), William Knight (:43), John McKay (:46), Joe Engle (:48), and Robert Rushworth (:50). These test pilots flew the...
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Life in Kuwait is the focus of this 1960s color educational film. The camera takes us through the streets starting at mark  01:45 . “Kuwait. The place you’ve been hearing about,” the narrator proclaims. The film features a brief history of the country (mark  02:50 ) as a world map fills the screen, followed by desert scenes and images of oil pipelines and refineries. At mark  05:00  we see some of the items imported to Kuwait, everything from automobiles to razor blades. Some of that...
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eye 601

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This official circa 1973 NASA color film tells the story of Pioneer 10 — the first spacecraft to travel beyond Mars to the outer planets of our solar system. Launched in March 1972, the spacecraft took a 21-month, 620-million-mile journey to Jupiter, during which Pioneer penetrated the previously unexplored asteroid belt without mishap, eliminating the long held fear that high-speed particles or huge asteroids might destroy the spacecraft.  This film tells of the findings recorded by the...
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This historic film details the Viking Program, an historic space exploration program conducted from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the late 1970s. The Viking program consisted of a pair of American space probes sent to Mars, Viking 1 and Viking 2. Each spacecraft was composed of two main parts: an orbiter designed to photograph the surface of Mars from orbit, and a lander designed to study the planet from the surface. The orbiters also served as communication relays for the landers once they...
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This elaborate, amateur-produced 16mm silent film shows the 1947 Tournament of Roses Parade when the theme was "Holidays in Flowers". This was the 58th annual parade, with Bob Hope as grand marshall (see about  1:20  mark). The Rose Parade, also known as the Tournament of Roses and the Rose Parade presented by Honda, is part of "America's New Year Celebration" held in Pasadena, California each year on New Year's Day (or on Monday, January 2 if New Year's Day falls on a...
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Made in 1967 by Central Studio in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Socialist Revolution, this historic Soviet film celebrates the founding of the Red Army by Lenin, and the present-day military might of the Soviet Union. The film presents a rare look at Soviet strategic capabilities in the era immediately after the Cuban Missile Crisis. (Note: this version of the film is dubbed in Arabic, and is not in Russian).  Narration: ( 00:00 ) "This movie is dedicated to the 50th anniversary of...
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“An Airplane Trip,” a 1939 black-and-white ERPI Classroom Films Inc. produced instructional sound film, combines the novelty of flying in the early days with basic inner workings of a passenger plane. The film opens with a mother and her young daughter entering the Los Angeles Union Air Terminal ( 0:30 ). They purchase their tickets to Salt Lake City at the terminal ( 0:47 ). They then head outside to the gate and watch in awe and anticipation as the airplane rolls slowly to the landing...
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Dating to 1970, "AIRPLANE TRIP" was the fourth edition Encyclopedia Brittanica film to bear that name. The progress of aviation in the years between the first version in the 1930s was so much as to make new versions necessary every decade or so. This film takes place at LAX airport in Los Angeles, with passengers boarding a National Airlines flight from LA to Miami (:48). Stewardesses are loading into a van as they have arisen early at the Huntley House Hotel to prepare for the flight...
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Made in the late 1940s or early 1950s, this promotional film for North American Aviation is a great historical document of the history of mass produced airplanes used mostly for warring efforts of the United States, told from the perspective of one of the largest airplane manufacturers in the world. It is filled with historic footage of various types of World War II fighter planes, surveillance planes, bombers and fighter jets. Spectacular air battle scenes from World War II and the Korean...
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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 1964 color travelogue film visits Hollywood, Yosemite, and San Francisco in California, as well as Las Vegas in Nevada. It was produced by Columbia Pictures Corporation for Pan American Airlines (:10) and is voiced by Canadian actor Paul Maxwell. Shown are Pan American Boeing 707 Jet Clippers (:28) at LAX. Many 1960s vehicles are shown in the opening sequence (:52), including passing the Theme Building at LAX ( 1:09 ). Swimmers in 1960s bathing suits enjoy the hotel pool ( 1:30 )....
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This film celebrating the arrival of the new F-18 Hornet, and titled HORNET LAUNCH, begins with footage of the F-4 Phantom in combat operations. The requirements for a more efficient fighter craft was met with the F-18 Hornet (:45). It was the result of intensive design efforts by the Navy, Marine Corps and McDonnell Douglas company ( 1:05 ). The Hornet is an attack craft for close air support missions ( 1:35 ) and was to replace the F4 Phantom and A-7 Corsair ( 1:40 ). At the time it was the...
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eye 1,252

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This silent film of the 1929 National Air Races in Cleveland, Ohio begins with the inaugural parade for the event (:17), and then quickly moves to the Cleveland Airport for the arrival of various contestants, including the finish of the Women's Air Derby — also known as the "Powder Puff Derby" — from Santa Monica, California to Cleveland ( 3:39 ). There is rare footage of the winner, Louise Thaden ( 4:19 ). Thaden was a friend and rival of pioneer aviators Amelia Earhart, Pancho...
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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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Also released in slightly different form as "Voice of the Deep". this vintage Moody Institute of Science film explores the nature of sound in the deep sea. The film charts the early use of undersea hydrophones to listen to sounds beneath the sea, and the invention of sonar at the  6:00 mark. At  6:17 , hydrophones at Chesapeake Bay are shown in 1942, used for national defense, detecting croaker fish. At  7:58 , Moody Science explorers are seen getting into a deep sea diving suit to...
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As the Cold War dawned, U.S. military planners recognized that the "top of the world" that separated the Soviet Union and USA might be a potential battleground. Understanding capabilities in this region became paramount, fostering a number of activities. This 1952 U.S. Navy film shows one of them -- Operation Ski Jump II, which was a sequel to operations conducted in 1951 where 12 landings were made by aircraft on the arctic ice. The purpose of these tests was to establish how...
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This 1957 black and white film explains setting up improvised emergency hospitals during a crisis. “Lease of Life – The Civil Defense Improvised Emergency Hospital” is by Major Films for the New York State Civil Defense Commission, Office of Medical Defense, Office of Public Health Education, Herman E. Hilleboe, M.D. Commissioner. The film begins with a rotating radar antenna scanning the sky for enemy aircraft with nuclear weapons. A man watches the scan on a screen. Men and women...
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Produced by Willard Pictures for the Bureau of Aeronautics in 1944, “Castaway” is a black-and-white film that opens with the sounds of aerial dogfight and a pilot parachuting from his aircraft. “You gave ‘em a big dose of good ol’ American lead. Then that Jap sneaked up and got you from behind,” a voice-over explains at mark  00:45 . Now that pilot is headed for the water, “to set up housekeeping in the long, green drink.”  What follows is a dramatic “How To” for any World...
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Produced by the Army Pictorial Center as part of The Big Picture television series, the 1963 episode (TV 572) “Command Decision” recaps the decision by Allied leaders to launch Operation Dragoon. Operation Dragoon (initially Operation Anvil) was the code name for the Allied invasion of Southern France on 15 August 1944. The operation was initially planned to be executed in conjunction with Operation Overlord, the Allied landing in the Normandy, but the lack of available resources led to a...
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This April, 1962 black and white television program “Adventure Tomorrow” was hosted by actor Peter Hansen (:28), interviewer Dr. Martin Klein, Director of Research, Communications Control Corporation (:49), and was produced by George Van Valkenburg. This broadcast is titled “The Fastest Man of Wheels.” It features Mickey Thompson, who on September 9, 1960 became the first American to break the 400 mph barrier at 406.6 mph. He did so in his 1959 Pontiac Challenger 1 at Utah’s...
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The United States Navy presents “Prelude to Victory — A Pictorial Record of the United States Eighth Fleet, Its Officers and Men.” The circa 1943 black-and-white picture was photographed by crews from the Navy, US Coast Guard, and US Army, and an opening title guard explains how the United Nations had agreed to a plan during World War II to first defeat Axis powers in Europe “and then crushing Imperial Japan.” The viewer watches scenes of factory workers assembling shells, guns,...
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Made in 1945, WE SAID WE'D COME BACK shows the invasion of Guam and the actions and successes of the U.S. Navy to maintain the support of the American public. The film features Admiral Ernest J. King, the Chief of Naval Operations and the Admiral in Chief. It also ends with a brief appearance by James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy. The film shows how the war in the Pacific was turning to the American side including footage of the retaking of Guam and warships such as the U.S.S. Washington...
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Made in 1947, "Pueblo Boy" is a Ford Motor Co. film about the Pueblo people that was directed by Lawrence Madison and edited by Raymond Spottiswoode. The film tells the story of a young boy who is learning ancient ways in a modern world. His family includes Tony White, who performs a hoop dance in the film at 3:44 . This film was part of a series of films produced by Ford entitled "Americans at Home". The film is notable for including imagery from the annual Indian pow-wow...
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Shot by an unknown American, these 16mm silent Kodachrome movies date back to the 1930s. The beginning shows a formal wedding. Scenes include entrance of the groom at :30, followed by the bride and bridesmaids at :59. The bride is at 2:00 with her father. The ceremony is seen at 2:10 with the ring going on the finger at 2;25. Big kiss at 2:33 . Wedding cake gets cut at 3:25 . At 3:40 we see a young boy, probably the son of the newlyweds, looks like the kid is getting his first haircut. At 4:30...
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This profile of Canadian Pacific's "unit train", also known as the Supertrain, dates to the 1980s. The film shows how vast amounts of coal are moved from coal mines in British Columbia to the port of Vancouver and the Superport of Roberts Bank. The film begins as coal is moved through processing plants via conveyer systems, and then stored in silos (:50). Specially designed gondola cars capable of carrying 150 tons of coal each are used. The locomotives are automatically controlled by...
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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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S O S Coast Guard (1937) is a Republic film serial. It was the seventh of the sixty-six serials made by Republic. The plot concerns the mad scientist Boroff (Bela Lugosi) attempting to sell a superweapon to the highest bidder, opposed by Coast Guard Lieutenant Terry Kent (Ralph Byrd), for both personal and professional reasons. The main stars were Bela Lugosi and Ralph Byrd. It was made during the 2-year period when the Hayes Office put a moratorium on horror movies, Lugosi's usual genre, and...
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"Queens of Beauty" shows the 1955 Miss Universe competition. This was only the 4th Miss Universe pageant, and was held on 22 July 1955 at the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium with 22 female competitors. Miss Sweden, 21-year-old Hillevi Rombin, won the competition and was crowned by outgoing titleholder Miriam Stevenson from USA. The first runner-up was Maribel Arrieta of El Salvador. Winner Hillevi Rombin Schine (September 14, 1933 – June 19, 1996) was a Swedish actress and beauty...
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This black and white film about the Mayan monuments in Yucatan was produced by Fanchon Royer, one of the few female Hollywood producers in the 1930s. This is one of her “Way of Life Films” productions, which was formed in 1940. She moved to Mexico in 1945 and so this film dates shortly after that. Out of the bird’s eye view of the vast jungle rises the ancient city of Chichen Itza in Yucatan, Mexico (:26-:44), a city that once housed 200,000 people and was more than 12 miles in length....
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Pan Am’s World, produced by Peckham Productions USA in the 1970s, is a promotional film for Pan American Airlines. The film opens with a shot of a Pan Am DC-10 jet/clipper ( 00:52 ), and the narrator tells viewers that Pan Am flies to more than 120 different places on 6 continents. Intercontinental hotels are at many of the destinations, providing luxuriously comfortable lodging. Pan Am also operates the world’s largest private communications system ( 01:50 ), connecting all the different...
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“In the 20th century, man overcame his crawling and he is now poised at the very threshold of the stars.” That dramatic sentence opens the mid-1960s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) - Goddard Space Flight Center film. “The Vital Link.” The color film introduces audiences to those trackers who never leave Earth but whose missions are essential to astronauts’ “getting out and getting back.” Near mark  01:00  we hear a radio news broadcast of how Goddard Space...
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A black-and-white travelogue from the Port O’ Call Series produced by William M. Pizor, “Isle of Isolation: Bali” takes the viewer to the 1930s-era Indonesian island. No larger than Delaware with a population of “a million happy people,” the narrator explains how Bali is a world apart from other cultures. The film shows the viewer a variety of scenes from the island (mentioning at mark  01:25  that it is primarily “a land of women” outnumbering the men by 70 percent), including...
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Released in 1948 by Paul White and directed by William Winter, "Pearl of the Orient" tells the story of the Philippines as it rose from the disaster of WWII to become a modern nation. The film is notable as it contains native music and songs recorded in the field, along with footage of Filipino arts and crafts including weaving. At  1:12 , modern Manila is shown, still bearing many scars of war but appearing bustling and full of life. Starting at  1:30 , rural life in the mountains...
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The 50th anniversary of Vatican Radio is celebrated in this 1981 promotional film made by the Sacred Heart Program and directed by Richard Welch, “Listen, All Nations.” The film includes footage from a papal audience with Pope John Paul II (starting at mark  01:00 ) interspersed with audio from the event. The Pope is shown at mark  01:33  greeting the faithful from the back of a papal vehicle. A brief history of the network begins at mark  02:20  with an image of Pope Pius XII as he...
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This 1950s color film is half video and half cartoon animation about enriching farm land through third-dimension farming, defined here as breaking up the hard pan using a Caterpillar sub-tiller and attachments. It is sponsored by the Caterpillar Tractor Company. An animator serves as the narrator, who spends time looking at the camera talking. It opens with a farm lane leading to a barn. Cattle graze and a large flock of sheep create dust as they go down a hill (:44- 1:07 ). The animator talks...
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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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The newsreel “Combat Bulletin No. 113 Of the Armed Forces: Stalemate in Korea” provides an update on events in Korea during the summer of 1951—limited ground combat against the backdrop of the truce talks at the Kaesong Conference. The first clip shows a U.S. patrol infiltrating enemy territory northwest of Inje, where U.S. troops use hit-and-run tactics to inflict damage ( 01:24 ). A Communications team prepares to erect a VHF station by reviewing plans ( 03:06 ). A combination of pack...
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Made in the 1940s, this portrait of Tibet the "land of isolation" begins with images of the Himalayas, with the "deepest valleys still 11,000 feet above the sea". At  1:10 , yaks are seen being used as transport animals, and at  1:36  a small village is seen. The narrator notes that the country has a population at this time of 3 million (today's population is roughly double this figure). At  1:55 , a Buddhist shrine is seen, and at  2:11  a traditional house. At  2:25...
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One of a series of films prepared to train pilots, airplane spotters and anti-aircraft gun crews, this Aircraft Identification film is an official War Department Training Film (:07) produced by The Signal Corps in collaboration with the Cheif of Air Corps (:13). The film was intended to provide familiarity with aircraft types so as to avoid friendly fire incidents, and combines animation with shots of models and sometimes real footage of aircraft. The final film in the reel was made by the Walt...
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This soil conservation film, “Blades of Green” (59164) opens with the Union Pacific Railroad logo. It is presented by the Agricultural Development Department (:15). American bison once roamed the land by the millions (:23), yet due to increased population moving west the grass growing areas had shrank. This created a need for livestock to find food from man made irrigated pastures (:42). While hogs may have been good foragers (:52), dairy animals needed improved grazing fields ( 1:02 ). A...
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High Contrast Photography For Instruction is a 1956 instructional film for educators, teaching them how to make various copies using high contrast photography. The film was produced by the Indiana University Audio-Visual Center and features instructors from the university’s Education Department. The film shows the basic steps needed to create transparencies, reverse copies, slides, and prints. The film begins with directions for making overhead projector transparencies ( 00:58 ), developing...
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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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This U.S. Navy Film Launch 'Em was filmed by pilots aboard the USS Hancock in 1956. The film was made while the carrier cruised home from her Far East deployment, apparently with the unofficial blessing of the Eisenhower administration. A legendary film among Naval Aviators, it disappeared from view in the very early 1960s, as it became politically incorrect and taboo. Pilots are fighting in the ready room. Flight deck crewmen starting jet engines with cigarette lighters. These and other...
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The US Marine Corps presents “Tactical And Gunnery Air Observation,” developed to aid support to infantry units. The World War II-era color film (probably made post-war, likely in 1948) notes the importance of such observation, especially in situations when ground observation is impractical or impossible, as we see troops march through heavy foliage at mark  01:37  and a few seconds later we see a Stinson OY-1 Sentinel, a two-seat observation aircraft used during World War II, as well as...
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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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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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Shell’s “The Birth of an Oil Field” is a 1948 color education film that explains how an oil well is drilled and crude oil is brought up from the ground and started on its way to the refinery. While live action is used to show glimpses of a drilling crew at work animation reveals what is taking place below the surface of the ground. The film was produced by Academy Award-nominated producer and animator George Pal (who was nominated for an Oscar for for seven consecutive years from 1942 to...
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Hosted by Bob Hope with a truly corny narration script, this recruiting film for the Army National Guard was originally released as one of the episodes of "The Big Picture", the U.S. Army's TV show. It shows the readiness of the Guard. At the  1:50  mark, a target drone, a Radio Controlled Target Aircraft or RCAT, is shown being piloted through a gauntlet of fire. At  2:25 , the M-40 duster anti-aircraft gun is shown.  The Duster has the capability of pumping out a 120 rounds from...
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This film shows the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment or SAGE, a system of large computers and associated networking equipment that coordinated data from many radar sites and processed it to produce a single unified image of the airspace over a wide area. SAGE directed and controlled the NORAD response to a Soviet air attack, operating in this role from the late 1950s into the 1980s.  The processing power behind SAGE was supplied by the largest computer ever built, the AN/FSQ-7. Each SAGE...
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Attack in the Pacific (also known by the series title: Armed Forces Information Film: A.F.I.F. Number 3) is a 1944 American war documentary film directed by Frank Capra. This dramatic documentary, an Armed Forces Information Film, was completed a year before the war's end. It is dedicated to the men of the United States Navy, a fighting organization which fulfilled a most significant role in bringing about the defeat of Japan. Following a valuable introduction describing the variegated Pacific...
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This episode of the U.S. Air Force's news magazine "Air Force Now" shows the USAF of the 1980s (probably 1983), with its main focus being NATO and the Soviet threat in Europe. At the start of the film the new, high tech AWACS aircraft is shown in operation, also known as the Boeing E-3 Sentry. This is an American airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft developed by Boeing as the prime contractor. Derived from the Boeing 707, it provides all-weather surveillance,...
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This WWII Army Air Forces Weekly Digest newsreel consists of various segments. It begins with an assessment of bomb damage in Pilsen, where marshaling yards were struck by 500 bombers of the 8th Air Force. The Skoda Works is seen heavily damaged. At  1:57 , the newsreel assesses the rocket jet plane Me-163, which first saw combat in 1944. The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet, designed by Alexander Lippisch, was a German rocket-powered fighter aircraft. It is the only rocket-powered fighter aircraft...
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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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Dating to 1950, this U.S. Navy film depicts the job description for the Plane Captain for an Aircraft Carrier type plane (:08). Plane captains are attached to squadrons aboard the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carriers and are responsible to ensure that every aircraft is mission-ready. Plane captains assigned to line divisions perform maintenance and daily checks on every aircraft. The film begins with a Navy or USMC F-80 Shooting Star making an attack run on a bridge in enemy...
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The 1954 CBS / University of Arkansas produced documentary “The Search for Yokum Creek,” depicted the search for the origins of an Elizabethan ballad, “The Two Sisters.” The film begins with an exterior shot of the University of Arkansas Fine Arts Center building where the presenter/narrator, Charles Romine begins by providing a few details about the upcoming investigation they are about to set out on (:42). Mary Celestia Parler, the founder of the Arkansas Folklore Society, an English...
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This color film documents the construction of the 1960 Lutheran Hour Float for the Pasadena Tournament of Rose New Year’s Day Parade. It was produced by the Lutheran Laymen’s League in Southern California. Finished, it will be 20’x40’x17’. To begin the float, men weld a set of four truck steering dollies under the front end before lowering a truck engine into the chassis as floats are driven from the rear ( 1:10 - 3:20 ). The float is started for the first time and inspected by the...
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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 Conference." This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in...
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Made in World War II by the U.S. government as part of the war effort, GRACIAS AMIGOS is hosted by venerable radio reporter Lowell Thomas. The film explains how the USA came to rely on its Latin American and South American neighbors for aid during the war, in the form of vital raw materials. With rubber supplies from Indonesia cut off, and even hemp for rope in short supply, the USA had to look elsewhere for materials. Nations like Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica, Brazil and other republics provided...
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This April, 1962 black and white television program “Adventure Tomorrow” was hosted by actor Peter Hansen (:28), interviewer Dr. Martin Klein, Director of Research, Communications Control Corporation (:49), and was produced by George Van Valkenburg. This broadcast is titled “The Fastest Man of Wheels.” It features Mickey Thompson, who on September 9, 1960 became the first American to break the 400 mph barrier at 406.6 mph. He did so in his 1959 Pontiac Challenger 1 at Utah’s...
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The U.S. Air Force presents The Air Force Story: Chapter VI: Prelude to War, 1937-1939 (SFP 263-6). This short film looks at the development of U.S. Air Force during the final two years of the 1930s, focusing on the U.S. response to the rise of Nazi Germany. The film begins with the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Goodwill flight ( 01:18 ) on 17 February 1938 to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The squadron of B-17s, led by General Robert Olds ( 01:35 ) leaves the U.S. for South America. Other notable...
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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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“X Minus Zero” opens with a United States Air Force general briefly explaining the purposes of that branch’s missile test center — such as flight-testing guided missiles. The circa 1958 film’s purpose, he reveals at mark  00:45 , is to give the viewer “a much clearer understanding of our mission.” The film shows a flawless launch of a guided Matador surface-to-air missile, but the narrator quickly explains that much work was put into the launch prior to countdown. The viewer...
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This 1950s U.S. Navy training film gives a summary of the U.S. Navy's Code of Military Justice with regards to a Summary Court Martial. Summary Court-Martial. The film shows the operation of military courts and the Judge Advocate General (JAG). Special Courts Martial and General Court Martial are also briefly discussed at the 2:45 mark. The sailor accused in this film is charged with being drunk on duty, as reported by the petty officer on duty. A summary court-martial provides a simplified...
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Episode 61 of “Yesterday’s Newsreel” provided viewers “television highlights of the news of yesteryear” by providing vintage clips of famous people and events from the first half of the 20th century. This episode opens with a look at “The Roosevelt Family” (mark  00:30 ), with a visit to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, and their family in 1932, and follows FDR through his 1933 inauguration (mark  01:05 ) and leisure time spent on the water — one of his favorite...
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Made in the 1950s by Avion, a division of ACF Corporation, OPERATION PINPOINT outlines the use of a new horizontal position display, which was an innovation that allowed pilots to navigate with relative ease. It's unclear whether this display was ever adopted or deployed, as we've been unable to find references to it on the Internet. If you know about it -- let us know in the comments! According ot the film, the display was developed with Wright Air Development Center's Flight Control...
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This silent, amateur 1940s home movie shows workers from the Hirth Concrete Breaking Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin performing various demolition and construction tasks. The film was likely shot to help promote the company and features a wide range of equipment. At 2:30 a man is seen operating a jack hammer. At 5:30 , men with jackhammers demolish a building wall. At 8:00 , work is seen on railroad right-of-way. At 8:12 , a foundation is being constructed. At 11:43 a steam shovel is seen...
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Episode 34 of the “Yesterday’s Newsreel” film series 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. This episode opens with a look at the “Forbidden City of Tibet” from 1923 (mark  00:30 ) and the first images ever captured from that land, including Thubten Gyatso — the 13th Dalai Lama of Tibet — at mark  03:50 . “Gold” takes viewers to the 1920s gold rush...
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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 rare film from the early 1930s shows the dirigible USS Akron, and was made just after its disastrous loss in 1933. The film begins with images of the USS Akron before taking a step back in time to show a WWI type Navy balloon landing on a ship's deck ( 1:00 ). A non-rigid Navy blimp, the C-7, is seen at 1:09 . At 1:17 , USS Los Angeles is seen being christened with President Calvin Coolidge in attendance. USS Shenandoah is seen at 1:38 . At 1:42 the construction of the Akron is shown....
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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 during the Apollo program, “Assembling Apollo” is an official NASA film produced circa 1968 that tracks the numerous pieces used to create the rockets and spacecrafts that took man to the moon. The film opens with the various parts being brought to the Kennedy Space Center via all sorts of airplane, ship, and vehicle, as engineers carefully assemble the various stages of the Saturn V rocket. Workers attach communication and fuel lines at mark  02:10 , and at mark  03:15  put the...
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