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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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One of the all time most infamous of the highway safety scare film genre, HIGHWAY OF AGONY was made by Highway Safety Films of Mansfield, Ohio. This was the filmmaking arm of the Highway Safety Commission, an organization responsible for haunting the dreams of an entire generation of young drivers. In this era, when safety belts were not mandatory and air bags were yet a distant dream, and things like disc brakes and powered steering had yet to be widely adopted, America's highways were the...
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This 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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eye 4,164

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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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PeriscopeFilm
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eye 2,475

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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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eye 1,735

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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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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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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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The Red Adair Co., Inc. presents “The Devil’s Cigarette Lighter.” This circa 1962 color film features the first person narration of famed oil well fire fighter Red Adair, who takes you step by step as he and his fire fighters (including Boots Hansen and Coots Mathews) extinguished the oil well fire that put the Red Adair Company on the map and made him a celebrity. The natural gas well fire was nicknamed “The Devil’s Cigarette Lighter. The fire, in the Sahara Desert of Algeria,...
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This 1930s black and white documentary "Real Americans" was produced by Ideal Corp. It opens with a field of teepees. A male Indian wearing a feather headdress kneels outside one (:07-:19). Braves ride horses across a shallow body of water (:20-:33). Indians wearing feather headdresses sit together at a tribal counsel (:34-:40). Tribes of the Southwest wear their traditional tribal outfits. They serpentine as they parade on a field. They are gathered in Albuquerque for a grand pow wow...
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This U.S. Navy documentary depicts the sea battle at Leyte Gulf during the Allied landings at Mindoro in the Phillipines during World War II. During this battle, a small group of American escort carriers designated Taffy 3 engaged the Japanese fleet's main body, including the super battleship Yamato. That these lightly armed ships and their air crews managed to hold off Admiral Kurita's vanguard and prevent an assault on the vulnerable ships supporting the Allied ground invasion, remains one of...
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This film, THE TREE IN A TEST TUBE was shot in late November of 1941, and released in 1942 as part of the burgeoning war effort. It features the voice of Pete Smith and was made by the U. S. Department of Agriculture and distributed by the U.S. Forest Service. The film is rather interesting in that it features famous Hollywood comics Laurel and Hardy -- appearing here in their only color role! At the time both were over the age of 50, and their careers were on the wane. Still they manage quiet...
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Discusses Operation Portrex, or "Puerto Rico Exercise", a Joint Airborne-Amphibious training exercise on Vieques Island off Puerto Rico on the eve of the Korean War. The exercise involved the U.S. 65th Infantry Regiment (Aggressor Forces), mostly Hispanic soldiers, against the 82nd Airborne Div, 504th Airborne Infantry Regiment (Liberating Forces). The successful military maneuvers during Protrex prompted the Army's leadership to deploy the 65th Infantry to Korea. Paratroopers jump...
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This black and white film is in French and highlights Vichy France. The hair and clothing cross 1930s/1940s styles but with no mention of war, it either predates WWII or was propaganda that everything was fine during it. Vichy was and is still a spa and resort city in the Allier department of Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes in central France. In WWII, it served as the seat of government of Vichy France from 1940 to 1944 as a “Free Zone” while Germany occupied the other zones. It remains a park-garden...
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This 1956 education film explains the process of making vinyl records. It is a Jam Handy Picture and presented by RCA Victor. The record process being followed is for Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, recorded by Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The film opens with a woman wearing a coordinating 1950s skirt, sweater, neck scarf, and pearl bracelet. She places a record in her RCA high fidelity cabinet record player and the music plays (:26- 1:54 ). The history of making that...
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This film shows two fights between Joe Louis the "Brown Bomber" and Max Schmeling. The first fight between Louis and Schmeling took place on June 19, 1936, at the famous Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New York, and was one of the greatest upsets in boxing history. The referee was the legendary Arthur Donovan, and the stadium was sold out. The bout was scheduled for fifteen rounds. By round twelve, Schmeling was far ahead on the judges' scorecards. Finally, he landed a right to Louis' body,...
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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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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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Airline Pilot was produced by BOAC in 1970. The training of airline pilot Stephen Radcliffe is painstakingly thorough and this film intercuts the story of the young man's first flight as third officer on a journey from London, via Bahrain, to Bombay, with earlier scenes of his training. It describes the role of the College of Air Training, the aptitude tests, the theories and practical knowledge taught, the first solo flight, the hours in the simulator and the controlled flights in a real...
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In 1961, England's Queen Elizabeth II paid a state visit to Iran where she and Prince Philip were hosted by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi at Isfahan, Tehran and Persepolis. Elizabeth returned for another visit in 1975. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (26 October 1919 – 27 July 1980), was the Shah of Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979. Mohammad Reza Shah took the title Shāhanshāh ("Emperor" or "King of Kings") on 26 October...
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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 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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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 newsreel, “News Thrills of 1943” by Official Films (volume 4 of 1943) and edited by Leslie Winik ( 00:10 ), recaps two key events in WWII. “Yanks Bomb Ploesti Oil Fields” ( 00:24 ) begins with B-24 Liberator bombers ( 00:28 ) practicing precision skip bombings over the Egyptian desert (possibly Libyan desert) in preparation for the raid on Romania’s Ploesti oil fields. Upon completion of the rehearsal, the bombers take off ( 00:49 ) on their mission to destroy the Ploesti oil...
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This startling U.S. Navy color film, Advance Base, narrated by WWII journalist Quentin Reynolds, was filmed by Marine Combat Cameramen and Seabees (:33). Color WWII combat footage includes bombing, a dead Japanese soldier, burning out enemies then shown dead, dropping a hand grenade in and blasting enemy troops out (:43- 1:16 ). Gruesome dead bodies are hard to look at ( 1:18 - 1:46 ). Japanese equipment is recovered ( 1:47 - 2:14 ). The Navy practiced setting up mobile and fixed bases in...
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This film is by Encyclopedia Britannica Educational Corporation (:08). Its topic will be lysergic acid diethylamide (:53) the natural and synthetic hallucinogen. A bottle containing LSD is shown and one ounce is capable of producing 300,000 hallucinogenic trips (1:23). It has been produced by Concept films (1:48). It begins in 1951, in southern France where citizens had been hit with a strange illness constituted with pain, high fever and hallucinations (2:24). The plague was dubbed ‘St....
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“Wheels Across Africa” is an expedition documentary by Belgian-born filmmaker Armand Denis about a trip across Africa in Dodge trucks circa 1936. The black-and-white promotional documentary, presented by the Dodge Dealers of America, focuses on Denis and his wife Leila Roosevelt Denis (a cousin of Theodore Roosevelt) as they take an 18-month journey through the Belgian Congo and the Sahara Desert on motor driven Dodge vehicles.  It takes the viewer quickly through Belgium, France, and...
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Created in 1944 and presented by Hollywood motion picture studio United Artists, and released by the United States Navy, “The World In Action — Fortress Japan” opens with a flashback to Tokyo on December 7, 1941, and the narrator repeating a statement from Japan’s emperor, the Son of Heaven”: “We declare war on the United States and upon the Commonwealth and Empire of Great Britain. We rely upon the diligence of our subjects to ensure that in the coming struggle, our illustrious...
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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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Produced by the American Trucking Association to promote the role of its drivers in the recover effort, this film “Hurricane Camille, The Road Back” centers on the second-most devastating tropical cyclone Hurricane Camille that hit in August of 1969. It opens with footage of the destruction left in it’s wake (:49). Winds reached speeds of up to 200 mph and tides rose up to 30 feet ( 2:26 ). Of the worst hit areas included Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Virginia ( 2:39 ); the coast of...
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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 Soviet propaganda newsreel recounts the story of the Soviet Revolution and the subsequent civil war between the Red Army and White Army. It shows crucial events in St. Petersburg and the fight for control of Kiev and Moscow. Narrator: October 25, 1917. The Socialist Revolution won in Petrograd. The triumphant march of the revolution began in the country. Smolny remained the military headquarters of the revolution. The Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party was situated here. Lenin worked...
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This late 1960s color travelogue film provides highlights of footage cut from other films in this series. It is narrated by Jack Douglas as part of the America! Television series.   A clam bake in Cape Cod is sponsored by the Bass River Rod & Gun Club. Being prepared in baskets are clams, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, hot dogs, and sausages.   Stones are heated in a fire and covered with wet seaweed.   The metal food baskets are placed on top and covered with a sheet. The...
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This Cold War era Soviet propaganda film shows a brief history of the Soviet Revolution with images of the Civil War, before launching into a discussion of the long rebuilding efforts that followed the Socialist victory. It then discusses some of the economic development plans that resulted in prosperity in the 1930s in the USSR. Narration: ‘A revolution is only worth something if it can defend itself’, Lenin said those days. The working people of Russia, who had just recently come to...
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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: "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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This Soviet newsreel, presented in Russian, shows some of the news events of the Khrushchev era. Narrator: Decisions taken at the 22 Congress of Lenin’s Party will always be significant for our history. Military divisions are taking part in the parade on Red Square to commemorate the 44th Anniversary of the Great October. Secretary of Defense of USSR, Marshall Malinowski, congratulated the soldiers, all the Soviet people, and foreign guests on the 44th Anniversary of the Great October...
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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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This silent newsreel was released by Kodak as part of their Kodascope Library in 1927. The contents were shot by veteran journalist Lowell Thomas, who reported from Egypt during WWI and helped Lawrence of Arabia come to international acclaim.   At :17, Port Sudan (on the Red Sea) is shown where supplies for Lawrence are being loaded. At :40 are shots aboard a transport ship bound for the front, where bearers bathe and eat. At 1:20 the ship is unloaded at the Arabian coast. At 1:52 , a...
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"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 film made by the U.S. Army to educate soldiers about Latin America opens with footage of the lively festivals and stunning landscapes of Central and South America (:30). The host and narrator is Frank McGee ( 1:02 ) and he will depict the American view of Latin American Revolutions and will focus on Fidel Castro. He begins by describing the varying raw materials that can be drawn from the land, including copper, tin, zinc, petroleum and iron ( 1:25 ). Food commodities such as coffee,...
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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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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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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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Industry On Parade was a television series created by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) from 1950-1960. The series consisted of weekly episodes that highlighted American manufacturing and business. Hundreds of companies and products were documented during the [program’s] decade-long run. The first episode of this set of three episodes is titled “Contents: Merchandise.” It looks at the packaging of various consumer products. Matches are produced at a production plant ( 00:44...
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This late 1950s-early 1960s color travelogue film “Honolulu Profile of Democracy” is   Paul Hoefler Productions. It emphasizes the many different assimilated cultures who live peacefully together rather than the ‘native’ approach. A cruise ship is surrounded by sailboats as it approaches Honolulu (:49- 1:18 ). Waikiki Beach is full of sunbathers in the foreground and a view of Diamond Head in the background ( 1:19 ) A motorized outrigger canoe is shown ( 1:33 ). A 1950s Chrysler DeSoto...
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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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This 1946 U.S. Navy medical film about Asiatic Schistosomiasis, better known as Schistosomiasis Japonicum, a human blood fluke that occurs in China and Philippines and also in Sri Lanka. The film shows how the disease can be detected, treated, and also prevented. It includes various footage shot in the field in China and Southeast Asia, showing the water and irrigation systems that help breed the parasite. At 4:48 , women who are washing clothes in a river, and children bathing in a jungle...
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Made in 1945, TASK FORCE 58 shows the activities of the Fast Carrier Task Force in WWII, known as "Task Force 58". The Fast Carrier Task Force was the main striking force of the United States Navy in the Pacific War from January 1944 through the end of the war in August 1945. The task force was made up of several separate task groups, each typically built around three to four aircraft carriers and their supporting vessels. The support vessels were screening destroyers, cruisers, and...
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This somewhat ridiculous 1963 US Air Force training film from the series “Mountain and Desert Survival,” outlines principles of desert survival and procedures for promoting rescue and maintaining personnel health and comfort. The film opens with scenes of the hostile desert, with its bleak landscape and oppressive heat. At  1:32 , an airplane is seen on fire and the pilot ejects (apparently this is real footage of an accident) followed at  1:46  with a process shot of a pilot in a...
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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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Produced by Alfred Higgins Productions with assistance from the University of Missouri-Columbia’s Academic Support Center Film Library, Keep America Beautiful, Inc., and Keep Los Angeles Beautiful, Inc., the 1963 short film A Land Betrayed examines the various ways people have spread the “cancer of ugliness” across America and offers call-to-action solutions to combat the nation-wide problem. The film opens with a scenic footage of natural landscapes ( 00:22 ), Yellowstone National...
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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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This early 1940s black and white film about the mindset of a fighter pilot during WWII is presented by The Ministry of Information, produced by British Movietone News, and written and narrated by Air-Marshal Sir Philip Joubert, a senior commander in the Royal Air Force during the 1930s and in WWII.   It opens with dressed pilots waiting on the ground, laughing and talking with each other. A line of RAF fighter planes is shown, with uniformed pilots dashing out a door. The camera scans a...
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This film is of a series produced weekly titled Industry on Parade which had won a Peabody Award (:11) for it’s public service. It opens with a dough factory in Portchester, New York (:36). The pans are covered and set into the Brown Electric Pyrometer ( 1:17 ). The bread will then be frozen to preserve freshness and flavor at -20 degrees ( 1:33 ). These are wrapped in plastic twice to prevent dehydration ( 1:39 ). This process enabled companies to expand employment as their reach for sale...
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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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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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Created for the U.S. Navy, we enter the world of the soldiers who patrolled the waterways during the Vietnam War. The difficulties of navigating a water based terrain and monsoon weather gave the enemy an advantage that the soldiers had to strategize around. The first strategy is the “Hearts and Minds” campaign that is waged by educating locals about democracy and setting up clinics to offer services to the locals. This film also focuses on the daily life of patrolling and the arduous task...
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“Nationalism” is a circa 1957 Encyclopedia Brittanica educational film. We are told at mark  01:15  that since 1946, every new nation in Southeast Asia has annually celebrated its day of independence, such as the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Burma, Ceylon, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaya, as the countries are highlighted on a map. The narrator defines nationalism (mark  02:07 ) as the belief of a people that they ought to be unified into an independent nation. “A homeland.” We learn...
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One of the TravelTalks series of films made by James A. Fitzpatrick, THE GATEWAY TO INDIA showcases the city of Bombay, India. At mark  0:36  is the city of Bombay, a gateway to India. At mark  0:45  is the gate cell. Bombay is the second largest city in India and one of the chief sea port of the area. It has a mixed population of over a million people practically of every race in the world. At mark  1:14 , is the modern metropolis. At mark  1:15  is the Tile Mahara hotel, the most...
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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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“The Real Caribbean” is a 1942 Bell & Howell Company black-and-white travel film that begins with a narrator pointing to the location of the Caribbean (southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America) on a map before touting the area as a tourist paradise. Palm trees sway in the island breezes beginning at mark  00:44  and the viewer is given a brief history lesson on the region, beginning with Spanish rule and the...
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One of a series of films entitled "Symphonies in Stone", this look at Chartres cathedral was directed by Horace Shepherd in the late 1930s or early 1940s. (Other films in the series include 1942's St. Paul's and 1937's Westminster Abbey.) Chartres Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres is a Roman Catholic church of the Latin Church located in Chartres, France, about 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Paris. The current cathedral, mostly constructed between 1194 and...
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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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Industry On Parade was a television series created by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) from 1950-1960. The series consisted of weekly episodes that highlighted American manufacturing and business.   The first episode is titled “Water, Water Everywhere.” This episode discusses the importance of water use, and shows footage of fields in the San Joaquin Valley being irrigated ( 00:42 ), cars being transported on a barge through a loch or canal ( 01:50 ), water used for a...
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Produced in 1937 and released in both silent and sound versions for the home market by Castle Films, WAR IN CHINA shows the 1937 Japanese assault on Shanghai. At the time the newsreel was produced the United States was strictly neutral and thus the newsreel tended to look more closely at the civilian victims of the conflict and the horror of war than did later Castle releases. The newsreel highlights some of the many Japanese atrocities including the bombing of the Cathay Hotel ( 8:00 ) and the...
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On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel. U.S. President Harry S. Truman recognized the new nation on the same day. Made in the early 1950s, ISRAEL REBORN traces the creation of the modern state of Israel and touches on the tumult that followed. At :46, the Arab opposition to the creation of Israel is seen. At  1:00 , Jews in TelAviv, and David Ben-Gurion, are seen proclaiming an independent Jewish state. At  1:20 ,...
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Trieste is a Swiss-designed, Italian-built deep-diving research bathyscaphe, which with her crew of two reached a record maximum depth of about 10,911 meters (35,797 ft), in the deepest known part of the Earth's oceans, the Challenger Deep, in the Mariana Trench near Guam in the Pacific. On 23 January 1960, Jacques Piccard (son of the boat's designer Auguste Piccard) and US Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh achieved the goal of Project Nekton. Trieste was the first manned vessel to have reached the...
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Produced by Canadian Pacific, which operated a steamship line that serviced Manila, this color film shows stunning views of the Philippines pre-WWII. The movie was made during the American colonial rule by Richard and Elizabeth Hubert, who lived in Asia in the 1930s. After escaping from Shanghai on one of the last ships that left before the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, Richard Hubert, a Canadian citizen, went to work for the U.S. Office of War Information in 1942. He...
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“The Shuttle Car Operator” is 1960s-era color film taking the viewer deep inside a bituminous coal mine to learn more about the coal-mining industry. The camera takes us into cramped spaces as drills make their way through the earth (mark  01:15 ) and coal hauled away on trolleys called shuttle cars. But the job of a shuttle car operator is one of the most dangerous in the coal mining industry, we’re told at mark  02:10 , with one out of every seven transportation injuries involving...
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“Yesterday’s Newsreel “Benny Sent me,” 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 upbeat episode highlights the momentous repeal of prohibition amidst the relief and joy of American citizens. The film begins with the narrator stating, “World War I is over and so are the days of alcoholic drinks. Convinced that self-sacrifice and sobriety will bring...
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This 1950 black and white film is one of a series of traffic safety films. It was produced for Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company by Traffic Safety Films Inc, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Police Department. The focus of this public safety video is to encourage drivers to control their speed while driving on the then-rarely-used ‘rural’ highways of Los Angeles. The film begins with an Education Unit police officer opening a binder titled “Highway Driving” ( 0:07 - 0:29 ). The...
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Released in 1966, this U.S. Air Force produced documentary shows the 1965 William Tell, a biennial aerial gunnery competition with fighter aircraft held by the United States Air Force in every even-numbered year. In the competition, teams representing the various major commands of the USAF compete in live-fire exercises, using towed banner targets for gun engagements, and obsolete fighters converted into unmanned target drones (currently QF-4 Phantoms) for air-to-air missile engagements. The...
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Made in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster, this Ukranian propaganda film takes a hard look at nuclear energy and the threat posed to humanity by the atomic bomb and radiation. The film was most likely made by the government of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine in 1987, just three years before the Soviet Union crumbled. The Chernobyl accident severely undermined the Soviet government, and this film may be seen as evidence that within Ukraine, the incident was perceived as the...
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A late 1950s or early 1960s Contempé Production, The Fashionable Figure is a short video report from Harper’s Bazaar and special reporter Elaine Lynn on the importance a woman’s figure and posture play in good fashion. The film centers around a luncheon for women ( 00:58 ; 04:34 ) hosted by Harper’s Bazaar, where the “fashionable figure” is discussed and women model new outfits ranging from cocktail dresses and ball gowns to sportswear and travel dress. The film opens with shots of a...
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Produced by the Department of Agriculture in 1971, this historic film "A Lady Called Camille" documents the devastation caused by Hurricane Camille in 1969 and shows the the suffering it caused tens of thousands of people in Mississippi and through the Southern U.S.. While 259 lives were lost to the hurricane, thousands were saved due to emergency planning, highly trained rescue teams, the Red Cross, and help from the forces of government.  Hurricane Camille was the third and...
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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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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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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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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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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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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 black and white film showcasing two Olympic divers and a beauty contest at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel was produced by Jerry Courneya and Jerry Frankel for Courneya Productions either after 1948 or after 1952, as Dr. Lee is mentioned as winning the Olympic 10-meter platform, which he did at both. The bathing suits also reflect late 1940s and early 1950s styles. The narrator is James Matthews and the sound produced by Cinesound. It opens scanning the crowd surrounding the Beverly Wilshire...
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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 black and white film is one of a 1950-1960 television series Industry on Parade, produced by the National Association of Manufacturers. This is a single segment about Americans having not just international, but many domestic places to visit. Passengers deplane from a Pan American Airlines Clipper in Nassau. A couple window-shops plates. A traffic policeman’s uniform includes white gloves. A changing of the guards is shown. The couple walks hand-in-hand from the beach (:14- 2:02 ). The...
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Industry on Parade was a short television program that aired in the U.S. from1950-1960. It was produced by the National Association of Manufacturers. The series demonstrated complicated industrial processes that transformed raw materials into finished products. Industry On Parade Wisconsin is one of those black and white, public service, industrial films, probably produced in the mid 1950’s. Narrators used were Bob Wilson, Peter Roberts, and Radcliffe Hall. It was produced by Arthur Lodge...
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“The Mark Of A Man” is an episode from the 1950s television show The Greatest Drama. This episode tells the story of Henry Ford ( 00:33 ). The episode begins with a massive spring storm hitting the Midwest, causing the River Rouge to swell and flood the streets of Dearborn, Michigan ( 00:45 ), as well as Henry Ford’s estate—an aerial view ( 00:54 ) shows the flooded Fair Lane property. Shortly after the flood, Henry Ford passes away and mourners gather to pay their respects ( 01:04 )....
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Directed by Emerson Yorke, this rare industrial film by the United States Rubber Company shows the 1946 National Air Races in Cleveland, Ohio. These races represented the restart of the NAR after they were curtailed by World War II. Present at these races were early jet aircraft and many of aviation's great personalities including Roscoe Turner, Tooey Spaatz, Tony Levier, Paul Mantz and other military leaders including Admiral Bull Halsey. Covergirl Corkey Kelly is also shown at  2:45 , and...
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"Bikini -- The Atom Island" is a 1946 short that chronicles the evacuation of Bikini Atoll prior to the Operation Crossroads atomic bomb tests. The forced re-location of the island inhabitants was just the beginning of an ordeal that continues into the present day, as life was never the same after the tests (which, incidentally, are not shown in this film but took place just after it was shot). Bikini Atoll is an atoll in the Marshall Islands. The atoll consists of 23 islands totaling...
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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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This rare color film entitled STAR BROTHERS takes a look at the Soviet space program in the 1960s. It's an interesting counterpoint to NASA produced films of the same era. This, the second half of the film begins with footage of tracking radars and microwave communications, and at :38 a ground station with banks of computers and telemetry devices. A video tape recorder is turned on at :39 and a TV set is shown for playback. At :55 the route of the flight is plotted on a moving map. The...
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This rare color film entitled STAR BROTHERS takes a look at the Soviet space program in the 1960s. It's an interesting counterpoint to NASA produced films of the same era. The film begins with footage of Yuri Gagarin (:29), the first man in space in 1961. At 1:05 , Gherman Stepanovich Titov is shown, the second Soviet cosmonaut. At 1:30 , American space hero John Glenn is seen with one of his Soviet counterparts. At 1:45 , Pavel Romanovich Popovich and Andriyan Nikolayev of Vostok 4 & 3...
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Produced in 1944, the “unclassified” US Navy training film “Radio Operator Training” instructed seaman on how to become an effective radioman. Whether it be a PT boat, landing barge, submarine, or any other vessel, the narrator explains at mark  01:08  that a radioman is onboard and on duty. “He is the mouthpiece of his commanding officer. His right hand. Without him, the ship is crippled. The fleet is paralyzed.” Mark  01:48  takes us to NSS Annapolis (officially known as Naval...
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Made in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Soviet Revolution in 1967, this Soviet Air Force & Navy propaganda film shows the military might and capabilities of the country in the late 1960s, as its jets raced to new heights, and its nuclear submarines patrolled the world's oceans and arctic regions, helping the USSR achieve superpower status.  The film begins with images of the fall of Berlin and tomb of the unknown soldier, and talks about how now a "new generation" of men are...
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Made by Cinecraft in 1954 for both consumers and the sales force, A FAN FAMILY ALBUM promotes the line of fans made by Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company with a focus on the innovations made in the late 1940s and 1950s. Made in an era before air conditioning when fans were extremely important, the movie is hosted by a group of "hot" swimsuit wearing models. The film begins with a brief history of the company and George Westinghouse's invention of the electric fan in...
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A flying saucer skirts across the screen as a narrator ominously declares, “You have just seen a UFO … For some people these letters represent an element of fear because they represent an unknown threat.” But “UFO” can represent another danger: “Unrestrained Flying Objects.” So begins this color film from the General Motors Corporation. Likely produced circa 1978 (though the Roman numeral copyright date — MCXXVIII — translates to the year 1128), the narrator explains at mark ...
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One of the outstanding travelogues created by Eugene Castle and his company Castle Films, this travelogue of Mexico begins and ends with a stereotypical image, of a peasant riding atop a donkey. The film presents the "most exotic land in the Western Hemisphere" including shots of charming towns and native villages. At  1:10 , women are seen washing clothes at a town square. At  1:29 , a street barber provides shaves and haircuts, and at  1:50  an oxcart is seen. At  1:59 , a...
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This 1961 black and white film “The Cotton Belt - Yesterday and Today” was produced by the Indiana University Audio Visual Center. A woman stands at an ironing board and irons cotton clothing (:34).   Fields of cotton are shown. A bole is spread apart up-close to show how it can stretched and then spun into threads and woven into cloth (:44- 1:10 ).   Cotton seeds are dumped into a cattle trough ( 1:12 ). A ladle scoops Snow-kreem Vegetable Shortening into a pan on a stove ( 1:15 ).   A...
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This 16mm color documentary, The Amazon…Life Along the River in Brazil, is an educational film that documents the typical life of those who live along the river. It was produced by Academy Films in 1962 as an instructional film.The documentary starts out showing a boat on the Amazon River, often called the River Sea ( 0:22 - 0:57 ). A map of the Amazon is shown with tributaries into the river from the countries of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil. Main cities on the...
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Episode 62 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 Irish playwright and critic George Bernard Shaw (mark  00:42 ). We see assorted footage from different periods of his life, including a lengthy speech beginning at mark  01:20 . Detail regarding the sinking of a captured German ship by the US Navy in...
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