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Ephemeral Films

Ephemeral films are non-fiction films usually made for educational, industrial, or promotional purposes. The two classic ephemeral film collections found on the Archive are the Prelinger Archives and AV Geeks.



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Title
Date Archived
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A/V Geeks
by J Frederic Dewhurst; Twentieth Century Fund.; Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, inc.
movies

eye 1,988

favorite 14

comment 1

A compilation of live footage, staged scenes and animation discussing the rise of the U.S. standard of living as it is tied to the rise of productivity--comparison of man hour earnings in 1850 ($ .27) to 1900 ($ .56) to 1949 ($1.40). An argument for the appreciation of "the American Way" by not standing in the way of increased productivity through the use of machines.
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Topics: productivity, technology, work, standard of living
A/V Geeks
by J. Gary Mitchell Film Company
movies

eye 2,017

favorite 13

comment 1

A young boy takes a fantasy trip to the "Land of Lessons" where Professor Sir Hillary Von Carp and two frogs named What and Tadoo teach him how to protect himself from strangers with four basic rules: Say No, Get Away, Tell Someone and Sometimes, Yell. Combing live action and puppets, in a humorous, but straight-forward look at the lures strangers use to entice children and the "un-oh feeling" they could experience  with certain touches even from people they know
favoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Topic: stranger danger
National Film Preservation Foundation
by Jam Handy Organization
movies

eye 3,151

favorite 37

comment 0

Promotional film celebrating the 1959 Chevrolet automobile line as an exemplar of American industrial design and styling.  American Look  highlights the contribution of interior, indus­tri­al, product, and automobile designers to the “populuxe” era; the term was coined by writer Thomas Hine to describe the late-1950s stylistic fusion of luxury and mass-produced consumer goods. This wide-screen spectacular showcases an array of contemporary architectural exteriors, interiors, packaging,...
Topic: sponsored film
National Film Preservation Foundation
by Jam Handy Organization
movies

eye 643

favorite 6

comment 0

Film promoting the automobile industry as a pillar of the American economy. By showing the number and range of businesses and industries that produce materials for the modern Chevrolet,  American Harvest  demonstrates the interdependence of industry, commerce, and agriculture and argues that large integrated manufacturing enterprises are ideally suited to satisfy consumer needs. This panoramic survey illuminates national concerns about materials shortages during the Korean War. Note:...
Topic: sponsored film
National Film Preservation Foundation
by Jam Handy Organization
movies

eye 556

favorite 7

comment 0

Theatrical cartoon showing the odyssey of a gasoline drop from its entry into a Chevrolet’s fuel tank to its explosive end in the engine cylinder.  Down the Gasoline Trail  uses humor to leaven the technical explanation of how a fuel system works. Note:  Released as part of Chevrolet’s  Direct Mass Selling  series. The cartoon was broadcast from NBC’s New York City experimental television station in October 1939.
Topic: sponsored film
National Film Preservation Foundation
by Jam Handy Organization
movies

eye 1,146

favorite 7

comment 0

Industrial film detailing the manufacture of automobiles at Chevrolet’s Flint plant.  Master Hands  shows tool and die making, founding, casting, welding, part fabrication, and final assembly. The process concludes with the consumer behind the wheel of his new car. The film is set to a Wagnerian score performed by the Detroit Philharmonic Orchestra and includes only two lines of narration; in  Master Hands  the elemental work of industrial production speaks for itself. Note:  Part of...
Topic: sponsored film
National Film Preservation Foundation
by Jam Handy Organization
movies

eye 366

favorite 4

comment 0

Film for the Household Finance Corporation featuring its spokesperson Edgar A. Guest, the popular poet and radio personality. Guest performs without making any explicit reference to the sponsor or its products. Note:  The short was shown under the title  A Heap o’ Livin’  at the 1939–40 New York World’s Fair.
Topic: sponsored film
National Film Preservation Foundation
by Jam Handy Organization
movies

eye 468

favorite 5

comment 1

Advertising short for Chevrolet combining live action and animation. The film relates the story of Gilbert Willoughby, who, exasperated by his stubborn boxspring mattress, imprudently wishes for the disappearance of springs. Coily, the animated spring sprite, grants his wish, and Gilbert is bedeviled by once-familar appliances that no longer function. Apolo­gizing to Coily, Gilbert acknowledges the contribution of springs to daily life, especially in the Chevrolet. Note:  From the  Direct...
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Topic: sponsored film
A/V Geeks
by James And Schwep / U S Army
movies

eye 642

favorite 5

comment 1

Pictures the facilities and explains the educational value of children's museums in the United States. Shows Richard and a group of children as they visit the Brooklyn Children's Museum. They watch and operate mechanical displays, handle and pet animals on exhibit, and participate in projects such as movies, doll making, folk dancing, and photography. This film can be purchased on DVD and higher quality versions of the film can be purchased for stock footage purposes. Contact...
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
National Film Preservation Foundation
by Jerry Fairbanks Productions
movies

eye 1,119

favorite 17

comment 0

Glossy musical made to promote color “decorator” telephones. The short tells the story of newlyweds whose honeymoon must be delayed until the husband completes a new song for his client. As the husband struggles with writer’s block, his wife dreams about a remodeled home with color phones in every room, from the bedroom to the kitchen. Fortunately the telephone dial clicks provide the needed musical inspiration for the husband, and the couple jubilantly sing his new song “Castle in the...
Topic: sponsored film
A/V Geeks
by Jerry Fairbanks, Inc Amer Telephone And Telegraph Co
movies

eye 1,003

favorite 8

comment 2

Tells the history of communications, from smoke signals to telephones This film can be purchased on DVD and higher quality versions of the film can be purchased for stock footage purposes. Contact footage@avgeeks.com for more information
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
A/V Geeks
by Jerry Fairbanks, Sherwin-Williams Paints
movies

eye 8,267

favorite 17

comment 2

Promotional piece for Sherwin-Williams DDT preparation - Pestroy. To license this film and get a higher quality version for broadcast/film purposes, contact A/V Geeks LLC .
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Topics: public health, ddt, insects, pesticide
A/V Geeks
by Jim Hartz; Michael Collins; Buzz Aldrin; Neil Armstrong; Walter Cronkite; Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center.
movies

eye 376

favorite 0

comment 0

This video chronicles the Apollo gala banquet at the Hyatt Regency featuring remarks by Jim Hartz, Walter Cronkite, Aaron Cohen and the Apollo 11 astronauts.
A/V Geeks
by Jim Hartz; Michael Collins; Buzz Aldrin; Neil Armstrong; Walter Cronkite; Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center.
movies

eye 400

favorite 0

comment 0

This video chronicles the Apollo gala banquet at the Hyatt Regency featuring remarks by Jim Hartz, Walter Cronkite, Aaron Cohen and the Apollo 11 astronauts. To license this film and get a higher quality version for broadcast/film purposes, contact A/V Geeks LLC .
Topic: NASA, Apollo 11
A/V Geeks
by Jimmie Mannas
movies

eye 3,689

favorite 25

comment 3

King is Dead (B&W, 1968): This short, black and white documentary film offers an uncensored look at the rage in the black community following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Intercut with shots of peoples' angry denouncements of whites are images of King's marches, previous assassination attempts and funeral, as well as audio from his speechesâall serving to reaffirm his ideals of non-violence, even in the wake of his death. This film was adopted for digitization by these kind...
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews )
Topics: avgeeks, martin luther king jr
A/V Geeks
by Joan Cohen; Joan Pearlman
movies

eye 7,209

favorite 82

comment 1

Film presents a series of vignettes on the subject of women who are growing older.
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Topic: gender
A/V Geeks
by Joan Micklin Silver: Linda Gottlieb; Learning Corporation of America.; Omaha/Orange.
movies

eye 1,576

favorite 4

comment 0

Two young girls with a passion for touching fur coats become locked inside a furrier's shop after hours when two burglars break in.
Topic: linda gottlieb
A/V Geeks
by John Bransby Productions Ltd, American Petroleum Institute
movies

eye 508

favorite 4

comment 1

How a plentiful energy supply impacts our country's quality of life. This film can be purchased on DVD and higher quality versions of the film can be purchased for stock footage purposes. Contact footage@avgeeks.com for more information
favoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
A/V Geeks
by John Colburn Associates.; Colburn Film Distributors, inc.
movies

eye 4,785

favorite 36

comment 1

Explains the basic principles and operations of electronic computers and the use of binary arithmetic. Discusses unusual uses of the computers in order to stimulate interest in careers in mathematics and science. To license this film and get a higher quality version for broadcast/film purposes, contact A/V Geeks LLC .
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Topics: avgeeks, computers, binary, arithmetic
A/V Geeks
by John Eggert
movies

eye 4,564

favorite 22

comment 4

A teacher hopes to instill a sense of responsibility in his students by having them "fix up" the school's activity bus. Will it work? To license this film and get a higher quality version for broadcast/film purposes, contact A/V Geeks LLC .
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 4 reviews )
Topics: school bus society, jocks vs. geeks
A/V Geeks
by John Kieran; Paul F Moss; Thelma Schnee; ABC Film Syndicate,
movies

eye 2,587

favorite 15

comment 1

Uses time-lapse photography to show the physical power of plants in their efforts to receive sunlight and fulfill their growth. Experiments show how plant fiber can hold more weight than copper wire; tendrils can support a plant vertically and seedlings can move barriers laid on top of them. Demonstrates how a plant draws water up from the ground. Germinating peas break out of a glass jar, while a parasitic plant can overwhelm another. Indicates how plants forcibly overcome obstacles placed in...
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Topics: plants, John Kieran, Paul F Moss, Thelma Schnee
National Film Preservation Foundation
by John Korty
movies

eye 689

favorite 16

comment 0

Pacifist plea sponsored by a Quaker group. To a voice-over commentary describing the arms race,  Language of Faces  presents a montage of human faces and activities that culminates in a silent vigil at the Pentagon. Note:  John Korty also made  The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman . Teiji Ito, husband of Maya Deren, composed the score for Deren’s  Meshes of the Afternoon .
Topic: sponsored film
National Film Preservation Foundation
by John Sutherland Productions
movies

eye 1,721

favorite 7

comment 0

Pro-business cartoon explaining the role of investment capital in building America’s prosperity. Because of far-sighted investment in industry, the American worker, personified by Brooklyn-accented Joe, is “king of the workers of the world” and has higher wages and shorter hours than his counterparts abroad.  Meet King Joe  argues that in view of the rewards workers reap from the American economic system, it is in labor’s best interest to cooperate with management. Note:  Part of...
Topic: sponsored film
National Film Preservation Foundation
by John Sutherland Productions
movies

eye 917

favorite 11

comment 0

Short sponsored by the United Fruit Company to blunt “communist propaganda claims” in the American and Latin American press. Using animation and live action, the short describes the benefits of the “living circle” of interdependent trade between Central America and the United States. Note:  The companion to  Bananas? Si, Señor! ,  The Living Circle  was reportedly seen by more than 17 million viewers during its first eight months of release. Both films were distributed with Spanish...
Topic: sponsored film
National Film Preservation Foundation
by John Sutherland Productions
movies

eye 3,144

favorite 13

comment 0

Animated critique of New Deal–type liberalism. In a dream “Albert,” a worker in a statist economy, is forced to watch a state-sponsored “free movie” on national planning. On awakening, he is convinced of the failings of excessive government control.
Topic: sponsored film
National Film Preservation Foundation
by John Sutherland Productions
movies

eye 1,204

favorite 14

comment 0

Animated history of the American economic system told from a pro–free enterprise perspective.  Free enterprise, the narrator argues, can be traced to the Bill of Rights, and the Founding  Fathers regarded “political and economic freedom” as “interlocking inseparably.” However, in  contrast to what the film characterizes as the favorable economic climate of colonial America  (where individuals had the “freedom to go into business”), today’s government imposes taxes  and...
Topic: sponsored film
National Film Preservation Foundation
by John Sutherland Productions
movies

eye 981

favorite 21

comment 0

Science film positioning atomic energy as both a peaceful and a warlike force. Sponsored by a corporation involved in the nascent nuclear industry, the film is an animated introduction to atomic energy and designed to be, as a Business Screen reviewer reported, “entertaining but scientifically accurate.” The periodic table, represented as “Element Town,” depicts each element in a distinctive shape suggesting its use by humans. Radium, whose giant head resembles an atomic nucleus, decays...
Topic: sponsored film
National Film Preservation Foundation
by John Sutherland Productions
movies

eye 2,862

favorite 17

comment 0

Big-budget film about iron and steel that was produced as part of U.S. Steel’s campaign against competing steel imports and alternative materials like aluminum. Told with animation and few words,  Rhapsody of Steel  presents the panoply of products made from steel, including a rocket that blasts into space. Note:  The film had a production budget of $350,000 and was shown theatrically in Pittsburgh and seven other cities. Dimitri Tiomkin’s score was also made available by U.S. Steel...
Topic: sponsored film
National Film Preservation Foundation
by John Suther­land Productions
movies

eye 1,446

favorite 29

comment 0

Science-fiction-influenced cartoon sponsored by petroleum producers to lionize their industry and promote free enterprise. “Colonel Cosmic,” an astronaut from the totalitarian planet Mars, flies to Earth, where he discovers cheap oil and the market economy. Returning home, he leads a revolution and frees Martian entrepreneurs to begin oil exploration, start small businesses, and lead the planet out of economic stagnation.
Topic: sponsored film
National Film Preservation Foundation
by Joseph De Grasse
movies

eye 1,017

favorite 4

comment 0

Feature-length drama, written by Ida May Park, in which convicts befriend a poor family and struggle to go straight. Preserved in collaboration with the New Zealand Film Archive and The Museum of Modern Art.
Topics: silent film, New Zealand Project
A/V Geeks
by Josten
movies

eye 1,969

favorite 5

comment 3

A motivational speaker talks to high school students about how great their experiences are - followed by a short ad for Josten class rings and yearbooks.
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews )
Topic: motivational speech