Slow Newsreel Sunday

You know those Sundays when you wind up, without even realizing it, spending half the day watching a bunch of vintage newsreels and school guidance films? Or is that just me? Beware, for I shall drag down you down into my nerdly depths.

Reminiscent of the rise of Charles Foster Kane, this short from 1940 explains to the youth of America how “Journalism” works. The hats, the coats, the cars, the notebooks, mimeograph machines, copy editors wearing visors!, it’s all gold, Jerry. The best part, though, is the explanation of the important role of newswomen. It starts at 5:06 and is not to be missed.


Here’s something from a bygone era: a 1937 film by the Works Progress Administration proving its benefit to the nation through construction of infrastructure — new secondary roads, reservoirs, sewage systems, community buildings, etc.

Here’s the WPA again, this time coming to the aid of the victims of a horrible Ohio River flood in 1937:

They mobilized 18,000 WPA workers in just the first two days, established long supply lines ensuring that food and water never ran out and prevented typhus with a campaign of innoculation right in the middle of the water. That’s pretty damn impressive.

Fast forward to 1959 and the celebrations attending Hawaiian statehood, complete with a burn on them lying Communists, of course:

There are millions more to suck away your next weekend at the Internet Moving Image Archive. I usually type in a random word (I started with “dancing” this time) and see what comes up, then I just link hop through the collections and subject tags.


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Comment by Mr. Murphy in VA
2011-11-21 08:01:52

Oh no, you’re not going to lead me down the path to lost hours gawking at the Internets. I will exercise restraint and confine myself to the once-daily dose of The History Blog. But then again, those films look mighty interesting. Maybe I will just keep the link in case I find myself incapable in self-control when I’m all alone in front of my demon computer.

Comment by LadyShea
2011-11-21 10:45:09

Your are evil, liv. I did not know about that archive, and now that I do may disappear into the past completely.

Comment by D. B. Cooper
2011-11-21 17:29:47

Ah, the Prelinger Archives. Dating Do’s and Don’ts, What to Do on a Date, the list goes on. I’ve seen hundreds of these things and they are great, particularly the social hygiene behavioral ones. Definitely check out the one on working with women. Those women, all they do is bitch!

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June 2022


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