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1.

Rural Electrification in Ohio [electronic resource]: Historic REA Films, 1940-1941

After a brief introduction, this program presents three documentaries produced in the early 1940s by the USDA's Rural Electrification Administration (REA). An ambitious collaboration between a government agency and a host of acclaimed entertainment professionals, the films feature the real-life Parkinson family and were made to encourage farmers to take out government loans to modernize their farms. Power and the Land shows the Parkinsons laboring to run a dairy without benefit of electricity before obtaining an REA loan and then gladly giving up their manual water pump, kerosene lanterns, and horse-drawn plow. Along with Bip Goes to Town and Worst of Farm Disasters, the film now offers a close look at the domestic routines of a bygone era while capturing a time when many Americans, [...]
Online
2010
2.

The Parkinsons [electronic resource]: An Update

The Parkinsons of Warnock, Ohio were featured in the 1940 documentary Power and the Land, a government-sponsored project touting the benefits of using federal loans to modernize rural homesteads. The family of seven was shown hard at work on their dairy farm before gaining electricity, and after. In this program, grandchildren and neighbors of the Parkinsons share memories of the family and discuss how the future played out for the Parkinson children.
Online
2008
3.

Power for the Parkinsons [electronic resource]: The Making of a Classic American Film

Due to the high cost of bringing service to rural areas, in 1935 most farms in America still did not have electricity. The Rural Electrification Administration was formed to offer low-interest loans for the purchase of power, and to publicize the offer, the agency hired renown filmmaker Joris Ivens to create a documentary for national distribution. Cinematographer Floyd Crosby (High Noon) shot much of the footage and Walter Cronkite narrated a script written by Stephen Vincent Benet. Debuting in 1940, Power and the Land featured the real-life Parkinson family at their daily chores before and after modernization, and was a piece of quintessential, pro-progress Americana. But what was it like for the farming family to work with a professional film crew? And how did Mrs. Parkinson reall [...]
Online
2008