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1.

A Conversation With Alfred P. Sloan [electronic resource]: From NBC's Wisdom Series

From 1937 to 1956, Alfred P. Sloan was chairman of General Motors; he also helped found the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation remains a major force in American cultural life today. In this NBC program from 1954, Mr. Sloan is interviewed by NBC public service manager Edward Stanley. Sloan speaks his mind about the need for positive thinking as well as rigorous analysis in business, or in any undertaking; the societal impact of decisions made by the managers of large corporations; and more specifically, the obligation he believes should be placed on business leaders to help keep the statistical level of American employment as horizontal as possible. He also comments on the need for management and labor leaders to understand each other's p [...]
Online
1954
2.

A Conversation With Robert Moses [electronic resource]: From NBC's Wisdom Series

Over a desktop model of the Manhattan Bridge, Robert Moses speaks from his Babylon office in this 1959 NBC interview. Moses talks with landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke about urban planning, its implementation, and its political and financial dimensions. Readily acknowledging his reputation as an undiplomatic figure, Moses advances his notion that planners are people who make "pretty pictures" and propose plausible, attractive ideas, but they are not people who get things done. He discusses Jones Beach, the Lincoln Square slum-clearing project, and Manhattan public art installations. Further discussion centers on planning in other cities, particularly Flint, Michigan, and Los Angeles, as well as conflicts he has observed between reform-minded and status quo politicians and planni [...]
Online
1959
3.

Prelinger Archives: Cheerios/V-8 [electronic resource]

Cheerios and V-8 commercial targeted at children of the Space Age.
Online
1960
4.

Prelinger Archives: Building a Highway (1948) [electronic resource]

This educational Prelinger Archives film illustrates the major steps in the construction of a two-lane highway, including clearing, cutting, and grading the roadbed; readying materials at a roadside supply dump; mixing and pouring concrete; and smoothing and finishing the new road surface. An emphasis on the necessary skills involved in road construction.
Online
1948
5.

Prelinger Archives: How Textile Mills Are Modernizing (C. 1948) [electronic resource]

High-quality production at lowest-possible cost: that is the textile industry's challenge--a challenge being met through scientific modernization. This Prelinger Archives film "is a report to you, the textile industry... The report deals with the chief trends in production machinery and processing techniques, illustrated by the latest equipment in America's mills and laboratories." Shot in Technicolor.
Online
1948
6.

Prelinger Archives: The Airport (1948) [electronic resource]

Today, let's visit the airport of a large city. This educational Prelinger Archives film introduces viewers to the functions of a modern airport as it tours them around. All aspects of the airline experience are touched upon, including airliner servicing, loading with luggage, and stocking with meals; ticket sales and boarding; and takeoff! A segment on what it's like to be the pilot of a small aircraft is also included.
Online
1948
7.

Prelinger Archives: Open Road a (1951) [electronic resource]

This Prelinger Archives film explains how steel is used in the making of highways: "forever embedded in the paving, where it serves to give the roadway permanent strength and durability"; "in overpasses and bridges"; and "in the complicated and amazing road-building equipment characteristic of the work to be done." Topics covered include the forging of steel in rolling mills, causeway construction, overpass and underpass construction, and highway construction, from initial roadbed preparation to the early stages of paving.
Online
1951
8.

Prelinger Archives: Open Road B (1951) [electronic resource]

This Prelinger Archives film explains how steel is used in the making of highways: "forever embedded in the paving, where it serves to give the roadway permanent strength and durability"; "in overpasses and bridges"; and "in the complicated and amazing road-building equipment characteristic of the work to be done." Highway construction, from the early stages of paving through to completion, is covered.
Online
1951
9.

Prelinger Archives: Singing Wires (C. 1951) [electronic resource]

Even by the middle of the 20th century, electricity was not universally found on farms across America. This Prelinger Archives film sings the praises of rural electrification through a dramatization of a friendly farm family whose work and play are transformed when their place is hooked up to the grid. Praised as a "sensitively done piece of Americana.
Online
1951
10.

Prelinger Archives: Give Yourself the Green Light (1954) [electronic resource]

This Prelinger Archives film is an urgent message to 1950s America concerning the need for modern roads and highways, with the ultimate goal of creating the Interstate Highway System. Following an ill-equipped repair crew as it patches holes in pavement, the film bemoans an outdated transportation system that can't support "our growing greatness" (in other words, the rising numbers of cars in use) while scenes of rush-hour traffic warn that "we're running out of roads!" For solutions, the program illustrates state-of-the-art highway development across the nation and lobbies viewers on the importance of tax-supported financing so that construction can take place immediately. "If you pay as you go," warns the narrator, "you may not go at all.
Online
1954
11.

Prelinger Archives: American Harvest (Part II) (1955) [electronic resource]

This Prelinger Archives film highlights the activities of farmers, miners, and manufacturers in the production of industrial materials--particularly those essential to 1950s car-making. From the bustling Pittsburgh steel foundry to the California oil well contributing to the rubber in tires, the film highlights America's wondrous ability to reap nature's bounty and transform it into car technology (an endeavor the U.S. continues today, of course, but with far greater dependence on the rest of the world). The narration is verbose and overwrought, waxing eloquent as shot after shot passes by in the glorification of automobile manufacturing, raw materials extraction, and mid-1950s consumerism. Revised from an earlier 1951 version.
Online
1955
12.

Prelinger Archives: The Responsibilities of American Citizenship (1955) [electronic resource]

This Prelinger Archives film from 1955 asks young citizens to study the American way of life while opposing communism, socialism, and their propaganda techniques. Dr. Clifton L. Ganus, Jr., an instructor in the National Education Program Workshop at Harding College, speaks in front of a classroom of young people about the importance of free enterprise, the profit motive, and other tenets of conservative economics. Ganus employs simple graphic elements which he manipulates himself--for example, he stacks cardboard bricks labeled with political concepts into a tower, then knocks over the tower to illustrate the vulnerability of American freedom. Other props include a globe used to show how Communism is spreading across the planet. He also engages students in the discussion, and they re [...]
Online
1955
13.

Prelinger Archives: Mainline U.S.A. (1957) [electronic resource]

This Prelinger Archives film shows the important role of rail transportation in the mid-20th-century American economy. Outlining the development of steam and diesel trains, the film depicts railroad technology in action--hauling passengers, farm products, manufactured goods, and raw materials. Recreational uses are shown, too. Glamorous music accompanies lush footage of natural wonders and glittering cities, among which restless trains move as they crisscross the American continent and help to expand the U.S. economy. Innovations in rail technology are explored at length, portraying trains as "marvels of science" as well as essential vehicles in the search for new and ever-improving ways to develop commerce.
Online
1957
14.

Prelinger Archives: 6 1/2 Magic Hours (1958) [electronic resource]

This Prelinger Archives film depicts the comfort and delight of transatlantic air travel at the beginning of the Jet Age. The story begins with a scale model of the "futuristic" Pan Am terminal at Idlewild Airport (later renamed JFK), designed to allow passengers movement from terminal to jet under covered awnings. Next, Pan Am initiates Flight 1000, a so-called "paper flight"--a hypothetical experiment taking place between New York and London, collecting scientific and logistical data in preparation for the milestone jet voyage. Then the film shows the real thing, offered in an upscale Boeing 707 Clipper with a spacious cabin and luxurious amenities. Finally, viewers see activities to be enjoyed in Europe, made possible with "extra hours to do what you want" thanks to the new swift [...]
Online
1958
15.

Prelinger Archives: Poverty in Rural America (Part I) (1965) [electronic resource]

This Prelinger Archives film visits poor areas of the United States, particularly hard-hit agricultural areas, and discusses social and economic programs encompassed by the "War on Poverty." Viewers encounter struggling farmers who share their perspectives on how and why poverty is so common among their communities, what they can and can't do about it, and what their hopes for the future are. The film also includes commentary from community activists and economic development experts, with a brief case study of a cooperative sorghum mill that provides supplemental income. The plight of hungry school children is explored through moving images and discussions of the importance of school meal programs.
Online
1965
16.

Prelinger Archives: Poverty in Rural America (Part II) (1965) [electronic resource]

This Prelinger Archives film visits poor areas of the United States, particularly hard-hit agricultural areas, and discusses social and economic programs encompassed by the "War on Poverty." This second part continues to focus on information about school and daycare programs helping to give poor children greater advancement. Viewers visit a school program helping teenagers who are working on a third- or fourth-grade level and a parent who has more-or-less given up on helping her oldest son stay in school. Also featured: a textile mill start-up introduced into a poor community in an effort to create much-needed jobs and stimulate the local economy, and the dire lack of proper housing and utilities affecting many areas of the country.
Online
1965
17.

Prelinger Archives: In Our Hands Part 2. What We Have [electronic resource]

Strengths of the American free enterprise system and how it meets the needs of its citizens.
Online
1950
18.

Prelinger Archives In Our Hands Part4 How to Keep What We Have [electronic resource]: In Our Hands, Part 4-How to Keep What We Have

How a limited government and private control over labor, resources and tools can stave off a Communist takeover of the U.S.
Online
1950
19.

Prelinger Archives: American Women - Partners in Research [electronic resource]

Describes the market research undertaken by Corning Glass Works prior to marketing a coffeemaker.
Online
1960
20.

Prelinger Archives: Behind the Freedom Curtain [electronic resource]

Sales film for voting machines, promoting them as engines of governmental efficiency and practical democracy.
Online
1957