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This 1951 black and white film from the University of Chicago Advisory Committee self-reflexively explores the evolving role of classroom 16mm films in the field of education, using montage to raise awareness of audiovisual resources available to educators (TRT 19:20). The film script also makes a case that films can provide a vital edge in the Cold War, first be reinforcing American values, and also by providing a high-tech type advantage to students that other nations may not be able to provide. (Note: it’s not clear whether this film was sponsored by Bell & Howell, but the company’s headquarters was in Chicago, and the film in many ways seems like a sales pitch for B&H products.)

Opening titles: “The Audio-Visual Center of the University of Chicago presents, New Tools for Learning” and credits (0:08) — produced under the supervision of Bernard Berelson. Montage: The United States Capitol. Los Angeles City Hall. An industrial factory. A rural farm. 1940’s automobiles. Children playing in the suburbs. A family at dinnertime. Three boys eating (0:50). A tractor. A combine thresher. Molten metal in a foundry. Assembling tractors, cars. A Baltimore and Ohio steam locomotive. A Capital Airlines propeller-driven airplane. A child being vaccinated by a doctor. Children playing soccer. Men golfing. An iron lung. A microscope. A sheet metal press (1:15). Children in classrooms. Students filing into a school building (2:30). Operation Crossroads atom bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. A supersonic jet airplane. A rocket launching. Armistice Day revellers in Manhattan. Oakland Tribune headlines: “Armistice!” Guns Fall Silent!” Cheering crowds. The Battle of Pearl Harbor. The United Nations (3:07). An unemployment office window: “No More Hiring.” A bank teller’s window. Adolf Hitler. Joseph Stalin (3:37). Young boys browse a newsstand rack of comic books: Krazy Kat, Andy Panda, Jesse James, Frisky, Captain Video. Young people at a movie theater box office advertising a Disney matinee. Children listen to a radio, watch a television at home (3:54). Classroom teachers at chalkboards and maps. A girl closes a book. A boy sets up a 16mm film projector. Girls start a turntable. A boy speaks into a tape recorder microphone. An overhead projector. A classroom 16mm film screening (4:27). Library racks of 16mm films in canisters. A librarian smokes a cigarette (4:58). A gesturing teacher crossfades to animation of a gasoline engine. A crude drawing fades to indigeonous natives gathering palms. A history book fades to a historical reenactment. Children watch a 16mm classroom film (5:10). Students at the University of Chicago Laboratory School play with farm toys, watch a film about a livestock competition, and read books, including “Frisky the Goat” (5:59). A catalogue: “Films for Primary Grades.” Gears turning. Nylon production. An opossum family. Colonial girls playing “Cat’s Cradle” string figure games. A boy painting in an art class. Weaving on a small loom. Children in a rowboat (7:29). An Indiana science teacher speaks on cathode ray tubes. Shades are drawn, the projector starts. CRT illustrations (8:16). Films on chemistry and biology in excerpt (9:34). A Wisconsin history class watches a film about Benjamin Franklin (9:55). A spinning 16mm film reel. Class resumes (10:52). A map of the United States. World War II battle footage. A film on the U.N. Class discussion (12:00). An Ohio 6th grade class watches several personal hygiene films (13:42). An Illinois art class watches a film on drawing. An engineering class at Northwestern University watches a film on vectors. A University of Chicago class learns about child development (14:45). A circulation cart of 16mm films. A filmstrip projector. An LP record. A tape recorder. An overhead projector (15:30). A University A/V department. A naval classroom (15:49). Clarence B. Randall of the Inland Steel Company speaks. Admiral William Halsey Jr. (16:25). A film instructs young men on knot tying (17:01). Women in a film distribution center use rewinds to inspect prints (17:12). Review of previous scenes: Agriculture, industry, schoolchildren (17:55). “The End” (19:00).

Instructional motion picture excerpts featured in this short were originally sourced from British Information Services, The National Film Board of Canada, the U.S. Office of Education, and the U.S. Department of Defense.

This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit m

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