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Accident Prevention Through Equipment Guarding

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Accident Prevention Through Equipment Guarding. Guards, in this case, are not human, but refer to guard rails and metal cages used to prevent machines from killing or maiming their operators. This 1982 industrial safety film for miners teaches us the importance of guards and generally how to keep yourself safe around machines that could easily remover a finger or a limb or two if operated carelessly. It's mostly pretty dry, but it’s punctuated by staged accidents that are announced by dramatic music on the soundtrack. Oh no! There goes another one! Fortunately, the blood is kept to a minimum.Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: ****.
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The Benefactor. This 1917 film may be one of the first biopics ever. The life of Thomas Edison is told in a lively and fun fashion for a 1917 silent film. We find out that he was an incredible prankster, extremely creative, and very hard-working. It all comes off like Edison sitting down with us and telling us stories of his youth, with the expected embellishments. General Electric added an ending where we see the real Edison accepting a Congressional Medal of Honor. Also of interest are scenes of 1917 cities being lit up by electric lights, which have an erie art deco feel to them, even though they predate art deco by some time. Lots of historical interest here.Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
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Belonging to the Group: Respect as a Human Value. This 50s EB social guidance film shows us two families that are newcomers to a small town, one of average 50s folks, and one that are first-generation immigrants from an unnamed European country. They both have minor problems with getting accepted into the town’s social fabric, with the immigrants having a few more problems than the white-bread family. But all the problems are on the 50s sitcom level, i.e. they’re problems we’d all like to have because they’re so minor. There’s a slight hint of discrimination towards the immigrant family, but it all gets resolved in the end when the boy impresses kids at school with his woodcarving skills and the mom wins a cake baking contest at church. This is one of those 50s films that hints at larger problems and then denies the seriousness of them, which makes it slightly campy and somewhat disturbing at the same time.Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Over…
Snookered + Behind the Scenes at Hutzler's from Maryland Historical Society on Vimeo.Behind the Scenes at Hutzler’s. This silent film from 1938 was meant to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hutzler’s, a Baltimore department store. We get to see scenes of employees arriving at work, enjoying a party, and goofing around behind the scenes, in the employees-only areas. This was made during the golden age of downtown department stores, so there’s lots of historical interest, as we get to see the huge staff required to run those big, elegant stores, as well as the wide assortment of jobs the employees had to do. We also get to see the blasé faces of management. A real 1930s time capsule. Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ***.
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Basic Techniques for Home Landscaping. So, Mr. & Mrs. 1950s, you’ve had a new house for yourself way out in the suburbs, away from the dirt and grime and multicultural landscape of the city. But the house is on an empty lot, surrounded by nothing. You solve this problem by calling your local nurseryman and having him plant lots of pleasing trees and shrubbery in carefully balanced arrangements, as well as a sweeping lawn that you’ll have to mow every couple of days all summer long. But what about the backyard? We’re assuming your lot is huge, so you get to have a children’s play area, a vegetable garden, and a huge fancy formal garden for entertaining guests. How the nurseryman plans all of this is shown in this film, through the use of rather boring animation of a typical 50s suburban ranch house. By now, of course, the house is in what is known in 2017 as “midtown”. This is a real 50s suburban time capsule. Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ***…
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Balanced Aquarium. Two children, Susan and Fred, put together an aquarium in their home. Fortunately, they have the Encyclopedia Brittanica narrator to tell them exactly what to do in detail. This is a charming children’s educational film, and if you’re wondering how to put an aquarium together, well, this is your film. Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ** Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: ***.
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Begin the Beguine. Latin dancing couple Varios & Vida dance to “Begin the Beguine” in this 40s soundie. Their costumes are beautiful and some of the dancing moves are impressive, but mostly this is pretty ordinary. Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
Bees and Spiders. Another early silent classroom film, this one about bees and spiders. Beekeepers show us how bees live in the hive, get food, and reproduce. And, oh, did I say that animals are always fun to watch? Not spiders—they’re creepy. Though they do hold your attention. Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: ***.
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Beer Outtakes. This is billed as a series of outtakes from a 70s beer commercial, though it actually looks more like an audition tape. The soundtrack is lost, so we don’t know what the series of attractive 70s young people are saying as they drink a mug of beer in a bar setting. But it’s clear that the people drinking and chatting in the background are having lots more fun than they are. The awkwardness of the beer spokespeople just reminds me of why I don’t think drinking in bars is really very fun. But this just begs to have a new and improved satirical soundtrack dubbed into it. Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
Beavers. Early silent classroom film about beavers. That’s it, really, but the beavers are fun to watch, and the cuteness factor is up when they show the baby beavers, which are essentially fluff-balls with little flat beaver tails. Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: ***.
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The Beach: A River of Sand. This 1965 Encyclopedia Brittanica film shows us how ocean beaches are formed, what they are made of, and how they are parts of much larger geological systems. This sounds as dry as, well, sand, and it would be, except for how beautifully photographed and directed the film is. The striking imagery of beaches from all angles and distances holds your attention, making this a very successful educational film. As a Nebraska gal, I’ve only been on ocean beaches a handful of times, and this film makes me long for them. Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.