Farm Petroleum Safety (film #1821 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Industrial]

This 50s film was designed to warn farmers of the dangers of petroleum products and show them how to handle them safely. It starts at a county fair, where the local Farm Safety Committee, aided by the fire department, gives a speech and demonstration on petroleum products and their dangers. This is fun to watch, with lots of dramatic demonstrations of things burning and blowing up, feeling very much like an actual demonstration one might watch at a county fair. Then Jim, a teenager whose family house burned down when his mother unwisely poured kerosene on the fire of the wood-burning stove. This story, though typically tearjerking and dramatic, is actually well told enough to have some impact. It actually stirred some emotion from me, which is unusual for these types of safety films. I think it’s because they presented the tragedy in a straightforward and realistic fashion, pulling no punches, and avoiding scenery-chewing for the most part. Overall, this is a charming film which makes its points well and was probably effective for its intended audience.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

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