The Draggin’ Wagon: An All American Soap Box Derby

This week’s blog post covers the U.S. Information Agency (USIA)’s film The Draggin’ Wagon, (Local Identifier: 306.6618).  The film offers a unique look into the life of a young African American boy, Clarence Carter Jr., and his journey to create a homemade Soap Box car for the 1963 Soap Box Derby in Washington, D.C. The … Continue reading The Draggin’ Wagon: An All American Soap Box Derby

Summer Theater in The March of Time

The October 18, 1935 release of the The March of Time newsreel serial contains a segment on "Summer Theatres." The outtakes from this segment shine a light on a time when summer stock theater was an important way for emerging actors and other artists to be seen by film studio representatives. Often taking place outdoors, sometimes in a mere tent, … Continue reading Summer Theater in The March of Time

Spotlight: Universal Newsreel Highlights Female Baseball Players

Note: This post was originally meant to highlight opening day of MLB baseball for the 2020 season while commemorating the role women play in the sport. While baseball may be on hold during this difficult time, we still wanted to highlight the achievements of women in the sport and hope this post helps get you … Continue reading Spotlight: Universal Newsreel Highlights Female Baseball Players

Summer Road Trip: Chicago and Pittsburgh

We head next to Chicago! While we enjoy the modern cosmopolitan sights, it’s fun to remember the lengthy history of the city as an agricultural and industrial hub. The Still Picture Branch collection of Army Signal Corps Photography (111-SC NAID 53707) includes some great images illustrating the Central Department Supply Depot in Chicago’s role in … Continue reading Summer Road Trip: Chicago and Pittsburgh

Summer Road Trip: Los Angeles

Los Angeles, the City of Angels, La-La-Land, Tinseltown, no matter what you call it, the city of Los Angeles has long been a center of commerce, culture, and entertainment in the United States. It is a must see on any road trip through California. Still from FC-FC-2434 "Nature has been extravagant in bestowing gifts upon … Continue reading Summer Road Trip: Los Angeles

Summer’s Last Hurrah

Labor Day is quickly approaching, and with it, the unofficial end of summer. But, the long weekend allows for one last chance to enjoy summer pastimes, such as a trip to the fair, amusement park, or beach. If you are looking for ways to spend your Labor Day weekend, look no further, here are some … Continue reading Summer’s Last Hurrah

Youth Visits Our Nation’s Capital: A Glimpse of Spring 1939 in Washington, D.C.

Last July, while completing a training rotation in the Motion Picture Preservation Lab, I was tasked with inspecting the condition of film. Inspections are a basic operation the lab performs to ensure film holdings are properly handled and maintained. After spending most of my time with black and white film, I was excited when asked to inspect color footage. … Continue reading Youth Visits Our Nation’s Capital: A Glimpse of Spring 1939 in Washington, D.C.

Vintage Footage Reveals How NORAD Tracks Santa

This Christmas Eve, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will have tracked Santa Claus's journey around the world for 60 years. Colonel Harry Shoup began the tradition in 1955, after receiving a phone call from a child expecting to reach Santa Claus. The misdirected call was the result of the child reversing two numbers of a Santa … Continue reading Vintage Footage Reveals How NORAD Tracks Santa

The Tale of the Forgotten Films: An Archival Rescue

Donna Anoskey and Dan Rooney contributed to this post. Years ago many government agencies, along with Hollywood and independent film makers, stored film productions with the private laboratories that provided their duplication services. In 2001, one of the premier film facilities on the East Coast, in business for over 50 years, went bankrupt, still in possession of … Continue reading The Tale of the Forgotten Films: An Archival Rescue

In Search of…Leonard Nimoy

A few months ago, I spent more time than usual with a film reference request. The film copy that came down for Clear Skies, Clean Air (1971) was 35/32mm, which meant that I had to make a print before I could run it on the film scanner. I listened to the soundtrack several times while … Continue reading In Search of…Leonard Nimoy