Christmas movies are a staple of the holidays, with cable channels producing and airing so many that the season now seems to start sometime in November. Holiday films are nothing new, of course. The earliest known adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was made over a hundred years ago, in 1901. Even the Ford … Continue reading Christmas in the Ford Collection: A Merry Christmas to All, 1926
In past blog posts, we've highlighted some of the favorite films of Motion Picture Preservation Lab staff. Because the motion picture holdings at the National Archives and Records Administration are so voluminous, we are always encountering new films that jockey for the top spot on our list of favorite things. One Time Too Often, a 1969 … Continue reading Mortal Moonshine: Treasury Agents Take On Backwoods Bootleggers
This week's story features a demonstration of the "often-forecast" videophone. Today, numerous devices and programs enable video calling, but the videophone as a separate appliance never quite took off. One reason why 1955 was not the year for the video phone is the price tag: According to the Universal news story, the videophone cost $5000.00, or about $43,000.00 in today's dollars. … Continue reading This Week in Universal News: Video Phone Demonstration, 1955
In this story from Universal News, swimsuit-clad women participate in a pie-baking contest on the beach. While there is not much more to be said about the story itself, it is a classic example of the "Bathing Beauties" that appear in the Universal newsreels throughout the 1930s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VepP0WU8j94 The original release sheet reads: Bathing Beauties … Continue reading This Week in Universal News: A Pie-Baking Contest at the Beach, 1936
The launch of Sputnik and the space race led to an era of optimism which influenced pop-culture in America and overseas. We imagined where we might live, the clothes we might wear and the cars we might drive. Words and phrases such as astro and space age entered our vocabulary as a way to describe … Continue reading Looking to the Future: Space Culture on Film
Today we’re debuting our new name! From now on, the blog of the National Archives’ Special Media Services Division will be known as The Unwritten Record. We’ll feature the same great content—film, photographs, videos, sound recordings, and other non-textual records from the National Archives’ holdings-- just with a new and improved name! Media Matters was fine, … Continue reading Introducing The Unwritten Record!
This week, we have a performance from Elmer Trudgen, who created a one-man band with an impressive eleven different instruments. And yet Trudgen was not content to stop at that achievement--according to a 1939 newspaper article, he added a banjo to bring the grand total to fourteen instruments. http://youtu.be/Z6eDRCdg9bc From the Release Sheet: Elmer’s A … Continue reading This Week in Universal News: Elmer Trudgen’s One-Man Band, 1937.