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Glimpses of Times Gone By - Movies From Yesteryear


The 25 films in this collection provide a glimpse back in time. They range from commercial advertisements to documentaries to experimental films. Some things have changed quite a bit since the time these films were made like styles of dress and language. Much of the technology we take for granted in the 21st century was in its infancy or non-existent when these films were produced. The mores and morals of the times were different, sometimes it seems radically so. Some of the situations seem naive and simplistic. In others things seem to not have changed at all.

To view some of the movies you will need the Basic Real Player or the RealPlayer Plus ($19.95). For others QuickTime must be installed and your browser must allow script to run.

  You are warmly encouraged to download, use, and reproduce these films in whole or in part, in any medium or market throughout the world, for any purpose whatsoever except the following: You may not sell or sell access to the data files representing the films. You may give or transfer them to any other person, company, or organization, but the gift or transfer must be free of charge. You may not sell, represent, license, or charge for access to these films as stock footage. Any derivative works that you produce using these films are yours to perform, publish, reproduce, sell, or distribute in any way you wish without any limitations.  
  1. Third Avenue El
    Impressionistic picture of the Third Avenue Elevated Railway in Manhattan, New York City, before it was demolished.   (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  2. 17 Days: The Story of Newspaper History in the Making
    How a New York City newspaper delivery drivers' strike in 1945 failed to divert readers' interest in their favorite newspapers. Shows the newspapers of the day and huge lines of people outside newspaper offices waiting to purchase updated editions. (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  3. Cindy Goes to a Party
    Cindy, a tomboy unsure of her social status, dreams of a party where her fairy godmother gives her etiquette lessons, and wakes up to receive her very own invitation. Filmed in Lawrence, Kansas. Produced: 1955 Run time: 9:21
    (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  4. The Golden Years
    Bowling made respectable and appealing to middle-class Americans through modernization and "Populuxe" design. (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  5. New York Worlds Fair 1940/1941
    Amateur film of the fair.  (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  6. The Girl on the Magazine Cover
    Modeling in the 1940's  (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  7. Freedom and Power
    This opulently produced film defines freedom as the abundance of electric power, and reviews U.S. history from an electrocentric viewpoint. With animation.  (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  8. Oakland California in 1928
    Real estate promotional film on Oakland, California and her sister cities made by Wickham Havens, a local developer. (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  9. A Progress Report from BART
    Shows stages in the construction of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit system. Never has so much cutting, digging, blasting and concrete-laying been so beautifully depicted.  (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  10. Classic Television Commercials
    Collection of TV commercials significant to the history and development of TV as an advertising medium. (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  11. Chevrolet Sales Convention Musical
    Rare record of song-and-dance at a 1954 Chevrolet sales convention, designed to motivate the sales force. (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  12. Ask Me, Don't Tell Me
    San Francisco teenage gangs and the unfriendly world they inhabit.
    Produced: 1961 Run time: 20:55 
    (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  13. Good Eating Habits
    Drama focusing on gluttony and "hidden hunger," where well-nourished people eat poorly and malnourish themselves.Produced: 1951 Run time: 9:45 
    (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  14. Mother Takes a Holiday (Part I)
    How the all-electric home emancipates women: a drama of how the women in the family manipulate their men to upgrade the laundry facilities. Produced: 1952 Run time: 12:52
    (  Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  15. Mother Takes a Holiday (Part II)
    How the all-electric home emancipates women: a drama of how the women in the family manipulate their men to upgrade the laundry facilities. Produced: 1952 Run time:15:10 
    (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  16. Working Dollars
    Animated explanation of how the stock market works, told through the story of an Everyman named Mr. Finchley
    Produced: 1957 Run time: 10:44 
    (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  17. Wastage of Human Resources
    How crippling disease, avoidable accidents, crime, war, old age, alcoholism and poor living conditions waste human lives and their potential. This film grew out of the effort to build a better world out of the devastation of World War II. Produced: 1947 Run time: 10:17  
    (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  18. Valley Town
    Social documentary showing the damage visited on the people of a Pennsylvania steel town by the deployment of new technology. Director: Willard Van Dyke. Script: Spencer Pollard, Willard Van Dyke. Photography: Roger Barlow and Bob Churchill. Music: Marc Blitzstein. Produced: 1940 Run time: 24:32  
    (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  19. Something for Nothing
    Cartoonist Rube Goldberg creates a little animation to explain how fuel is converted to power in the modern automobile engine. Produced: 1940 Run time: 8:47  
    (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  20. We, The People (Willkie & McNary Know Their Farming)
    Agriculturally-themed campaign film for Willkie's 1940 presidential campaign.
    Produced: 1940 Run time: 14:43 
    (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  21. Girls Beware
    Girls Beware is a trilogy of tragedies brought about by teenage girls' attempts at independent behavior. Covers do's and don'ts in the babysitting situation. Develops the problem of the 'PICK UP' and the girls who go with boys that are too old. Produced: 1961 Run time: 0:10:02

  22. To The Fair (Pt 1)
    Provides a trip to the New York World's Fair of 1965, showing the various activities at the fair. produced: 1965 

  23. Design for Dreaming
    Set at the 1956 General Motors Motorama, this is one of the key Populuxe films of the 1950s, showing futuristic dream cars and Frigidaire's "Kitchen of the Future." Produced: 1956 Run time: 9:16 
    (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  24. My Japan
    Complex and disturbing anti-Japanese propaganda film produced to spur the sale of U.S. war bonds. CONTENT ADVISORY: Explicit racism and extreme violence. Produced: 1945 Run time: 16:03
    (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)

  25. American Women: Partners in Research
    Describes the market research undertaken by Corning Glass Works prior to marketing a coffeemaker.
    Produced: 1960 Run time: 12:54 
    (Watch: Low - High)   (Download)


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