A favorite teaching video
I’ve got a bunch of blog posts spinning around in my head, but have been way too busy to post coherently. So for a quick hit, I wanted to share this video that ties back to my very first publication.*
In 1995, I spent a summer as an intern in the moving image archives of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. My task was to process and catalog the collection of Industry on Parade, a series of 15-minute episodes of propaganda produced by the National Association of Manufacturers, syndicated to fill time across stations in the 1950s. Each episode offered a few pro-industry profiles covering companies that produce wax, cotton, steel, and what have you – honestly, quite boring stuff unless you’re particularly interested in the history of wax manufacturing.
But I stumbled across one segment that stuck out as pretty interesting for cultural scholars: “Mrs. America Serves Again.” From 1951, the sequence provides a nice counterpart to the assumed homogeneity of the era’s representations of women and domesticity that I love to show in my television history course. Now through the power of the internets, I share it with you – complete with a bonus taste of anti-communism for desert!
* If you’re interested in reading more about the series and my take on its historigraphic significance, seek out my article, “Invisible Footage: Industry on Parade and Television Historiography,” Film History, 9:2, Fall 1997. Alas, I can’t find a digital version to share or link to, so you’ll have to use the old fashioned “library.”
Filed under: Media Studies, Representations, Television, TV History | 1 Comment