The Wonderful World of Tupperware (1959)

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Institution: Internet Archive
Collection: Prelinger Archives

Running time: 28m54s
Source film: 35mm; color; sound
Year: 1959 / ca. 1964
Director: George Yarbrough
Narrator: Russ Blair
Production: United Film Productions (Orlando, Florida)
Writers: Patrick E. Tahaney, Harry Whittington, George Yarbrough
Camera: Russ Blair


We’re fast-approaching the season of stuffed birds, holiday hams, and mountains of mashed root vegetables. Shortly thereafter comes the season of leftovers of every shape, species, and viscosity. The modern food preservation movement and virtually every brand of food storage container on the market can be traced back to Tupperware. As the plastics industry exploded following World War II, Tupperware rose from humble origins in Leominster, Massachusetts to dominate the home product market through an in-home “party” sales method.

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Halloween Party (1953)

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Institution: Internet Archive
Collection: Prelinger Archives

Running Time: 06m12s
Source Film: color; sound
Year: 1953
Production: Encyclopaedia Britannica Films


While the Halloween costumes of today are often clever, shameless, or absurdly referential, their burlap and paper counterparts from last century still hold the crown for creepy (see related links below). The main character in 1953’s HALLOWEEN PARTY brandishes one such mask in a way that inadvertently sets off a chain of events which concludes with him wearing a straw hat and covered in his mother’s lipstick. I should probably explain.

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College Professor Talks on Feminine Beauty and Brains-Outtakes (1932)

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Institution: University of South Carolina, Moving Image Research Collection
Collection: Fox Movietone News Collection

Running time: 03m26s
Source film: 35mm; Nitrate; B&W; Negative; 300 feet
Year: 1932
Production: Fox Movietone News
Camera: Jack Painter


For marriage counselor, date palm farmer, and eugenicist Paul Popenoe, the divorce rate in the early 1930s — whatever it may have been — was very likely a ghastly figure. There’s no telling how he would have reacted had he lived in a time where nearly half of all American marriages end in splitsville.

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Bear Attends Classes-Outtakes (1929)

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Institution: University of South Carolina Moving Image Research Collections
Collection: Fox Movietone News Collection

Running time: 03m58s13ms
Source film: 35mm; Nitrate; B&W; Negative; 300 feet
Video quality: Good
Year: 1929
Camera: Frank Lamb


While attending a liberal state university in the early 2000s, it was not uncommon to see students or faculty bringing their dogs around campus. (I never had the distinct pleasure of having one in a class I attended, but I would have welcomed it). In this silent footage shot by cameraman Frank Lamb, we see a different sort of animal being paraded around the campus of Georgia Tech: a small bear named Bruin, a gift to football player Jack “Stumpy” Thompson following GT’s 1929 Rose Bowl win over California.

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