You Can’t Get There From Here:                       

Ephemeral Films 1946-1960

If the United States had a tradition of recognizing individuals as "national treasures," media archaeologist, Rick Prelinger would be one of my first nominees. Over the decades Rick rescued 60,000 industrial and educational films, many literally from the dumpster, that together tell a story which is quite different than the "official" Hollywood version. What Rick understood was that the narrative in these "ephemeral" films, which were never intended to be saved for future watching. . . was in many ways a more honest portrayal of the culture than the comedies and dramas on TV and movie screens.

Rick gave his collection to the Library of Congress and also made much of it available at the Internet Archive. But before either of those happened, Rick curated a two-hour collection of edited  for Voyager which shine a light on the darkness of mid-20th century American culture. 

Volume 2 is below, Volume 1 is here.

Report to Home Builders (1946) excerpt

       G.I.s come home to a rosy future

Shy Guy (1947) excerpt

       Father Knows Best

Are You Popular (1947) excerpt

Nice girls don’t

Technicolor for Industrial Films (1949) excerpt

Boost your sales with living color

Meet King Joe (1949) excerpt

American workers have it good . . . You said it!

Dating: Do’s and Don’ts (1949) excerpt

How to say goodnight

The Last Date (1950) excerpt

Teenicide: You do it with an automobile

A Date with Your Family (1950) excerpt

A dark look at suburban family life

Treasures for the Making (1951) excerpt

Stiff jelly is a little hard to handle

What to Do on a Date (1951) excerpt

Weenie roast or taffy pull