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February 12, 2008

Movietone Presents The Prams Of The Future Of The Past--Also, Wonderbaby

Andy Baio found the Movietone Digital Archives, a collection of over 48,000 newsreel stories dating from before the 1930s to the mid 1970's. With a free, instant log-in, you can see all the clips in Quicktime; ordering broadcast quality video for online delivery within an hour is probably a more involved process, so check with your producer about that.

So far in the baby and gear sections, I haven't found much that rises above the level of PR stunt or "huh, how 'bout that?" distraction. Anytime an old codger starts complaining about The Kids These Days and their short attention spans, just smack them across the face with a content-free, old newsreel. light as a feather:


18/02/1943: "Utility" Prams [Story No. 43397]: Meanwhile, in the Washington DC of 1943, several free-thinking women truss up their kids like a papoose and buy a piece of fruit. The British baby is not amused.


05/10/1972: New Pram Design [Story No. 98495]: in 1972, the prams of the future will look exactly like the prams of the present, only plastic and eggier. And they will be driven by comely lasses in go-go boots and matching Mackintoshes.


14/10/1974: Pram Fair [Story No. 74222]: Speaking of Macs, the walking stick stroller of the present of 1974 does look an awful lot like the umbrella stroller of 2008. Now you know why Maclaren change colors every season, to keep from going cuh-razy. More power to'em, I say. Also, let's start calling it a walking stick stroller again.



14/03/1944: Wonder Baby Is Bundle Of Energy [Story No. 44655]: Register for this clip alone. Thanks to a diet of raw meat and lobster and 3 1/2 years of cold showers, Henry is the healthiest kid in Brisbane. Until he stepped on a nail and got tetanus. Put some shoes on the bub already! Crikey! And a shirt.

Movietone: The Digital Newsreel Archive [movietone.com via waxy]

posted February 12, 2008 7:21 AM | add to del.icio.us | digg this


I like your comment about Maclaren. Four decades later, pram fairs no longer happen in victorian houses, but this product is still the same ! Do you know that in French, we still call it a walking stick stroller (poussette-canne) ?

posted by: Gilles HENRY at February 15, 2008 3:42 AM
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