Filmstrips were an important educational tool from the 1920s through the early 1980s. Relatively short strips of 35mm films, comprised of between 10 and 30 frames, with one image per frame, filmstrips functioned as a combination of motion picture films and slides. They told a story, usually educational, but were projected one frame at a time. Narration was provided by an instructor or speaker, either ad lib or reading from a script. By the early 1960s, accompanying sound recordings, first on disc and later audio cassette, provided the narration. Each frame was explained or discussed and then the strip was advanced to the next image. In educational settings filmstrips were often accompanied by brochures or served as additional illustrative materials connected with text books. The Central Film Service Filmstrip Collection is distinctive in that most of the filmstrips were produced for use outside the classroom. The bulk of the collection describes and promotes products (such as Borden's or Sears), industries (such as coal, ice cream), associations and governmental agencies. Adults were the intended audience. The filmstrips were used as sales tools as well as for training on such subjects as safety, and X rays. Commentary would have been provided by a salesman, manager or a group leader. The collection contains no scripts or related documents.
Industrial filmstrips distributed by the Central Film Service of Chicago, Illinois.
Central Film Service Industrial Filmstrips, 1924-1946, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
2011.3079 (NMAH Acc.)
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment. Unprotected films must be handled with gloves. Special handling and equipment may be required