Darkening Day: Air Pollution Films and Environmental Awareness, 1960–1972

NEWEST ESSAY & FILM
By Jennifer Lynn Peterson, PhD

The 1960s represent a turning point in popular awareness about environmental problems. The modern environmental movement that emerged in the mid-1960s and early ‘70s focused on a new set of concerns such as air pollution, water pollution, and pesticides. More federal environmental bills were signed in the 1960s and early 1970s than at any other period in U.S. history.

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Screening the Nurse: Film, Fear, and Narrative from the 1940s to the 1970s

By David Cantor, PhD

In the early twentieth century, American nursing leaders came to see the motion picture as a quintessentially modern instrument of education, training, and recruitment. In their view, movies were a powerful tool to transform public opinion, to instruct new recruits in the mysteries of nursing practice, and to keep the qualified nurse abreast of new developments in the field.

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VD at the Movies: Public Health Service World War II Venereal Disease Films

By John Parascandola, PhD

The United States Public Health Service (PHS) released several education films in the 1930s and 1940s as part of a broader campaign against venereal-disease (VD). The agency had been operating a VD program since World War I, when concern over the number of Army recruits infected led Congress to enact a law that created a Venereal Disease Division in the PHS.

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Can Leprosy Be Cured?

By Magnus Vollset, PhD and Michael Sappol, PhD

Leprosy in India [Lepra in India in the original German] is a hard film to watch. In the course of its 12 minutes, it puts before the camera patients who suffer from a variety of symptoms, ranging from mild discoloration of the skin to terrible facial and bodily disfigurement, and loss of fingers and toes.

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Erdheim’s Autopsy: Dissection, Motion Pictures, and the Politics of Health in “Red Vienna”

By Tatjana Buklijas, Birgit Nemec, and Katrin Pilz

Sometime in the last century a fragment of silent film landed at the National Library of Medicine. Like many of the older films in the collection, how it got there is a mystery: no paperwork survives to tell the tale; no other prints of the film appear to have survived; no other sources on its making or showing have turned up.

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A Cinematic and Physiological Puzzle: Soviet Conjoined Twins Research, Scientific Cinema and Pavlovian Physiology

By Nikolai Krementsov, PhD

Among the many old motion pictures shelved in the collection of the National Library of Medicine is a uniquely strange two-reel 16 millimeter film, with an ungainly title: Neural and Humoral Factors in the Regulation of Bodily Functions (Research on Conjoined Twins).

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