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DATE: 1940

LENGTH: 22 min

CATEGORY: Educational & Instructional, Silent, Black & White

DIRECTOR: Edgar Ulmer



From the late 1930s through the early 1940s, low-budget filmmaker and perennial Hollywood underdog Edgar G. Ulmer (1904-1972) directed several educational health shorts for the National Tuberculosis Association (NTA), an organization founded in the early 1900s to raise money to combat TB. The NTA also ran a massive educational campaign, using film as one medium to reach the public. These films admirably served the educational mission of the media-savvy NTA, but were not mere promotional products. They are also the work of a director with a unique understanding of the role germs—literal and metaphorical—play in the American social fabric. Germs, and a unique notion of fate’s communicability and the hand human beings have in the chain of actual or conceptual contagion, unite Ulmer’s body of work, which included many theatrical productions as well. This film was part of a series the NTA sponsored in an effort to reach communities where TB still lingered, in this case Native Americans….Read the Essay

Supplementary Materials

Portrait of Edward Ulmer

Other Films Directed by Edgar Ulmer

Digitized Films on Tuberculosis at the National Library of Medicine

A films still of the title frame for Save A Day.Explore films on tuberculosis in the NLM Digital Collections

Tuberculosis Films on Circulating Now

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