November 12, 1999 As many as 3,000 "mental hygiene" films were shown in schools in the years after the Second World War. They provide lessons about dating, manners and delinquency, all wrapped up in a tidy 10-minute package. Lost and Found Sound got a tour through these films from author Ken Smith.
November 12, 1999 The years just after the Second World War saw the advent of a new genre of classroom films: "social guidance" or "attitude enhancement" films -- we'll call them "mental hygiene" films. Young people in schools across America saw films with titles like "Dating Dos and Don'ts," "Mind Your Manners," "Are You Popular?" and, "Narcotics: Pit of Despair." Topics included table manners, etiquette, fitting in, posture, dating, highway safety, substance abuse, and juvenile delinquency. They were tools of social engineering, made to shape the values and attitudes of an entire generation of American kids. More than three-thousand of these films were made over nearly three decades. Now, fewer than half of them survive. Ken Smith has written a new book called "Mental Hygiene: Classroom Films, 1945-1970". He'll be our tour guide through this Lost and Found Sound report on this funny, fascinating, and largely forgotten genre of American filmmaking.
May 21, 1999 The Vincent Voice Library at Michigan State University houses recorded speeches, performances, lectures, interviews, and broadcasts by over 50,000 persons over the last 100 years. NPR's Don Gonyea took a tour of the library and talked to its collector. Maurice Crane presides over a vast repository of the recorded voice. We learn that among the mass of recordings, there are treasures and trash.
April 2, 1999 A linguist in Flagstaff, Arizona, Bonny Sands, told us about her colleague from South Africa, Tony Traill. Traill took some old wax cylinders and documented a lot of the now extinct languages of South Africa. He has now put out a CD copy of the original, which was recorded in 1936. We hear excerpts.
April 2, 1999 Our Friday feature this week comes from a tip sent by Bonny Sands, a linguist in Flagstaff, Arizona. She told us a colleague of hers, Tony Trail from South Africa, took some old wax cylinders and documented a lot of the now extinct languages of South Africa. Trail has now put out a CD copy of the original, which was recorded in 1936. We hear excerpts.
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