Do you like vintage training/educational fims? Meet Jeff Quitney.
October 24, 2014 7:45 PM   Subscribe

Jeff Quitney has curated hundreds and hundreds* of YouTube playlists with thousands and thousands of vintage educational, training and institutional films and documentaries. If you hate multi-link posts you can jump right in because the playlists aren't organized. In addition to including extensive background information and links to other resources in the video descriptions, he has restored or improved the video and audio in most of the films. Space, the military, and biology are well represented, but so are pets, food, and outdoor recreation and survival. Armchair travelers will be able to travel around the world, but you can also stay at home and watch cartoons. Travel back in time for the latest breaking newsreels, and add your own weather reports from vintage USAF meteorology films. And if you like women’s tennis, then you’ve just hit the motherlode.*I stopped counting at 480

Here's a very, very, very brief overview: *I stopped counting at 480

(There's obviously a lot of problematic stuff in here, especially in the mysogny department, so I tried not to link to anything that appeared to be overtly awful. In other words, there's a ton of "homemaking" type of videos that aren't represented in this post that are interesting and worth watching.)
posted by Room 641-A (16 comments total) 88 users marked this as a favorite
"Hi, I'm Daniel Jackson. You may remember the romantic Chevrolet of yesterday but today's automated drones provide a safe and comfortable ride in your fight against the G'ould".
posted by clavdivs at 7:56 PM on October 24, 2014

One of the Coronet videos on his playlist is one our health class teacher in 7th grade showed us back in the early 80s. She was very old, bless her heart, and she showed a lot of those old films in lieu of actually teaching. In one of those "social hygiene" films, we recognized Dick York, the original Darren from Betwitched (which in the 80s could be seen in syndication).
posted by droplet at 8:48 PM on October 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

There goes MY weekend...
posted by randomkeystrike at 8:58 PM on October 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Room, nice find. I am digging the meteorilogical video series. Thanks for sharing!
posted by PROD_TPSL at 9:09 PM on October 24, 2014

I'm about to have surgery. Theses will be fun to watch while I'm recovering. Thank you very much for the post!
posted by harrietthespy at 9:10 PM on October 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Lest it get buried in all this, please allow me to endorse American Look. If you've any interest at all in industrial design or mid-century style, this film is a must see. It's honestly really good.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 10:00 PM on October 24, 2014 [4 favorites]

"Hooray for Chromecast!"
posted by notyou at 10:13 PM on October 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

My husband briefly worked for a defense contractor in Britain in the late 80s/early 90s. He remembers watching films that showed how to solder to US Military specifications (milspec? Something like that). He swears that each film started with the fanfare to the old "Battlestar Gallactica" series. They were produced by the Pentagon.

They must be still classified after all these years because we can't find them online.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 10:26 PM on October 24, 2014

Clicked on "Cartoons."

Noticed prominent placement of Private Snafu.

I heartily endorse this endeavor.

posted by louche mustachio at 12:10 AM on October 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, neat. I just finished the end of Live and Learn and this part here, where the kid jumps over the fence and walks out on to the bluffs, is a real thing. That's Palisades Park, which overlooks Pacific Coast Highway. In high school and college we used to hop the fence about a 1/4 mile up the road and hang out on the bluffs at night.

Here's the scene in street view.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:45 AM on October 25, 2014

This one entitled Clouds from around 1920 blew my mind.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:50 AM on October 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

They must be still classified after all these years because we can't find them online.
More likely you haven't found them online because no one has done the work to convert them and put them online.

Film, VHS, and DVD can't simply be uploaded. For most of these films, someone put in some time.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 6:29 AM on October 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

Nice videos. By the way, chili can be served with cheese.
posted by snofoam at 7:53 AM on October 25, 2014

I went to college with the greatest training/educational film collector I've ever known, Skip Elsheimer of the A.V. Geeks. His site is extremely highly recommended for aficionados of such entertainment (though obviously there will be overlap with the OP).
posted by delfin at 7:59 AM on October 25, 2014 [3 favorites]

Someone out there is turning these into Boards of Canada vids.
posted by stinkfoot at 12:22 PM on October 25, 2014

There's a really great book on this kind of film from Ken Smith--Mental Hygiene. (Author of my favorite reference work on the Bible, Ken's Guide to the Bible.)The only downside is a a lifetime of watching MST3K and RiffTrax has made me prone to inserting commentary for all of these.

Never will get used to the idea that people routinely cleaned their clothes with gasoline, though.

(And yeah, the one on design is really good!)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 6:49 PM on October 25, 2014

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