1 collection

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The collection consists of 21 films made by J. Aubrey Smith, donated by him in 2001, along with camera equipment he used and records he kept from his work (such as log books, maps to locations, notes on filming techniques, camera manuals, etc.). Smith's films were made for the Agricultural Extension Service. Some of them were sponsored by Rich's Department store. As sponsored films, they have a subtle or sometimes quite blatant message since the purpose of a sponsored film is to teach about or exhort the viewer to use a service or product. Since he was working for an agricultural entity, these films are primarily about improving agriculture, growing better crops, eliminating insects, and being efficient in the home and on the farm. During the post-World War II years as America was expanding economically, these films promoted the idea that a better life could be had through education, proper exploitation of local resources (such as the Agricultural Extension Service), more efficient use of home and farm equipment, all by tapping in to the improvements that had come from the war. The result would be an improvement of one's community by improving one's life, whether that be by using chemical pesticides, buying one's draperies at Rich's, joining a co-op, or learning new farming methods.
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