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Sponsored Films

Online Field Guide to Sponsored Films

In 2006 the National Film Preservation Foundation published The Field Guide to Sponsored Films by Rick Prelinger. Made possible by a grant from the Mellon Foundation, this annotated filmography singles out 452 sponsored films of particular historical, cultural, and artistic interest from the more than 300,000 thought to have been made. From animated propaganda in Technicolor to a call for racial tolerance from Frank Sinatra, these films often go overlooked in the study of film history. Made by corporations, schools, medical organizations, religious groups, political entities, and more, these films were produced to record, orient, train, sell, and persuade.

Calling attention to these films was the first step. Because most films in the guide are unavailable for study and those that can be viewed are often available only in subpar viewing quality, the NFPF has partnered with the Library of Congress and the Internet Archive to make 102 films featured in the guide available for viewing, with most also available for free download. Also contributing to this digital access project are A/V Geeks, George Eastman Museum, Hagley Museum and Library, The Museum of Modern Art, National Archives and Records Administration, Northeast Historic Film, Prelinger Archives, Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, UCLA Film & Television Archive, and USC School of Cinematic Arts Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive.

1104 Sutton Road (1958)

Champion Paper and Fibre Co.

Accuracy First (1928)

Western Union Co.

Activity Group Therapy (1950)

Jewish Board of Guardians

Admiral Cigarette (1897)

Admiral Cigarette

Adventure in Telezonia (1949)

American Telephone & Telegraph Co.

Albert in Blunderland (1950)

Harding College

An American in the Making (1913)

United States Steel Corp.

America Sails the Seas (1946)

National Federation of American Shipping

Anarchy, U.S.A. (1966)

John Birch Society

Anatomy of a Lie (1962)

International Association of Machinists

And So They Live (1940)

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

And Ten Thousand More (1951)

City of Los Angeles

And Then There Were Four (1950)

General Petroleum Corp.

And Women Must Weep (1962)

National Right to Work Committee

Angry Boy (1950)

Mental Health Film Board

Art in the Negro Schools (1940)

Harmon Foundation

Attack on the Americas (1980)

American Security Council Foundation

Autopsy on Operation Abolition (1961)

Catechetical Guild

Behind Your Radio Dial (1947)

National Broadcasting Co.

The Big City (1956)

City of St. Louis

Bitter Welcome (1958)

Mental Health Film Board

Blame It on Love (1940)

Edison General Electric Appliance Co.

Booked for Safekeeping (1960)

Louisiana Association for Mental Health

Boy Meets Dog (1938)

Bristol-Myers Co.

Breast Self-Examination (1950)

American Cancer Society

The Bridge (1944)

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Brotherhood of Man (1947)

United Auto Workers

Buy at Home Campaign (1930s)

Merchants of Burlingame, California

Children Who Labor (1912)

National Child Labor Committee

A City Decides (1956)

Fund for the Republic

Color and Texture in Aluminum Finishes (1956)

Aluminum Co. of America.

A Continent Is Bridged (1940)

American Telephone & Telegraph Co.

The Co-ops Are Comin’ (1941)

Harmon Foundation

The Cost of Carelessness (1913)

Brooklyn Rapid Transit Co.

The Crime of Carelessness (1912)

National Association of Manufacturers

Decision for Chemistry (1953)

Monsanto Chemical Co.

De-Light: Making an Electric Light Bulb (1920)

Ford Motor Co.

Design for Dreaming (1956)

General Motors Corp.

Ellis in Freedomland (1952)

Westinghouse Electric Co.

The End of the Road (1919)

American Social Hygiene Association

Fallen Eagle (1950)

P. Lorillard & Co.

Fears of Children (1951)

Mental Health Film Board

Finding His Voice (1929)

Western Electric Co.

Ford Animated Weekly (1916)

Ford Motor Co.

For the Record (1946)

Unknown sponsor

Gift of Life (1920)

American Social Hygiene Association

The Goodall Summertime (1932)

Goodall Worsted Co.

Good-bye, Mr. Roach (1959)

Velsicol Corp.

Hampton Institute Presents Its Program of Education for Life (1941)

Harmon Foundation

Hope—A Red Cross Seal Story (1912)

National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis

The House I Live In (1945)

Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith

The House in the Middle (1954)

National Paint, Varnish, and Lacquer Association

The Inheritance (1964)

Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America

In My Merry Oldsmobile (1931)

Olds Motor Works

It’s Everybody’s Business (1954)

Chamber of Commerce of the United States

Jerry Pulls the Strings (1938)

American Can Co.

Labor's Reward (1925)

American Federation of Labor

Land of White Alice (1960)

Western Electric Co.

The Language of Faces (1961)

American Friends Service Committee

The Living Circle (1956)

United Fruit Co.

The Magic Key (1950)

Chamber of Commerce of the United States

Man Against Microbe (1932)

Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.

Man to Man (1954)

Mental Health Film Board

Master Hands (1936)

Chevrolet Motor Co.

Meet King Joe (1949)

Harding College

Men and Dust (1940)

Tri-State Survey Committee Inc.

Men and Machines (1936)

National Association of Manufacturers

Mental Hospital (1953)

Oklahoma State Dept. of Health

The Middleton Family at the New York World’s Fair (1939)

Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Co.

More Than Meets the Eye (1952)

Columbia Broadcasting System

The Nation at Your Fingertips (1951)

American Telephone & Telegraph Co.

New York Calling (1942)

New York Central Railroad

Now You're Talking (1927)

American Telephone & Telegraph Co.

Once Upon a Honeymoon (1956)

American Telephone & Telegraph Co.

One World or None (1946)

National Committee for Atomic Information

On the Map (1959)

National Association of Manufacturers

The Ordeal of Thomas Moon (1957)

Smith, Kline & French

Original Films of Frank B. Gilbreth (1945)

Society for the Advancement of Management

Palmour Street (1949)

Georgia Dept. of Public Health

The Passaic Textile Strike (1926)

International Workers Aid

People of the Cumberland (1937)

Highlander Folk School

Rhapsody of Steel (1959)

U.S. Steel Corp.

School (1939)

Progressive Education Association

Service Center for Industry (1960)

National Association of Manufacturers

Shake Hands with Danger (1975)

Caterpillar Tractor Co.

Sightseeing at Home (1943)

General Electric Co.

The Stenographer’s Friend (1910)

Edison Manufacturing Co.

Stepping Along with Television (1949)

American Telephone & Telegraph Co.

The Steps of Age (1950)

Mental Health Film Board

A Study of Negro Artists (1935)

Harmon Foundation

Television: An RCA Presentation (1939)

Radio Corp. of America

To the Fair! (1964)

New York World’s Fair Corporation

Ulcer at Work (1959)

Oklahoma State Dept. of Health

United Action Means Victory (1939)

United Auto Workers

The Usurer’s Grip (1912)

Russell Sage Foundation

The Vanishing Frontier (1964)

North Carolina Film Board

A Voice Shall Be Heard (1951)

General Electric Co.

Westinghouse Works (1904)

Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Co.

With These Hands (1950)

International Ladies Garment Workers Union

The Wizardry of Wireless (1923)

General Electric Co.

Wohelo Camp (1919)

Wohelo–The Luther Gulick Camps

Working and Playing to Health (1953)

Mental Health Film Board