Category Archives: Films & Videos

Films and video recordings documenting the history of medicine.

A bar chart shows percentages by age. February 27

Protection or Poison? The Fluoride Debate in Film

By Sarah Eilers Fluoride, a pedestrian topic? You may not think of it as an agitating one, or a source of community division and debate. Your tap water likely includes fluoride, as does your toothpaste. Your dentist may rub it onto your teeth after a cleaning. But the introduction of fluoride into public water supplies […]

A teacher reviews a classroom's vaccination status on a blackboard. January 05

The Road to Health and Happiness, 1937

By Sarah Eilers The road to abundant life is not hard to follow and it is not expensive. So we are told in the opening frames of the 1937 silent film The Road to Health and Happiness, produced by Salem, Oregon dentist and filmmaker David Bennett Hill. Mental as well as physical habits are key. […]

The Cry for Help title still. December 14

The Cry for Help, 1962

By Sarah Eilers Fifty years ago, renowned American documentary filmmaker George C. Stoney made a series of short training films tackling a tough topic:  how police respond to people who are mentally ill, suicidal, or alcoholic, how to do so more effectively, and why the officers should care. One film in that series, The Cry […]

A chef prepares a chicken on a cutting board. November 17

Scrub Away the Thanksgiving Troublemakers

By Sarah Eilers Pine-cone crafts, cranberry sauce, and…poultry handling. As Thanksgiving and other winter holidays approach, many of us find ourselves thinking about these things. More than 60 years ago, and not just for the holidays, the Communicable Disease Center (now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) was thinking about food safety, too. In […]

Four nurses pose for smiling candid photos outdoors. October 06

Fresh Air and the White Plague

Circulating Now welcomes guest blogger Cynthia Connolly. Dr. Connolly is Associate Professor of Nursing at the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She is a pediatric nurse and historian. She studies the history of children’s health and social welfare policy and practice in the […]

A hand moves checkers on a board. September 20

Man to Man, 1954

By Sarah Owen and Sarah Eilers “Sanctuary, refuge, hospital….The doors are locked, but it’s not a prison that we enter….This is his job, his living. This ward is his work world.” The film Man to Man (1954) takes the viewer inside the day-to-day job of ward aide Joe Fuller, who supervises and tries to connect […]

A large building with a long colonnaded porch in a tropical setting. July 06

Leprosy in India, ca. 1931

Circulating Now welcomes guest blogger Magnus Vollset. Dr. Vollset is a researcher at the University of Bergen, Norway, and holds a PhD in medical history from the same institution. Leprosy in India [Lepra in India in the original German] is a hard film to watch. In the course of its 12 minutes, it puts before […]