Fireside Films

Rural Electrification

(29:51) b/w, sound RURAL ELECTRIFICATION IN OHIO features three films commissioned by Rural Electrification Administration for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and created by legendary filmmakers Pare Lorentz and Joris Ivens. The landmark 1940 documentary Power and the Land tells the story of the Parkinson family, farmers in rural Ohio who electrified their farm with the help of a REA loan. Before electrification, work was done in old-fashioned, manual-labor intensive ways—water was carried by hand from the outdoor pump, and carts and plows were driven by horses. The documentary helped raise significant awareness about the lack of electricity in rural America. This program also features two related 1941 shorts films about the Parkinsons: Bip Goes To Town and Worst of Farm Disasters.



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