Search New Deal Films

Learn to Swim

(11:01)  b/w, silent
A swimming instructor teaches a boy how to float and to swim. Illustrates, in detail, the different types of leg and arm motions used in recognized swimming styles. Emphasizes the need to build confidence in the novice swimmer.

Mustard Sowing for Erosion Control

(10:32) b/w, silent
Forest fires ravage wooded slopes in Southern California. Water (melting snow and rain) rushes down the slopes, unchecked by plant life, washing away top soil and flooding fields in the valleys. CCC units sow mustard seed in the denuded areas by hand and by airplane. The mustard plants grow quickly, thus furnishing adequate vegetation to check erosion until the native plants can reestablish themselves.

Safety on the Job

(17:37) b/w, sound
Shows examples of careless mistakes which lead to injury made by a Civilian Conservation Corps unit at work clearing a forest trail. Emphasizes the need for careful handling of dynamite, hand tools (spades, axes, etc.), and equipment (bulldozers, trucks, and tractors).

Safety in Woods Work

(14:42) b/w, sound
Contrasts proper and improper methods of felling trees and carrying hand tools (axes, spades, picks, etc.). Snag (deformed and diseased trees) is felled to illustrate safety principles. Brush is cleared from the area around the snag, a notch is axed in a tree to control the direction of fall, the tree is partially sawed, a wedge is driven into the cut, and the tree is then sawed through.

Bridge Building with the CCC

(14:42, 15:10)  b/w, sound
CCC units construct a reinforced concrete bridge and a cable suspension bridge across an unidentified river. Shows details in the construction and emphasizes that the CCC members are learning many useful trades (concrete, construction work, heavy equipment operation, riveting, welding, etc.) as well as constructing useful bridges.

A Better Massachusetts

(11:09)  b/w, sound
On Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects in Massachusetts. Streets in Springfield are paved and sewer pipe installed. WPA artists paint shore scenes. Shows playground activity. Ship models are built at Marblehead. Methods of preventing silicosis among granite workers are tested at Quincy. Breeches buoy rescue practice is conducted by the Coast Guard on Cape Cod. Nurses instruct mothers in the care of babies. Shows a hatchery at ...

Read More

A Better Minnesota

(9:20)  b/w, sound
On Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects in Minnesota. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and WPA units battle a forest fire. Shows dams under construction at Lakeland, St. Paul, etc. WPA members supervise nursery school operations. Children are given medical examinations. Shows household training classes and scenes at a children’s vacation camp. Sioux and Chippewa Indians weave, embroider, and make beads. Pink granite is quarri...

Read More

A Better Chicago

(9:03) b/w, sound
On WPA projects in Chicago. Sewer pipe is laid. Debris is cleared from the lake front. Animal skeletons are reconstructed in the Field Museum. Airport runways are lengthened and drainage ditches dug. Slum buildings are razed for a housing project. Shows scenes in parks and a zoo, auto accident scenes, cars being checked for defects, razing of unsafe grain elevators, playgrounds, and nursery school activities.

A Better New Jersey

(8:52) b/w, sound
On WPA projects in New Jersey. Shows the Newark airport, the city hall in Jersey City, and a recreation center at Perth Amboy built by the WPA. Shows construction on a reservoir at Atlantic City. Girls attend domestic science classes. Rock is dynamited and cabins are erected in the Palisades Interstate Park. A bypass road is graded near Perth Amboy. Boys play at Camp Hope. Oil is sprayed on stagnant water to combat mosquitoes. Shows nursery sc...

Read More

A Better New Jersey

(8:52) b/w, sound
On WPA projects in New Jersey. Shows the Newark airport, the city hall in Jersey City, and a recreation center at Perth Amboy built by the WPA. Shows construction on a reservoir at Atlantic City. Girls attend domestic science classes. Rock is dynamited and cabins are erected in the Palisades Interstate Park. A bypass road is graded near Perth Amboy. Boys play at Camp Hope. Oil is sprayed on stagnant water to combat mosquitoes. Shows nursery scho...

Read More

New Deal Maps

Check out our latest map and guide to the work of the New Deal in Washington, D.C. It includes 500 New Deal sites in the District alone, highlighting 34 notable sites, and includes an inset map of the area around the National Mall which can be used for self-guided walking tours.

Take a look at our previous guides, equally comprehensive, covering key New Deal sites in San Francisco and New York City.

New Deal Maps

Check out our latest map and guide to the work of the New Deal in Washington, D.C. It includes 500 New Deal sites in the District alone, highlighting 34 notable sites, and includes an inset map of the area around the National Mall which can be used for self-guided walking tours.

Take a look at our previous guides, equally comprehensive, covering key New Deal sites in San Francisco and New York City.