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Flashback To The Gee Whiz Decades
Flashback 1920's - 1940's stock footage takes a look back at fashion, lifestyles, events and the Gee Whiz trends in this 30 year span of history. Our Public Domain Stock Footage titles touches on just about everything from this frenetically paced time, from world events to political upheaveals to entertainment.
Show All Flashback In Time Collections
ASBESTOS, THE STORY OF - 1921
Documents the mining, industrial processing and uses for the then considered "miracle" mineral Asbestos and its fire retardant properties.
(public domain films) 1921 BW 32 min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
EARLY AMERICA: 1607 - 1940
The story of early America and progress with scenes of National landmarks, historical re-enactments of Colonial life, building of Jamestown, Revolutionary War Valley Forge, U.S. Flag with 13 stars waving, Industrial Revolution, Westward Migration, Inventions, 1940's U.S. lifestyle and more.
(public domain films) 1945 BW 17min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
ADMIRAL BYRD'S ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION
Admiral Byrd's Antarctic expedition. Motor ship North Star at the Army Base in Boston Harbor is loaded. The snow cruiser is shown arriving. The North Star steams out of Boston Harbor on Nov. 15, 1939.
(public domain films) 1939-1941 COL 54 min (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
AFRICAN-AMERICAN EDUCATION
COLLEGES DURING WARTIME

All across the country college curriculum is adjusted to war needs by preparing students for military and war-effort occupations.
(public domain films) 1943 BW 9min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
AFRICAN-AMERICAN EDUCATION
LOOKING TOWARD THE HORIZON

The struggle to improve education for Black-Americans in the South, detailing poverty conditions and the importance of church.
(public domain films) 1930's 25 min BW (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
AFRICAN-AMERICANS - WE WILL WORK AGAIN
African Americans during the Depression Era with contrast of scenes from breadlines to employment in Federal Work Projects.
(public domain films) 1937 16 min BW
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
BERLIN - SYMPHONY OF A GREAT CITY
The day in the life of the city of Berlin, Germany from morning to night weaving scenes of architecture, streets, industry and citizens into a day in the life montage of a historic European city.
(public domain films) 1927 BW 62 min (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
THE BEST FED BABY IS THE BREAST FED BABY
Health film advocating the benefits of breast feeding over bottle feeding with tips on producing enough breast milk, nutrition for mother and child the importance of scheduled feedings.
(public domain films) 1925 BW 10min (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
BETTER HOUSING NEWSFLASH 1936
Innovative Home Ideas And Projects, National Housing Act Spurs Residential Construction, The Model Home Is A Perfect Way To See The Latest In Home Improvements.
(public domain films) 1936 BW 6 min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
A BETTER MISSOURI - WPA WORK PROJECTS
The effects of the Great Depression in Missouri and its brighter future as President Franklin D. Roosevelt initiates WPA Projects around the country that also puts the men of Missouri back to work under the New Deal.
(public domain films) 1937 BW 9min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
BOULDER DAM - FROM START TO FINISH
With a height of 726 feet and a crest length of 1244 feet, Boulder Dam (renamed Hoover Dam in 1947) is an engineering marvel.
(public domain films) 1930's 15 min BW (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Turn Of The Century Films
BLUE ANGELS - AIRSHOW 1948
Navy airshow featuring the Blue Angels Precision Flying Team at a time when the military was transitioning from prop to jet power.
(public domain films) 1948 12 min COL (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
BODYBUILDER CHARLES ATLAS
Pioneer bodybuilder Charles Atlas and inside Charles Altlas LTD., as dozens of women prepare marketing material and envelopes for mailing to those who want to become muscle men after answering an iconic Charles Atlas ad.
(public domain films) 1940's BW 8min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
CAMERA THRILLS IN WILDEST AFRICA
Take a retro journey to wildest africa to film dangerous wild animals and then at the end of a long day, shoot them.
(public domain films) 12 min BW (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
CENTRAL PARK, NEW YORK CITY
Highlighting the recreational facilities in New York Citys' Central Park and its citizens and visitors enjoying them to the fullest.
(public domain films) 1949 10 min BW
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
CHAIN GANGS AND PRISONS
Prison lifestyle of the 1930's documenting life on a chain gang as well as a facilities in Georgia and Alcatraz Island in California.
(public domain films) 1938 29 min BW (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
THE CITY - A PORTRAIT OF AMERICA: 1930's - 1940's
American lifestyle in the rural country is contrasted with the lifestyles in a major city with factories and traffic congestion.
(public domain films) 1930's 21 min BW (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
THE CITY - A PORTRAIT OF AMERICA: 1930's - 1940's
SELECTED SCENES IN HD

American lifestyle in the rural country is contrasted with the lifestyles in a major city with factories and traffic congestion.
(public domain films) 1930's - 1940's BW 14 min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
CONDUCTOR ARTURO TOSCANINI
HYMN OF THE NATIONS

Making his home in America, Italian Conductor Arturo Toscanini is shown at home in New York and his preparations for conducting Verdi's Hymn Of Nations.
(public domain films) 1940's BW 5min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
CORRUPTION OF AMERICA
1930's GERMAN PROPAGANDA FILM

Propaganda film describing the cultural decadence of America. Topic aside, outstanding footage of worker strikes, riots, etc.
(public domain films) 1930s 15 min BW (GERMAN LANGUAGE)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
COUNTRY STORE
Scenes from the iconic Country Store in the 1940's where the store not only sold groceries and fresh produce but doubled as the Post Office, Gas Station and social circle for the town.
(public domain films) 1940's BW 16min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
DANGER IN THE STREETS
Early safety film addresses the ever-growing problem of traffic fatalities involving pedestrians (mostly kids) in Los Angeles, CA.
(public domain films) 1936 8 min BW (SILENT)
Safety Awareness Film public domain stock footage library
DAY AT CHILDREN'S HOUSE 1937
The Children's House in 1937 Detroit is place for creative children to play, work with textiles and learn various arts.
(public domain films) 1937 BW 11min (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
DECISION - THE CONSTITUTION IN ACTION
President Franklin D. Roosevelt Signs and defends a slate of New Deal Laws - which brings him in direct conflict with the United States Supreme Court.
(public domain films) 1950's BW 18min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
DETROIT BUSINESS DISTRICT 1920's
Street scenes of Detroit Michigan in the early 1920's with the Michigan Business District, Ford Automobiles, Ford Trucks, Ford Motor Company Highland Park Auto Plant.
(public domain films) 1920's BW 9min (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
EARLY RISQUE WOMEN
Montage of early vampy flapper girls from a variety of films showing ankles, bare legs and inappropriate midriffs.
(public domain films) 9 min BW (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
CONSTRUCTION OF AN AMERICAN ICON

Documenting the construction of the Empire State Building from concrete foundation to beacon tower installation.
(public domain films) 1930 BW 40 min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
ETHNIC NEIGHBORHOODS - NYC
CHINESE, JEWISH AND ITALIAN

Unedited footage of three ethnic neighborhoods in 1939 New York City with street scenes of Chinatown, the Jewish section and Little Italy.
(public domain films) 1939 BW 11min (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
EVOLUTION OF THE OIL INDUSTRY
Evolution of oil from an ingredient in early medicine to lamp oil for lighting to the invention of the combustion engine making oil the main source of energy for the Industrialized World.
(public domain films) 30 min COL
Public Domain Stock Footage Energy And The Environment
FESTSPIELE IN OSTIREICH - THE ARTS IN SALZBURG
A grand view of the Arts in Salzburg Germany with various Musical, Theatrical and Opera Productions during a Summer festival in the 1940's.
(public domain films) 1945 BW 15min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
THE FIGHT FOR LIFE - CHILDBIRTH IN CHICAGO
This film is a dramatization of a young doctor's training in obstetrics at the Maternity Center in Chicago in the 1940's.
(public domain films) 1940s BW 70 min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
FIORELLO HENRY LAGUARDIA
MAYOR NEW YORK CITY

Unedited footage of Fiorello Henry LaGuardia, who served as New York City Mayor for three terms from 1934 to 1945.
(public domain films) 1940's BW 12min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
FIREMAN, THE
Firefighters of 1948 from equipment demonstrations and firefighting techniques to in action at a simulated house fire.
(public domain films) 1948 11 min BW
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
FORD MOTOR COMPANY
FORDLANDIA BRAZIL - 1934 WORLD SERIES

Unedited footage of the area in Brazil where the Ford Motor Company Boa Vista complex know as Fordlandia with various support staff and services.
(public domain films) 1930's BW 8min (PARTIAL SOUND)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
GANDHI AND INDIA
Mahatma Gandhi appears in public with his followers who clash with British and Indian police in protest to British rule.
(public domain films) 7 min BW (SILENT/SOUND)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
GANDHI AND INDIA - HD CLIP
Unedited footage of a Hindu festival procession, clash with colonial police against British rule and various scenes of Mahatma Gandhi.
(public domain films) 1930's BW 5min (SILENT/SOUND)
Public Domain Stock Footage Social Unrest And Protest
GASOLINE PRODUCTION
Documenting the crude oil-gasoline refinery industry and distribution of refined crude oil products in the 1920's.
(public domain films) 1924 BW 43 min (SILENT with title cards)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
GLACIER NATIONAL PARK- CIRCA 1940's
Known as the "Crown Jewel" of the National Park System, go back in time to visit its treasures of mountain peaks and alpine lakes.
(public domain films) 1940's 60 min COL
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
GOLD 1930: PROCESS TO PRODUCT
Gold mining and the processing of the raw ore into different products such as wire for industry, jewelry and gold coins.
(public domain films) 1930 BW 11min (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
CONSTRUCTION OF A LANDMARK

Certainly the most photographed bridge in the World, this title documents the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1933 and held the title as the longest suspension bridge main span in the World until 1964.
(public domain films) 1933 BW 40min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
HINDENBURG DISASTER
While attempting to dock, the titanic German Zeppelin Hindenburg mysteriously catches fire and is utterly destroyed within minutes.
(public domain films) 1937 14 min BW
Historical Tragedies And Disasters
INTERNATIONAL NEWS - 1921
Quick snapshots of news stories and events happening in 1921.
(public domain films) 1921 BW 20 min (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
INVENTION OF MECHANICAL COTTON PICKER
The Rust Brothers demonstrate a cotton picking machine in a cotton field in Stonewall, Mississippi September 2, 1936.
(public domain films) 1936 BW 4min (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
IT ALL DEPENDS
AMERICAN LIFESTYLE LATE 1940's

Classic retro of the American lifestyle in the late 1940's with scenes of kids playing, skipping rope, family at breakfast table, milkman in his truck making his morning deliveries, automobile service garage and more.
(public domain films) 1940's BW 10min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
KNOW YOUR MONEY
COUNTERFEIT BILLS AND FORGED CHECKS

Methods for detecting counterfeit money and forged checks as well as common errors found in examples of counterfeit bills.
(public domain films) 1939 BW 17min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
LOS ANGELES - CITY OF DESTINY
1940's Los Angeles is captured from its orchards and vineyards to vibrant city life and landmarks unique to the City Of Angels.
(public domain films) 1949 32 min COL
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
MINING AND FARMING 1920's
Mining and processing plant possibly for phosphate as well as scenes of farming with cotton plants and dairy cattle.
(public domain films) 1920s 12 min BW (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
A NEW LIFE FOR WAR REFUGEES
THE CUMMINGTON, MA STORY

Re-enactment of the integration of a group of World War II refugees into the life of the small town of Cummington, MA.
(public domain films) 1945 BW 20 min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
NYA BUILDS NANSEN SKI JUMP 1939
Home to one of the premier ski jumps in America at its time the Berlin Ski Jump built by the NYA includes scenes of the Snow Train with arriving skiers, preparations for opening day, skiers showing off their tricks, skiers making jumps and more.
(public domain films) 1939 COL 15 min (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
NYC STREET SCENES: 1930's - 1940's
NEW ULM, MINNESOTA

New York City street scenes in the 1930's, Jewish neighborhood plus street, lifestyle and business scenes in New Ulm MN.
(public domain films) 1930's - 1940's BW 12min (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
OIL TYCOON CHARLES URSCHEL KIDNAPPING
Infamous criminal "Machine Gun Kelly" and his gang kidnaps Oil Tycoon Charles Urschel for ransom culminating in a trial with evidence and time line presented as well as crime scene locations and depictions of important events during the crime.
(public domain films) 1930's BW 19min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
ON THE TRAIL
The cowboy lifestyle from ranching and herding cattle to rodeos and bull riding to a relaxing bobcat hunt and fishing.
(public domain films) 10 min BW (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
PEACE MISSION MOVEMENT - FATHER DIVINE
Unedited footage of the Peace Mission Movement founded by Father Divine, an African American spiritual leader, in the depression-era of the 1930's.
(public domain films) 1930's BW 14min (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
PENNSYLVANIA COAL - THE DRIVE FOR ANTHRACITE
During WWII coal production was increased in the anthracite region of Pennsylvania by raising the morale of the miners.
(public domain films) 1942 BW 5 min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
PLOW THAT BROKE THE PLAINS
DEPRESSION ERA DUST BOWL

Deep plowing of the topsoil of the Great Plains region of the United States from 1930 to 1936 coupled with severe drought conditions leads to the dust bow.
(public domain films) 1936 BW 25 min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
P.O.V. AMERICA - VOLUME 1
Variety of scenes from across America from the railroads to smalltown USA to the dust bowl and Drepresssion Era footage.
(public domain films) 1900 - 1940 8 min BW
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
POWER AND THE LAND
SUPPLYING ENERGY TO RURAL AMERICA

Portrays a farm family from St. Clairsville, Ohio who are members of an REA co-operative, and contrasts their life before and after electrification.
(public domain films) 1940 BW 19 min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
PRISON SYSTEM, THE
PROTECTING THE PEOPLE

Scenes from the Federal Prison System with general interior prison footage and activities from such notable prison and penitentiaries as Alcatraz Prison and Leavenworth Penitentiary.
(public domain films) 1935 BW 10min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
REPORT FROM LOUISIANA
Soldier flashbacks to scenes of Louisiana before World War II and returning home to see the changes in lifestyle and industry.
(public domain films) 1945 8 min BW
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
ROOTS OF THE NATION
The story of America, its resources, people and culture as it is traced from its infancy to its upcoming 200th birthday.
(public domain films) 29 min BW
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
ROTC ACTIVITIES - ROCKWELL FIELD CA 1925
Unedited footage of college ROTC Cadets at Rockwell Field California as they are instructed in maintenance of aircraft, cadet in PT exercises as well as scenes of the SS Yale leaving San Diego Harbor.
(public domain films) 1925 BW 9min (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
RURAL USA 1930 - 1939
DEPRESSION AND SOCIAL PROGRAMS

Slice of life activities and lifestyle of depression era families documenting housing, farming, hand made production of goods.
(public domain films) 1930 - 1939 12 min BW (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
STEEL TOWN - YOUNGSTOWN, OH 1944
Chronicles the production of steel at a steel mill in Youngstown, Ohio during WWII including the smelting process, slagging and blast furnace.
(public domain films) 1944 BW 16 min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
STUDY OF EDUCATIONAL INEQUALITIES
SOUTH CAROLINA 1936

Documenting the educational inequalities and economic disparity between schools for white children and schools for black children in South Carolina 1936.
(public domain films) 1936 BW 33min (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
SUN BABIES - HOW SUNLIGHT AFFECTS GROWTH
Health film about the importance of sunlight in child development and the lack of leads to stunted growth, abnormal bone structure and other general physical abnormalities.
(public domain films) 1926 BW 10min (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
THESE THIRTY YEARS - VOLUME 1
First half that weaves the development of the automobile and a Ford automobile dealership in a small town around a love story starting with the horseless carriage through 1928.
(public domain films) 1934 BW 36 min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
THESE THIRTY YEARS - VOLUME 2
Second half that weaves the development of the automobile and a Ford automobile dealership in a small town around a love story starting with the horseless carriage through 1928.
(public domain films) 1934 BW 35 min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
UNFINISHED REVOLUTION, THE
BUILDING THE GREAT SOCIETY

Documenting American society and the economy from the late 1920's, into the great depression, the election of Franklin D Roosevelt in 1932.
(public domain films) BW 27 min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA - COLLEGE LIFE AT UCLA
Dramatization of student life, student government, athletics, social events, classroom activities in 1948.
(public domain films) 1948 BW 43 min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
U.S. MAIL TRANSPORTATION - 1923
Operation of United States Post Office Department in the 1920's. Scenes of an ocean vessel or steamship approaching New York Harbor, radio operator dispatches mail boat to meet ocean vessel, bags sorted and tranferred to railway cars.
(public domain films) 1923 BW 7 min (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
U.S. MAIL TERMINAL - CHICAGO 1930
Operation of the United States Post Office Chicago mail terminal in the 1930's. Shows the operation of various sections of the Chicago Mail Terminal, particularly in handling parcel post.
(public domain films) 1930 BW 6:30 min (SILENT)
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
U.S.A. DOCUMENTARY MAGAZINE - 1940's
News stories from the 1940's - John Garand The Man Behind The M-1 Garand Rifle, The Scientific Farm, Bert James Inventor.
(public domain films) 1940's 22 min BW
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
VOYAGE TO AMERICA - A STORY OF IMMIGRANTS
Documents the various groups of immigrants seeking political and religious freedom in the 19th and 20th centuries.
(public domain films) 1964 12 min BW
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
ZEIGT FILM: IT'S UP TO YOU - GERMANY 1929
Pre-WWII Germany Weimar Republic in its Depression Era that gave political rise to the Nazi Party led by Adolf Hitler where he grabbed power and re-armed Germany culminating into WWII in Europe.
(public domain films) 1929 BW 6min
Public Domain Stock Footage Flashback 20s 40s
HD Titles Flashback 1920s - 1940s
• Additional Sections With Titles From The 1920s - 1940s •
Classroom Films ----- Domestic Destinations ----- Early Communication
Early Transportation ----- Historic Military Nuclear ----- Historic U.S. Presidents
International ----- Newsreels ----- Sex Hygiene And Social Issues
Sports Retro ----- Vintage Entertainment