Before Video: A History of the Non-Theatrical Film

By Anthony Slide | Go to book overview

FOUR
Specialization

With the 35mm theatrical film industry devoted to entertainment for profit, it was left to the non-theatrical community to specialize in specific areas within the educational and industrial fields. Possibly the first area of specialization was medicine, with the cinema, early in its development, proving to be valuable in both documenting surgical procedures and making the work of specialists more readily available for study.

As early as 1902, the British company Urban Eclipse provided footage of surgical operations for study at the University of Birmingham. By 1908, the use of motion pictures to document the work of surgeons had become almost commonplace. In its issue for April 18, 1909, the trade paper The Moving Picture World reported, "In one of the New York hospitals moving pictures have been made of epileptic patients, as well as of persons affected with locometer ataxia. This is following the example set in Vienna, where moving pictures have been made of celebrated surgeons performing critical operations." At London's Middlesex Hospital, Dr. H. C. Thompson had arranged for the routine filming of surgical procedures, and films of operations were screened for students at Chicago's Night University.

Aside from their importance as documentation, films of surgical experiments might also help in the partial elimination of animal vivisection. Writing in 1928 in Taking the Doctor's Pulse ("dedicated to the most potent implement of modern education the Motion Picture Film"), J. F. Mon

-45-

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Before Video: A History of the Non-Theatrical Film
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions to the Study of Mass Media and Communications ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Notes xii
  • One Origins 1
  • Notes 16
  • Two Chicago-- the Non-Theatrical Film Capital of the World 19
  • Notes 31
  • Three the Eastman Kodak Connection 33
  • Notes 43
  • Four Specialization 45
  • Five Film in Education and Religion 59
  • Notes 73
  • Six the Chronicles of America 75
  • Notes 87
  • Seven the 1930s and 1940s 89
  • Notes 105
  • Eight Decades of Progress and Prosperity 107
  • Notes 120
  • Nine the Waning Years 123
  • Notes 136
  • Appendix A: Major Non- Theatrical Distributors of the 1920s 137
  • Appendix B: Major Non-Theatrical 16mm Distributors of the 1930s 141
  • Appendix C: Major Non-Theatrical 16mm Distributors of the 1940s 145
  • Appendix D: Useful Non-Theatrical Addresses 151
  • Selected Bibliography 155
  • Index 161
  • About the Author 172
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