Advent calendar / History

Door 3: A very Pathe Christmas


In previous advent posts, we’ve shared with you many of our favourite vintage geological moments – in particular, some classic disaster movies of the mid twentieth century, featuring such popular tropes as improbably volcanic explosions, perilous subsidence and women in nighties looking concerned.

Thanks to the wonders of Pathe, we’re now able to add some of our favourite non fiction moments – videos from a simpler time, when dinosaurs on film weren’t computer generated, and globes were hand painted by women in fabulous cardigans.

First up is this wonderful film from 1955 demonstrating the process of manufacturing globes, featuring the cheering conclusion, ‘while the rest of mankind does its best to blow the world up, they like building a new one!’

Similarly geological, the excellent ‘Prehistoric horrors’, showing us how dinosaur models were made for stop motion animation in 1967 – with (ahem) breathtakingly realistic results…Featuring dinosaur model making specialist Arthur Haywood, who makes models for ‘such epics of primeval cinematic adventure as One Million Years BC.’

Our final choice, from 1950, is unashamedly non geological, but it does feature Christmas, and some highly complex technology – ‘science, too, has gone crackers!’ Also, something we can all identify with: ‘Remember those struggles with crepe paper when you tried your hand at making [Christmas crackers] just after the war? Cardboard corsets are the secret you overlooked!’ So now we know.

Feel free to share your own favourite blasts from the past in the comments below!

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