From the 1940s until the low-cost videocassette boom of the 1980s, audio filmstrips were commonly used in classrooms as an alternative to 16mm film projectors that were more expensive and fiddly to keep working. Uncommon Ephemera does the yeoman's work of saving these vintage filmstrips from the dustbin of dead media history and digitally archiving them for the world to enjoy. Above is a wonderful 1984 filmstrip of Margaret Wise Brown's children's classic book "Goodnight Moon." From Uncommon Ephemera:
Weston Woods Studios of Weston, Connecticut, was known for their faithful, high-quality adaptations of children's stories, and an excellent illustration of this is their 1984 adaptation of the 1947 Margaret Wise Brown classic "Goodnight Moon." Slowly becoming a bestseller, it had only sold four million copies between 1947 and 1990; by 2017 that number had increased to almost 50 million.
Weston Woods' adaptation for sound filmstrip was published in 1984, and the visuals are comprised entirely of the original illustrations for the book by Clement Hurd. Especially pleasant here is Weston Woods' efforts to create every frame of the filmstrip from Hurd's full-color, full-bleed illustrations, replacing the cutout-style, black-and-white detail illustrations from some pages of the book with full-color, full-frame versions presumably taken from full-size versions of the original color artwork. Every frame is full color and takes up the full size of the filmstrip frame.
While it is an enjoyable perk of the job for this preservationist to poke fun at the shortcomings and cost-cutting decisions that make filmstrip media so often hokey, it's also good to remind historians and viewers alike that filmstrips could also be beautifully and lovingly produced when the producer wanted them to be, and "Goodnight Moon" is a stellar example. Yeah, the music is a little avant-garde at times, but independent jazz is an enticing bargain when most of your budget is tied up in intellectual property rights.