“Electronics At Work” (1943) by Famous Studios

Here’s a rarity: an industrial film from 1943 with animation by Paramount’s Famous Studios. We’ve long known of several non-theatrical industrial and educational films from Fleischer Studios – and it is known that its later incarnation, Famous Studios, did television commercials in addition to its annual output of Paramount’s theatrical entertainment cartoons. But examples of the studios supplemental commercial work have been incredibly difficult to locate.

To be sure, the animation here isn’t particularly exciting. In fact, it will probably bore most of our readers – but fascinate a fanatic few (like me). It’s essentially a live action film, extolling the virtues of vacuum tubes during wartime, containing several animated inserts that demonstrate electronic current flow. Dull? Yes, but it’s another piece of the puzzle – and I’m damn glad its been uncovered. Produced by Westinghouse, here’s Electronics At Work(1943):

(Thanks, Ken Layton)


  • Vonwolfie

    GROOVY…

  • Kristjan B.

    Intresting but at the same time boring.

    but there is few other similar but no mention of Famous Studio on the opening or the end titles.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fz4mUEEH6Rk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dErsA6wFmlM&feature=player_embedded

  • http://www.AnimationPhysics.com Alej Garcia

    Dull? You should see what’s currently used to teach physics! The difference between then and now is that back then you had artists working together with scientists to produce these films. With modern CG tools, such as Flash, physics teachers can create their own educational shorts but most of them are terrible.

  • Ken Layton

    I learned electronics through the use of vacuum tubes. I grew up in the vacuum tube era and find this film very fascinating.

    I never got to see this film in electronics class.

  • Steve Gattuso

    As a tech geek, this is quite fascinating. Here’s a bit of trivia: The total number of vacuum tubes on display in that film is less than the total number of transistors (which replaced them) in your computer’s central processing unit by multiple orders of magnitude. That’s a lotta tubes.

  • http://milneenterprises.weebly.com/ Donald Dale Milne

    Awesome! It was somewhat boring because we’re used to color, quick edits, and more music, BUT it was packed with information. Especially good was the way they related each electronic function to real life uses.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Hey Jerry, those vacuum tubes aren’t going to explain themselves!

  • David

    Hey Jerry, any chance we’re ever going to see the Famous Popeyes finally get a dvd (or blu-ray) release?

    • http://www.cartoonbrew.com/author/jerry Jerry Beck

      Yes – there is a chance.

  • Kristjan B.

    Here is a another industrial cartoon called “Its CSP for Me” by Famous Studios mentioned here:

    famous

    Original Link: http://archive.org/stream/1950business1949screenmav10v11rich#page/n145/mode/2up

    I came cross info thanks to Jonathan Bochen in a thread over at here. It would be nice if this film would resurface!