Science, American Petroleum Institute Style

This is the first of a series of posts this week drawn from wonderful resources available to us thanks to the Prelinger Library’s vast collection of stock footage, made available for free at

A friend turned me on to this short film a year ago or so and I now show excerpts of it to great effect in my American cultural history class. Everyone loves the white-coated scientists turning complex molecules into toothbrushes.

They love the big finish even more: Martians discover the secret to building a society of plenty and to overcoming tyranny: oil—of course—mixed with “competition: more for all.”

But that doesn’t do it justice. You just have to watch it yourself.

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