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The Kid Should See This

The Stomach, a 1974 sound filmstrip about the digestive system

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What does your stomach do? Before there were TED-Ed videos to explain how your digestive system works, there were educational “sound filmstrips,” sets of audio recordings and still images projected on a big screen in darkened classrooms across America. Beeps indicated when the next 35mm filmstrip frame should be shown, keeping sound and pictures synchronized.

Popular in the mid to late 20th century, sound filmstrips covered a wide range of educational subjects like science, history, and literature. In this particular filmstrip, How Your Body Parts Function Part II: The Stomach, a stomach enthusiastically explains how it works and which body parts it collaborates with to get its job done.

thinking about food
The video above is shared by Uncommon Ephemera, an independent media preservationist who restores “forgotten middle class American cultural ephemera from the 40s to the 80s,” and releases them to the public via YouTube and the Internet Archive. They irreverently write:

“This 1974 sound filmstrip from Eye Gate House, a publisher of low-budget educational filmstrips, teaches the young viewer about the stomach using weird illustrations and a narrator who speaks in the first person as a stomach, and says weird things like “presto, the paste is made!”

stomach digestion

“Their voluminous output over the years was balanced by the care they didn’t take in making the filmstrips, and many are goofy and slightly weird with poor technical quality. But that’s part of the charm of filmstrips, isn’t it? And, as such, that leads us to this 1974 series…

“The information here seems to be tailored for young elementary school students. For instance, the narrator never says ‘blood vessels,’ ‘veins,’ or ‘arteries,’ saying only ‘blood tubes.’ One wonders why the educational consultant on this series thought kids would be okay with words like ‘enzymes,’ ‘esophagus,’ and ‘saliva,’ but would stumble helplessly over ‘blood vessels.'”

The last part of the video summarizes the process again, and provides questions for review.

Find more Uncommon Ephemera on Patreon, YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, and Archive.org.

Then watch these handpicked human body videos next:
β€’Β Slim Goodbody sings about digestion
β€’Β Them Not-So-Dry Bones – Schoolhouse Rock
β€’Β Giant human body parts roam the streets of Europe
β€’Β How your digestive system works
β€’Β How does your body know you’re full?

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