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MINES BUREAU MAKES MOVIES
Industry Stands the Expense and Morton Leopold, Mines Safety Engineer, Arranges Films on Mineral Industries for Exhibition by Schools and Organizations. By William A. Bell, Jr. MERICAN industries give the $1.000.00n in 20 years—to sponsor motion pictures of their ac tivities. Ever since 191 β the Bureau of Mines, formerly a -branch of the Com merce Department, but now an In terior Department agency, has been producing movies of mineral and al lied industries and now has what is probably the largest library of educa tional films in the world. Bureau of Mines films have been -shown during the past five years to 272,523 audiences totaling 23,634.665 persons, mostly school children. They are so popular that every one of them is booked up constantly many months, even as much as a year, in advance. Several weeks ago there were de scribed in an article by this writer ectivities of three Government agen cies—Interior Department, Agricul . tural Department and Army Signal Corps—in making their own movies— movies of their own work. Each has numerous movie-making personnel, laboratories, studios and elaborate equipment. The Bureau of Mines motio'n pic ture work, on the other hand, is a one-man job. It is done entirely by Morton F. Leopold, safety engineer, who solicits the necessary funds,· writes the scenarios and directs pro ductions. All of his work is done irom a small office in the Interior Department's new South Building or in the field. Time was. says Mr. Leopold, when .he used to have to "hold out a tin cup'' to get industry to put up the money for movies which the bureau wanted made. But now. he says, in dustries come to him as often as he goes to them. ^^'HEN an industry wants to have a picture mad" or when one consents to co-operate with the bu reau in a picture the bureau wants made, it must agree that no trade name, trademark or anything faintly resembling advertising shall appear In the movie. The only credit which the industry receives—no matter how much it navs for the movie—is a brief Government about $75.000 annually—have given nearly acknowledgment preceding the film: '•Présentation of this film was made possible through the co-ope i**tion of the John Doe Co." Leopold was asked why industries didn't put out their own pictures and include all the advertising they wanted. instead of paying the Gov ernment for production and spon sorship of films bare of any sugges tion of ballyhoo He explained that It would be impossible for industries .to give to the films the widespread distribution obtained bv the bureau through its experiment station in Pittsburgh. ' Industries have discovered that the 1 public won't swallow blurbs. ' he said. I ' Furthermore, State boards of edu cation and boards of official reviewers or censors generally won't permit the showing in public schools and sim ilar institutions of movies which pub licise any commercial product." There is instance after instance to . Illustrate the elaborate care that is i taken to eliminate from films pro duced under Bureau of Mines sane- 1 tion anything that will identify a commercial product. For the two reeler, "The Story of a Spark Plug." J the co-operating manufacturer had to make a special spark plug, minus j his trade name or other symbol of j Identification, and to buy 100 un- j marked shipping cases. A monster j sign was removed from the smoke ! stacks of a large automobile plant before filming of factory activities could begin, while within the factory . the hubs and radiator caps of the cars that were to be filmed were j masked. Two days were spent in painting over the name of a large cement company on a factory wall. J EOPOLD chuckled at the recollec tion of an incident resulting from the showing of an oil movie at, a con vention of petroleum men in Chicago. Although the film had been viewed and re-viewed by bureau officials to * (tuard against revealing the identity of the co-operating oil company ex cept in the statement of acknowledge ment. a letter of complaint was re ceived from a representative of a rival concern, who said he had seen the co-operating company's symbol on a barrel shown in the film. What kind of business was this? he hollered. Was the Federal Government trying to boast his competitor? I/eopold took another careful look at the film, and sure enough there was the offending | . symbol. Its appearance was so brief that it occupied only 8 inches of film nnd had been virtually impossible to d?tect. But out it came, and apolo gies were made to the complainant. Several motor car manufacturers end oil refiners have financed movies of national parks just to stimulate automobile travel. This kind of ex penditure. on films which lack direct promotion of any particular company or product, is known as "institutional publicity." Industries also create good will for themselves by co-operating in Bureau of Mines movies which illus trate safety devices and methods of saving gas and oil and making inex tvnslve nnrl durable rpruairs tr* mobile parts, machinery and home ap pliances. Leopold believes many bureau films have been of incAlculable value in educating people in the prevention end treatment of domestic, factory end motoring accidents. A widely cir culated film illustrates graphically the danger of carbon monoxide; shows how to steer clear of it, how to treat person* who have been overcome. An , other shows how the use of water in rock drills allays dust and prevents silicosis, commonly known as "miners' tuberculosis." The bureau recently released a one-reel film, "Follow the White Marker," which stresses the importance of driving on the right side of the white cement lines on high ways. rPHE influence for safety exercised by Bureau of Mines films is shown by the saving of five lives in a Utah coal mine accident in the Spring of 1930. J. P. Pritchett, who had seen the movie, "When a Man's a Miner," was one of five men trapped after an ex plosion. He recalled scenes in the movie in which were shown methods by which entombed miners may bar ricade themselves and conserve their supply of fresh air until rescue crews arrive. Pritchett promptly organized the trapped men. retreated to a dif ferent section of the mine and erected a barricade, where they remained in safety until rescued the next morning. Leopold estimates that within the next three or four months nearly 1,000,000 miners will have been trained t in first aid through the medium of bureau films. Besides taking rare not to include in bureau films anything that ran be construed as publicity. Leopold says he has to watch out for the presence of unsafe conditions. "We won't take a picture unless it stresses safety, unless all safety factors are present.'' he said. "If we are filming in a factory where regulation goggles should be used, we are careful to see that these are on the eyes of the workers. Flywheels, cogs and geared machinery must be properly guarded. In a mine only closed lights must be shown." Actual filming of the movies is done by companies chosen by the co operating industries with the approval of the Bureau of Mines. The industry which is doing the financing must pay ] for all production casts, including ; actors and costumes where these are required. When a film has been com pleted. copies are made and kept in fireproof storage at the Pittsburgh distributing center, where they are available to any borrower, just like public library books, but. usually harder to obtain because of the demand. To get a date with a bureau film you have to put. In far ahead of time, like a boy trying to date a popular debutante or co-ed. rpHE most expensive film ever made under bureau auspices was the $100,000 "A Trip Through the Oil Lands of Europe. Asia and Africa." financed by one of the Nations big 1 petroleum refining companies. An other refining company paid $5,000 for the privilege of sponsoring a movie of Shenandoah National Park. Record annual expenditure by industries for films of this sort was $175.000. The average is less than half that, each reel costing about $2.000. At this time the Bureau of Mines has in its film library 3,775 reels, which during the fiscal year ended June 30 were shown on 100,342 occasions—a 31 per cent increase over the previous fiscal year—to audiences totaling 8. 809,496. Ninety per cent of the at tendance at these films is student bodies—principally grade school and high school—and the bureau has on file nearly half a million report cards complimenting individual films. The movies also are shown to groups with in the industries of which pictures have been made. to engineering so cieties, chambers of commerce and all classes of civic, military and religious organizations. Within the past year 2.859 separate organizations availed themselves of the use of these pictures. Many foreign governments have purchased copies of Bureau of Mines films for use in their educational in stitutions. Two weeks ago a request was received from Brazil for permis sion to buy 12 films. Thomas Baird. head of the British government film department railed on Leopold recently to discuss the possibility of an ex change of films between the two gov ernment. He said about 10 of the bureau films are being used bv educa tional institutions throughout England The bureau is shipping its films to borrowers at the rate of 180 reels a day. Orders are now filed in the "films to he shipped division" which are scheduled for shipment in June. 1338. In many instanres where the bureau ha* a* high as 100 copies of « subject for circulation they are three or four months behind in date of shipment. Leopold thinks it would be a good idea to make movies of governmental activities—the work of the G-men. of the Coast Guard, soil conservation agents, the Navy, the Army, all Fed eral activities adaptable to effective filming. Hp would like to have some industry or industries put up $100.000 for the Job. bajety and first aid are stressed in all Bureau of Mines films. Above, a fully equipped rescue crew removing an injured man from the scene of a mine explosion. —Bureau of Mines Photo. Storage room of the Bureau of Mines movie distribution center in Pittsburgh showing clerk preparing reels for shipment. During the school year as many as 180 reels are shipped per day. —Bureau of Mines Photo. Steel is an old. old story, but the Bureau of Mines movie from which the above scene is taken tells it from the beginning. —Bureau of Mines Photo. Nation's Billions iContinued From First FagO plete system of vnurhers and checks and cards, and other details of keep ing track of Uncle Sam's dollars, and making sure that not one of them is | diverted from the purpose for which it was appropriated and received presidential approval. J^ET us follow through a request from a town or city for certain work it wishes to have done within its boundaries, and to which it be lieves itself to be entitled under the ' provisions of the act. That is to say, the project must be one by which the public will benefit. It cannot fall into the classification of a private en- j terprise. The first step is to secure a local sponsor for a given project. If a city, county or other political subdivision of a State or Federal Gov ernment sponsors the project, it makes application to the State Works Prog ress administrator, who forwards it to the Project Control Division of the W P. A. in Washington. The W. P. A. investigates the appli cation. and satisfies itself that it falls within the scope of the relief act. If it. approves the project, it forwards the application to the Bureau of th» Budget. The Bureau of the Budget then gives the project its own atten tion. and exercises individual author ity of approving or disapproving. If i the bureau, in turn, approves, it lists the project with other approved proj- I ects and sends this schedule to the President for his action. These schedules forwarded to the White House by the Bureau of thp B'idget contain all the information necessary for the President to gain a complete picture of the pro.iect. sug gested. together with the cost involved and other pertinent details. This schedule is carefully examined by the Chief Executive, and each project, is approved or disapproved separately. That is, one or more projects on a list may not seem to fulfill the pur poses of the act in the eyes of the President, who then strikes it from the list. Such a project is marked for ' deletion." or it may be recommended for reconsideration after further in vestigation. This is not always due 10 a failure to meet requirements of the act. but sometimes is necessitated be cause of the desire of the President to use the funds involved for some other project that is considered more worthy. γ^τΗΕΝ the entire schedule has been gone over at the White House and marked for approval, it is sent to the Secretary of the Treasury, accom panied by a letter from the President. The Secretary of the Treasury then draws a warrant for the amount of money needed. This warrant does not contain on Hi face the full amount of money involved in all the projects listed, but rather an amount sufficient to begin operations on the approved projects, as subsequent, checks are drawn against the account βλ the work progresses The Secretary of the Treasury then forwards this warrant, together wi»h thp Prp^idrnt's letter and thp schedule of approved projects, in the controller genera] of the United S'atps. ΤΙτρ pon troller general then examines the listed ! projects and approvps or disapproves ; according to his judgmpnt. and may j thus rpjpct or delete somp project 1 already marked for approval, if he chooses. The list schedule is not the on".ν i thing examined in the office of the controller genera). The warrant itself, as forwarded by the Secretary of the ! Treasury, comes in for close scru'i.iy before it is passed. The warrants are chocked for correctness as to form and legality and if found satisfactory they ; are countersigned. If they are not found satisfactory they are returned to the Secretary of the Treasury with out countersignature, with objections stated. In determining approval or disap- 1 proval of the listed projects on the schedule, consideration is givpn to their legality—this is. if thp work con- i templated tails actually within the . purpose of the relief art and whether ; the fund allocated is allocated under ; the proper heading of the act. as particular classes of projects come under various provisions of the act. AU improper projects are deleted, and only approved or.es are returned to the Treasury. Now begins the intricate system of checking individual projects within the General Accounting Office. All ap proved projects are recorded on green cards and on ledger sheets, onp for earh project, and thpse cards arp flled numerically and alphabetically in master files. The ledgers are fil°d numrrirally and pvpry pxpenditure on the project, as it i* paid out, is recorded on the ledger sheet. MEANWHILE, in the Treasury De partmert., where approved proj ects have been rerpivpd. authorizations are issued to the W. Ρ A . authorizing prosecution of the approved projects and advising the allotment—that is. specifying the amount to be spent. This amount is sometimes les., than that approved by the President, but it is never more. A project supervisor is then authorized by the State adminis trator to proceed with work on the project. Those projects which have be?.i deleted or disapproved are not set up on the books of either the Treasury or the General Accounting Office. They may be resubmitted, if their scope is changed or if other objections have been removed and may be subsequently approved. During 1935 and 1936 "objectionable" projects Involved those that were sponsored by quasi-public bodies, work on private property wiih no showing of benefit to the general public: indefinite description of tne work to be done or the purpose to be served: work on Federal aid highway roads by a local sponsor instead of by or under the direction of the Secretary of Agriculture: leased property without showing the term of the lease as Justi fying the expenditure. Approved proj ects pre often resubmitted on new schedules by letters of the President, changing thp scope or amount. The relief moneys are set. up in appropriation accounts and arc req uisitioned by thp disbursing officprs. These may be lnral disbursing agents, in thp neighborhood of the project, or the rentrai office in Washington to pav bill* involving Nation-wide prot ects. or the United States Trpasurv Sta'e disbursing officer, to pay local bills I All these disbursing officers of the ί Government are bonded and have been subject to investigation before taking office. Past conduct and cur- I rent accounts of every disbursing officer arp checked before checks are forwarded for payment on anv project. As an approved disbursing officer sends in vouchers for expendi tures as the project progresses, check* are drawn and the amount charged against the allocation on the filed ledger sheets in the General Account ing Office. rJ^HE exactness exercised with re spect to these payments may be appreciated from the fact that the smallest expenditure made mast fall precisely within the purpose of the act and the project for which it re ceived presidential approval. For example, if moneys have been ap proved for "improvement of a school playground by grading," not one penny can be apent on that project for any other purpose than grading If, for example, a voucher is for warded that covers purchase of a sandbox for that playground it is not. approved. Likewise, the tools bought must be for "grading" and i purchased only for the purpose stated. I There is minute scrutiny of every ex penditure before the requested check is drawn. If the project exceeds in cost the amount allocated, vouchers are not approved after the allocation ha« been used up. although in special instance* and at the discretion of the President additional funds may be made available, according to the circumstance*. The General Accounting Office is housed in the old Pension Building In Pension Park—one of Washing ton's historic buildings, which makes up in charm what it lacks in floor space, due to the great columns tha" rise lrom the first floor straight as arrows to the roof, with the other stories opening on to narrow galleries surrounding this cent«T open court. Within the various offices are flled millions of cards identifying the ! W. P. A projects all over the country. 1 Likewise, there are thousands of ledgpr sheets, all neatly and accurately tabu lating to the last red cent the moneys Uncle Sam 1* expending. One wonders, looking at them in 1 counties* rows, covered all over with ' their precise entries, how it ever all come* out straight. And as one who personally experiences the greatest difficulty in subtracting or adding check atubs. I doff my hat to those tireless and painstaking individual* under the supervision of the comp troller general, who ran break up billions, fling them all over the coun try. and when vouchers stream In, make it all come out even again. It is our guess that if Congress appropriated $9.680 000.000 and one half cent instead of the $9.680,000, 000 that was appropriated altogether, that one-half cent would turn up jauntily at the end of the final ac counting. to exclaim, with a mis chievous flip. "If you expected me to get lost in the shuffle, you're very much mistaken " Automotive Briefs The co-operation being extended bv General Motors to the national move ment for highway safety was described to local General Motors officials re cently at « luncheon of the General Motors Club of Washington. D C. This meeting was one of 24 being held this month by Genera! Motors clubs in leading cities throughout the Nation at which the problem of street and highway accident reduction was discussed, according to A. I. Smith, chairman of the meeting The companies in the automobile industry have joined hands in the Au tomotive Safety Foundation, which has a safety fund of half a million dollars for the remainder of this year. This fund is being used to support the work of the national organization that was, prior to the establishment of the foundation, carrying on cer tain highway safety activities. Mem bers of the club here were requested to take a personal interest in sound local efforts directed toward safer stree's and highways The program included a sound mo tion picture, summarizing the films that have been produced bv General Motors and its divisions in the inter ests of safely. Floyd Akers. president of thp Cap itol Cadillac Co.. La Sallp and Cadillac distributers, at 1222 Twenty-second street, entertained as his guest. Ralph De Palma. famous automobile rare driver, it the luncheon meeting of the Lions Club last week. De Palma ad dressed the club members and guests on the subject of safety of present day automobiles, as developed througii years of raring and test driving. De Palma is at present touring the coun try in the L,a Salle which he used in special exhibition work at the In dianapolis Speedway this year. Mold Easily Found. ""JpHE microscope can't be fooled Two bottles of tomato catsup may appear equally red and alluring on the shelf, but the microscope will reveal immediately If one was made from sound, well-ripened fruit and the other from cracked, sour and moldy stock. A flattened drop of tomato material between two plates of glass, when ob served through the microscope, ma ν show filaments of mold. The analyst examines successive "fields of view" by moving the slide on the microscope stage. He then calculates what per centage contains mold—commonly re ferred to as the "mold count." If it Is beyond normal for good stock pre pared under suitable manufacturing conditions, the shipment represented by the sample, and the shipper like wise, are subject to legal action. Tomato products continue as the most important field for the mold counter's activities. The Microanaly tical division of the Food and Dtu? Administration does, however, use the method for jams, jellie*. fruit butters, strained vegetables, butter and other foods, with such variations of tech nique ** differences nf tissue structure end other factors require. Γ ο Road Signs Can Hinder More Than They Help Experienced Motorists Report Highway Markers Often Confusing—Maps Found Best Tourist Guides. DO YOU believe in siens? If so, you are »pt to get into trouble when you go a-motoring. So say thousands of experienced tourists who have followed sign posts to trouble, according to Frederick C. Russell while admitting a marked improvement in highway routing and sign posting, they contend that a succcssful tour still is based upon the use of authentic maps and ample advance imoTmauon as mj ar-v tour possibilities end road condi tions. Many tourists, says Mr. Russell, have recently reported sign posting of such low order as to mislead and con fuse those who travel haphazardly. Sigrw have been found pointing in exactly the wrong direction, while in many Instances the signs have been turned just enough to send tourists off on the wrong fork at, an intersec tion of highways. Signs frequently are posted for purely selfish or com mercial reasons, leading tourists into streets that unnecessarily detain them. Many signs are designed to indicate alternate routes that may have no appeal to the tourist who is interested in reaching his destination as quickly and conveniently as pos sible. In the past few years there has been such a marked increase in sign post ing as to lead to the questionable conclusion that it is no longer neces sary to have any advance information or to consult maps. The swingback to the earlier and sounder principle about being forearmed bv being fore warned is a natural result of the hard lessons learned through touring from "sign to sign." Safety advocates are finding that motorists who tour without the aid of good counsel and the latest maps are more prone to accidents. The danger lies chiefly in the need for ab rupt stopping at every intersection to ι read the sign posts. If a tourist does ι not have all of his advance towns well in mind he finds It necessary to clutter up each intersection to get | his bearings This takes time, and to make up for this loss he is tempted to step on the gas in between signs. Coming to each intersection at too high a rate of speed has its obvious hazards By consulting his road map and obtaining a few facts from his auto mobile club, one motorist was able to get out of a large Eastern city with only a little suburban traffic. There are at least two dozen ways of enter ing this city from one point of the compass, whereas sign posts are seen pointing the way to it only on a half dozen routes. Much of this routing is of the "cross" variety, involving secondary roads and special streets. To benefit bv this convenience it is not possible to rely on signs. On week ends and holidays it saves con siderable congestion to be able to avoid the more heavily traveled routes. |^JNDER the new»r plan sign poet* are used for confirmation rather than for initial guidance. While a great many tourists get by with a fair degree of success by following State and United States route num bers, it is a matter of observation that whenever detours are met such "hand-to-mouth" tourists find them selves unable to proceed by selecting alternate routes. Avoiding the de tours is one of the essential features of any well-conducted Summer or Pall tour. Unless one has the lay of the land, knows his cities ar>d has consulted his maps sufficient Iv to know of possibilities in the way of alternative routes, he simply takes the detours and road construction as it comes. And it comes hard! Sign posting still is handicapped by lack of uniformity, in spite of im portant strides in the markings along national routes. Most of the trouble lies in cities and towns where there is not only variation in the size and kind of markings, but in the loca tions for signs. Too often the tour ist has to crar* his neck to read signs, sometimes overlooking safety signs while he is trying to decide which way to turn next. The well conducted tour is fashioned on a dif ferent order. Before starting, the modern tourist obtains through route maps of the principal citie* he plans to traverse. It saves him many a headache. Ir> one Eastern city a large direc tion sign definitely points to a by-pass which is not only a longer but · less easily traversed route. If one ignores this sign he meets another one later which actually leads out of the way to get to the next large city. A glance at one of the small-size tour ist maps of the city would show that the easiest way through is to ignore the sigr>. Much by-passing has been lacking in judgment. Often bv-passing is a difficult process for the traffic au thorities by virtue of the peculiar lav out of the city. In numerous cases it is far simpler to drive straight down Mf.in street, rather than to attempt mileage and timp saving by following the so-called "through route." Tour ists are finriine that by following the main streets of some cities they bene fit by faster traffic and traffic signals that do not tie them up so long On rainy nights visibility is better on the wider, better lighted streets. Signs need not be taken too liter ally. In tourinc. the driver should know enough about his routing in advance to avoid any pitfalls occa sioned by trustine to luck that he will always find the right sign in the right place THOSE WERE THE HAPPY DAYS! By Dick Mansfield Mid-Summer Dreams WÛ,CV iSùw7 1)OCGOME ^ 9omV(3h^ieve - v;5 »rs wi<s67_in' aw Oj(<?ewv, you ktmow ^ « \-lZ VALEX" 3ELL· XePY Âβ >/CTX OMΕ IMA VCASr £~^>' <Λ * iu ^owDEe çorrz-B fMgj/;/,, ^ \k V-V AMP ιr tentSEV 0^4 'mm^l0Hr-^ «Vf / WATCH it X '· 6ÛC^ VVS M0VIM6 AW(?£A9y, βΕΤ^ΗΑ βΥ NEKV WEE^V'ZZ. 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