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Watch Over
1800 Films from
Prelinger Archives

Explore our History.

Popcorn Not Included.

Originally made for use in advertising, education, social guidance, and corporate training, the films offer a vibrant look at 20th century American cultural history.

Unlike Hollywood movies, ephemeral films were made at a specific time for a specific purpose—often sponsored by corporations or government agencies. Although their original purpose has long-past, these films have enduring cultural value as documents to show the way things were in the past.

Explore with Linger and discover how the American rural and urban landscape has changed over generations. Look back at the factories, offices, schools, and farms of yesteryear. Follow the transformations of our social values; and watch films that were themselves intended to change social norms by presenting modern aspirations for living in the post-World War II era.

Browse by Subject

From Advertising to World‘s Fairs, Linger has interesting films covering over 140 different topics.

Brought to you by…

Many films in Linger were sponsored by corporations or government institutions. At a time when mass-media became dominant, these films hold the key to understanding how society was influenced by corporations, propaganda, and the rise of consumer culture.

The values associated with post-World War II consumer and political society were literally sold to us through the use of sponsored films. These films don‘t just show “how we lived”—rather they paint idealized portraits of how we “should” aspire to live and behave towards one-another.

Share & Remix

Found a great film? Share it with all your friends on Twitter and Facebook, or use email or text messaging. Watch together on the big screen using AirPlay to show films on your Apple TV.

All films shown in Linger are either Public Domain or Creative-Commons, and can be freely downloaded from the Internet Archive. Stock Footage for many Prelinger Archives films can be licensed from Getty Images.