Here’s a short-film produced by General Motors in 1939 called “Round & Round”. It’s a brief look at the free market system. It feels like it was produced for first-graders:
This is a factory. This is a machine in the factory. This is the workman who tends the machine in the factory. And this is what the workman makes on his machine in the factory. This is a widget.
Inside the widget factory, there are lots of widget-making machines, and the skilled workmen who run these machines turn out the finest widgets you’ve ever seen. They’re as modern, attractive, and efficient as careful design and fine craftsmanship can possibly make them. People will certainly want to buy these widgets because they are so fine and up-to-date.
Don’t get me wrong — I come from a family filled with entrepreneurs — I just think this vastly oversimplifies things. Still, I love these old educational films. They’re like time capsules into a world rapidly fading from memory. I’ll be disappointed when my secret stash of these runs out.
Here are similar films I’ve shared in the past:
- Your Thrift Habits, which features budgeting lessons from 1948
- Working Dollars offers investing lessons from 1957
- Using the Bank demonstrates state-of-the-art personal finance from 1947
- Better Use of Leisure Time provides self-improvement tips from 1950
- The Wise Use of Credit gives money lessons from 1960
If you find more of these, please send them to me.