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JAMA 100 Years Ago
December 14, 2011


JAMA. 2011;306(22):2516. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1732

The moving picture is recognized as a valuable educational factor if rightly used. Fortunately, the men who have developed the business of manufacturing these moving-picture films in this country have not been blind to every consideration except money-making. Comparatively few seem to have yielded to the temptation to prostitute this great invention by catering to the sensational, the lewd and the depraved; instead, most have been wise and far-sighted enough to see the enormous educational possibilities of the moving-picture and to endeavor to build up their enterprise on a solid foundation. In no way is this better shown than by the cooperation between the Thomas A. Edison Company of Orange, N. J., and the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis. Each year, just before the holidays, the Edison Company releases to the innumerable moving-picture theaters a specially prepared film, designed to show the awful danger of the “White Plague” and to aid in the sale of the Red Cross Seal, the little stamp which, by the million, adorns our Christmas packages and carries its lesson everywhere. The film this year, released December 5, is called “The Awakening of John Bond.” It is a graphic and truthful portrayal of the dangers of tuberculosis and of the personal responsibility of each one for existing conditions. It should be shown, again and again, in every town in the land—for what village is now so poor that it does not have a moving-picture theater? Let all physicians and all members of charitable societies ask to have this film shown to the public. It is by far the best of a number of public health films turned out by the Edison Company, which is fully justified in its announcement that it “has been able, not only to produce a film of high dramatic value, but also one of great educational benefit.”