Skip to main content

Imprinting period

Identifier: Film Collection no. 134

Scope and Contents

Scientific experimentation with the imprinting period, the phase of an animal's life when its mind is most open to stimuli, is the topic of discussion. In a remote broadcast remote from McDonough, Md., Eckhardt Hess, professor of psychology at the University of Chicago, explains and demonstrates a number of imprinting experiments. Also interviewed for this program is a staff member at the McDonough School, Mr. Ramsey. Most of the experiments have previously been performed on birds. A duck about six hours old is placed in an enclosure with an alarm clock, a squeaky rubber ball, or a loudspeaker emitting frequent repetitions of a sound. The duck learns to identify affectionately with, or imprints on, such an object. This bond may last a lifetime. Most of the experiments performed in this broadcast fail and provide for an amusing show. One duck is successfully imprinted on Charles Collingwood and follows him around the yard.


  • 1956


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Not available through interlibrary loan. Contact AMNH Library Special Collections for terms of access.


1 Film Reel (30 minutes) : sound, black and white ; 16 mm.

1 Videocassette (U-Matic (30 minutes)) : sound, black and white ; 3/4 in.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

3/4 in., U-Matic, viewing copy


Original format: 16mm kinescope.


Originally aired April 15, 1956 as part of the CBS/AMNH Adventure television series.



Charles Collingwood, host; John Cosgrove, director; Charles Romine, producer; Shelby Gordon, assistant producer; Frank de Felitta, script editor; Clair Huffaker, writer; Grover Cole, production design.

Imprinting period, 1956
Iris Lee
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Museum Archives at the Gottesman Research Library Repository

American Museum of Natural History
200 Central Park West
New York NY 10024 USA
(212) 769-5420