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Spiders ; The Sahara ; Snake farm

Identifier: Film Collection no. 77

Scope and Contents

SEGMENT 1: Spiders. The mythology and scientific reality of spiders are the subjects of the first segment. Willis John Gertsch, curator of the AMNH Department of Insects and Spiders, is interviewed, and films depicting close-up views of spiders eating, spinning webs, and tracking prey are shown. SEGMENT 2: The Sahara. Shown here is the documentary record of a 16,000-mile African expedition by Claude Bernheim and his family. Harry L. Shapiro, curator in the museum's Department of Anthropology, and Charles Collingwood, describe the Bernheims' experiences in the Sahara Desert with the help of a very large map painted on the floor of the studio and a film, made by Danielle Bernheim, of Tuaregs in the Sahara. Claude Bernheim, a Free French flyer in World War II, made the journey to show his family the territory he had flown over during the war. The full film, entitled The Bernheim-Conant Expedition is silent and this segment is therefore extremely useful as it provides Danielle's own commentary. SEGMENT 3: Snake Farm. Ross Allen, the operator of a commercial snake farm in Silver Springs, Florida, and Charles M. Bogert, curator of the AMNH Department of Amphibians and Reptiles, are the guests on this broadcast about snakes. In the studio, live snakes are milked of their poisonous venom and Allen demonstrates the frightening strength of an 18-foot anaconda. A film by Allen on the capture of an anaconda in the Amazon region is shown.


  • 1954


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Not available through inter-library loan. Contact AMNH Library Special Collections for terms of access.


1 Film Reel (60 minutes) : sound, black and white ; 16 mm.

1 Videocassette (U-Matic (60 minutes)) : sound, black and white ; 3/4 in.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

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

Other Finding Aids

Finding aid: script.


Original format: 16mm kinescope.


Originally aired June 27, 1954 as part of the CBS/AMNH Adventure television series.



Charles Collingwood, host; Perry Wolff, director and producer; Robert Northshield and Jac Venza, assistant producers; Shelby Gordon, script editor; Shelby Gordon, Robert Northshield and Phyllis Kremer, writers; Leon Rice, editorial supervisor; Grover Cole, production design.

Spiders ; The Sahara ; Snake farm, 1954
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