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History of life on earth #1

Identifier: Film Collection no. 45

Scope and Contents

This is the first of a series of four broadcasts on the history of life on earth. George Gaylord Simpson, AMNH paleontologist, and Norman Dennis Newell of the Department of Fossil Invertebrates discuss the history of life and man's place in it. The program begins with electron microscope views of single-celled organisms and includes a discussion of fossils and a film entitled Birth of a Baby, produced by the Association of Medical Colleges and George Washington University. The Simplest Animals, a film on invertebrates produced by Ralph Buchsbaum, is shown on this program as well. Robert Northshield, the science reporter for the Adventure series, learns how to use the huge electron microscope at the North American Philips Corporation, which made the instrument available for these broadcasts. The use of the electron microscope for the first time on television and the sight of living micro-organisms create a sense of wonder and excitement for this show.


  • 1953


Language of Materials



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

Other Finding Aids

Finding aid: script.


Original format: 16mm kinescope.


Originally aired Oct. 25, 1953 as part of the CBS/AMNH Adventure television series.



Charles Collingwood and Robert Northshield, hosts; Allen Reisner, director; Perry Wolff, producer; Alice Wallace and Ernest Leiser, writers; Leon Rice, editorial supervisor; Jac Venza, production design; Bernard Birnbaum, supervisor of film.

History of life on earth #1, 1953
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