Historic Visualizations

30 Nov 2023

One of the reasons many of us make things is to understand them, to understand not only how the parts and pieces fit together and how they accomplish what they accomplish once assembled but also the working principles behind the assembly. Public.Resources.org offers a terrific library of old films, mostly from the Department of Defense, that explain a wide variety of processes and principles. The list is impressive and includes things like: basic amplifiers, DC motors, AC motors, resistance, and capacitors just within the electrical category.

While the example technologies are dated, the visualizations are, to my eye, just as good as anything we could offer today. Perhaps they are better precisely because the limitations of the era’s media forced the presenters to focus on what matters most and not simply what could be included. (Because we can is a principle familiar to many of us, but I bet many of us would also admit that sometimes that way leads to distraction or, at least, digression.)

Their home page lists a bunch of resources but if you want, you can also go straight to their Youtube home page.

You can go back to the logbook or dive into the archive. Choose your own adventure!