It is fascinating to watch moving images of the region prior to World War II.

Dubbed (on the title card) “A civic-educational romance!” This half hour long 1938 newsreel shows Northampton, Easthampton, Florence and surrounding areas. It contains some aerial film (though the narrators delivery, makes it challenging to discern exactly which town you are viewing as they slip by).

The reel also contains footage of large numbers of Schoolchildren, Scouts, Chamber and Town Leaders, Churchgoers and vast masses of the public. 

So look for your relatives faces among them. The promotion of business was an obvious motivation for this film and as a result there is plenty of focus on businesses (there is a short THORNES fashion show). Likewise the civic nature of the piece includes plenty of town dignitaries of the time.


The cheesy narrative and horribly bad production skills used to make this documentary are either hilarious or painfully distracting.  You be the judge!  There may even be material offensive to some, not for foul language or sexual content but for overt sexism.  I imagine most of us are able to laugh at the bad acting and bombastic scoring, and Hollywood itself has provided countless hours of otherwise good films promoting “Cave Man” like attitudes of men towards women.  Additionally there is a short scene of an operation at the ‘Sanitorium’ said to “collapse a lung” having to do with tuberculosis. It is not gory but may be disturbing to some.

It is simply the intention of this site to make persons aware of these content issues BEFORE they watch the film.

1938 NewsReel

It Happened In Northampton!

Part 1- Includes the introductory narrative, Civic Volunteers, Public Works departments, The McCallum Silk Mills, The Police Dept., The Gazette, Northampton Cutlery, Postal Service, Knights of Columbus, United Dairy and “Beauty Shots” including Forbes Library.
Part 2- Ford Mercury, Schools, Manhan Potato Chip Co., “Screen Test Results”, Carson’s Mens Shop, absurd romance, Churchgoers, Aerial views of Northampton, Florence, Easthampton, Smith College, Prophylactic Brush, County Courthouse, Mt. Tom Reservation, ‘Sanitorium Operation’
Part 3- Includes Many Street Scenes, Firetrucks, Kimball coal, The Lions Club, Northampton Commercial College, more distracting narrative,
First National Bank (Silverscape), Kiwanis, Women’s club, Rip Van Winkles Orchard, Veteran’s Parade, Scouts Clubs, Thorne’s Mkt.

Each part runs approximately 10 minutes.