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Health and clothing.

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About this work


A mildly diverting film about the benefits of appropriate dress.


[London] : [Bermondsey Borough Council], [1928]

Physical description

1 encoded moving image (14:49 min.) : silent, black and white



Copyright note

Bermondsey Borough Council 1928

Terms of use

Some restrictions.
Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales

Creator/production credits

Film prepared by the Bermondsey Borough Council under the direction of Mr H. W. Bush.


This video was made from material preserved by the BFI National Archive.
Films supplied courtesy of Southwark Local History Library & Archive.
One of about 29 films made by the Public Health Department (about 7 of which no longer exist) which were shown for many decades on a regular basis to the residents of the borough in various municipal settings.
This is reputed to be an extended version of a film with the title of 'Where there's life there's 'ope'. According to Elizabeth Lebas in her book 'Municipal Films 1920-1980', this was considered to be "Dr Connan's masterpiece".


Segment 1 Through the form of intertitles, a dog and cat with kittens are shown; 'the animal baby arrives in the world fully dressed', whereas the human baby is not (a nurse is shown holding a young baby). Then two modes of female dress are shown. From 1560, a woman wears Elizabethan clothing and walks in a garden, then from 1890 a woman wears Victorian dress. An intertitle explains the extreme discomfit experienced by these ladies as the dresses were so heavy. Two modern young women wearing tennis dresses are seen. A child is undressed by his mother and his clothes (comprising of several layers) are weighed. It is noted that children should not be burdened with excessive layers. An example of this is shown whereby a child's clothes are weighed amounting to 4 lbs! A brief animation then illustrates a small child carrying an ox. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:06:51:00 Length: 00:06:51:00
Segment 2 Using graphic illustrations the desirability of wearing dark colours in the winter and light colours in the summer is explained. The benefits of wearing wool next to the skin are emphasised then men shear sheep. A magnificant fleece is held up. A nurse then demonstrates the absorbancy of different fabrics relative to each other. Cotton is not very absorbant; a sweaty child with his shirt stuck to his back is shown as a caution against colds; followed by a very sick child in bed (the relationship between these shots is inferred). Next, people are advised not to use garters - a woman with horrible lumps on her legs around the constricted area illustrates this. Advice is given not to tie babies up in binders - to enable their limbs to move freely. The importance of non-inflammable clothing is illustrated; clothing set to dry in front of a fire catches light. Turning to shoes, emphasis is on having water proof shoes which are well fitting. An intertitle states that 'modern clothing should hang from the shoulders'. Finally, viewers are exhorted to be fashionable as modern garments are healthy, cheap and easy to make at home. Time start: 00:06:51:00 Time end: 00:14:50:00 Length: 00:06:59:00

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