Film: 8052

Social History | 1950 | Silent | B/W


This film records the growth and natural movement of one child from the age of three weeks to five years.

Intertitle: Three weeks.
Close up of a crying baby dressed in a knitted cardigan. The baby moves its arms and blinks. Slightly different angle reveals that the baby is being held close to someone's chest. It no longer cries.
Intertitle: Two months.
The baby lies on its back on a blanket and plays with some beads which it grips tightly.
Intertitle: Six months.
The baby boy is held beneath the back and head in a bath of water. He happily kicks his legs and splashes. Close up of his bottom and kicking legs when he lies on his front. Fully clothed he lies on his back on the floor. A grown up hand has a panda glove puppet which is given to the baby. The baby constantly moves his hands and legs, if a little jerkily. On his front the baby constantly makes eye contact with the people around him and the camera. He reaches for the panda, but cannot yet crawl towards it.
Intertitle: Eight months.
Dressed in shorts and T-shirt, the baby looks suddenly much more grown up. He sits up without support and plays with an egg cup toy. Outside in the long grass and wearing a romper suit he attempts crawling, and is fairly mobile, although his movements are not very fluent. He sits up and plays with a ball. He pulls at the grass around him but falls over backwards.
Intertitle: Eleven months.
The baby's crawling now is quite quick, and he is able to hold a plastic hoopla ring and crawl at the same time. While crawling he also attempts to use his feet rather that his knees. He crawls towards and away from the camera.
Intertitle: One year.
The toddler is now able to stand and walk around with the assistance of hanging onto walls and window ledges. He crawls over a big step in a doorway.
Intertitle: Thirteen months.
He can now crawl mostly using his feet rather than his knees. He pushes a tennis racquet around the garden. He strokes and pats a small white dog (a Westie cross?) which is about the same size as him. His mother plays with a pull along toy which he is able to chase and grab hold of. On a sandy beach a woman and an older girl of about eight or nine years, both wearing swimming costumes, play with the toddler. They build a sand castle and he moves sand around. He crawls round and round the sandy beach and over a pipe.
Intertitle: Fourteen months.
The toddler crawls towards a folding garden chair. He uses it to stand up and picks up a bunch of keys from its seat before sitting back on the floor with a bump. Mother pushes a pushchair or small pram across the grass and baby helps, walking along holding onto the back. He looks at his feet a lot and stumbles once or twice. He pushes the buggy by himself, holding onto a low bar at the back. Inside he has a small push along trolley on castors which he uses to walk up and down the corridor.
Intertitle: Fifteen months.
The baby is just able to stand up without holding onto anything, but by pushing off the floor. He reaches towards a feather which his mother holds out to him. He does not balance terribly well and falls backwards into a sitting position. When he is encouraged to take some steps he resorts to all fours. He stands in the bath holding onto the edge of the tub. He crouches and splashes water with his other hand. He sits down and plays with his feet and the water. He wets his face with his hands.
Intertitle: Sixteen months.
Baby can now crawl very fast and he makes a few faltering steps. He toddles around the grass and is very mobile. He is able to pick things up off the floor with out falling over. The knees of his dungarees are muddy. Dressed in trousers and a little coat he almost runs at times, as his walking becomes much more confident.
Intertitle: Eighteen months.
The toddler stands up at a sink with his big sister as she washes clothes by hand. She puts small items on the draining board and he puts them back into the water. She shows him how to scrub the wooden draining board with a brush. He sits on the floor and hammers wooden blocks through a frame. An adult sits in the background. He stands up and gives the frame to the adult who turns it up the other way so that the blocks can be hammered back through again. He sits in a high chair and plays with pound and ounce weights from the kitchen scales on the tray in front of him. He stands in a cot wearing pyjamas and jumps up and down. Laughing he rolls around in it. He dangles his feet out of the bars. Baby sits up in a high chair and drinks from a glass. He feeds himself with a metal spoon from a plate. Back at the beach he plays with a bucket of water. He walks about the sand and tips water into holes. On grass he plays water games and treads with bare feet on the wet grass.
Intertitle: Look at him again at sixteen months.
The toddler makes faltering first steps, stumbling quite often. Then as an older child his movements are much more confident and assured. He plays in the garden with a bucket of water. He picks up pebbles and puts them in his bucket.
Intertitle: Two years.
Now very much grown up into a young child the boy plays with wooden building blocks and toy animals.
Intertitle: The End.

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