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Archival Playground

Thanks to Elizabeth Peterson and Dave Baker for making Adventure Playgrounds (1965) available via the UO Channel.  This 16mm short film demonstrates the concept of the adventure playground, a place where children construct play spaces out of raw building materials (“no swings or seesaws, only things created by the hands of the children from waste materials on the site”). Like many educational films of the era,  Adventure Playground escalates the success of the program.  Suddenly, the children’s “building, burrowing and digging” morphs into a bicycle shop, a literary journal and a canteen where tea is served.  What I love most about the film is the fact that all the children look like they were garbed by Old Town Clothing.  The derelict bombsite becomes a playground for boys in belted shorts, sturdy corduroy jackets, summerweight cardigans, cotton poplin shirts and durable lace up oxfords. 

  

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