Coronet Instructional Films

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Capitalism, a 1948 Coronet film, explained the American economy through the story of a corner grocer and kids buying supplies for a wienie roast.

Coronet Instructional Films, based in Glenview, Illinois, produced a variety of educational "social guidance" films in the period following World War II, dealing with topics such as personal hygiene, appropriate dating behavior for teenagers, and American economic and social values.

"Distributed to schools nationwide, the films aimed to tame postwar youth with themes of acceptable social values and behavior that in later years were seen as the epitome of prudish and well-mannered conformity," notes Washington Post reporter Adam Bernstein.[1]


Coronet Instructional Films was started by David Smart, the founder of Esquire magazine. According to Ken Smith, the author of a book about classroom films, Coronet's films evolved from World War II training films and constituted a "postwar morality offensive by educators, psychologists and the clergy ... a campaign to train kids to be kids again (and, not incidentally, to train girls to behave like the girls they were supposed to be). This campaign included community activities, how-to manuals, sex and family life education, and the aforementioned films."[2]


  1. Adam Bernstein, "Educational-Film Director Ted Peshak Dies," Washington Post, October 15, 2005, p. B4.
  2. "Social Guidance Classics,"

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