The Magic of Monsanto: Your 1950s Guide to Better Gardening

A promotional film illustrates how you, too, can achieve the American dream by using chemicals in your home.

 

In Garden Wise, a promotional short from the controversial chemical company Monsanto, an all-American couple experiences the ups and downs of trying to plant their own garden after moving to a new house. They soon discover that their clay-based soil, combined with the unpredictable weather, makes it impossible for their once “tender city hands” to grow anything. That’s when they turn to their elderly neighbors (the keepers of a beautiful garden themselves), who recommend the “chemical soil conditioner,” Krilium. However problematic, the film’s narrative appeals to the fantasy of owning a slice of the outdoors, a dream shared by many Americans in the 1950s.

For more films from the Prelinger Archive, visit http://www.archive.org/details/prelinger.

Alessandra Ram is a former writer and producer for The Atlantic Video Channel. Her work has also appeared in Foreign Policy.

Our Incredible, Microscopic World

Highlights from Nikon's Small World in Motion competition, featuring zebrafish embryos, killer T cells attacking cancer, and much more

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."

Video

What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

More in Video

Just In