Spinning Levers (1936) - How A Transmission Works
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The transmission in the modern motorcar -- the mechanism that makes it possible to have three forward speeds and a reverse -- is a series of levers, levers that spin.
Producer: Handy (Jam) Organization
Sponsor: Chevrolet Division, General Motors Corporation
By Animats 2019-05-24
The editing, pacing, and style were better.
Educational videos today tend to go to one of two extremes. Either they're a talking head with PowerPoint, like most of the "massively online" courses. Or they have way too many jump cuts, like theatrical movies which want your attention, not your understanding.
There's also an annoying tendency to have distracting music and irrelevant graphics during narration.
Here's an old Jam Handy film, "Spinning Levers", on how a transmission works. There's a whole series of these Chevrolet films on the Internet Archive, covering major vehicle systems. Things to note:
- There's a narrator and a demonstrator. We never see the narrator, and the demonstrator never talks. So the viewer can focus.
- The demo models of parts are really good. They start with a simple version and add features until a full transmission has been built up.
- There's some simple animation. Animation is used to point out how power flows through the gears. This is much clearer than someone using a pointer.
- The editing and narration are very well synchronized.
- There's an entertaining part at the beginning and end, so you don't feel like they're beating you over the head with the boring stuff.
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