|Transcription||Firestone Film Tells Story Of New Liberia
by Joseph E. Kuebler
WASHINGTON — A pictorial story of how the African jungles are giving way to orderly rows of rubber trees received its premiere here last night.
It's the story of the little known Negro republic of Liberia, which with the help and guidance of an Akron company, has become one of the great rubber producing areas in the world.
"Liberia—Africa's Only Republic" is a 55-minute motion picture in color. It was produced by Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. to portray to tremendous strides the "Dark Continent" is making.
APPROPRIATELY the film and a book, "Liberia" by Charles Morrow Wilson, are making their debut on the 100th anniversary of the little country.
Newspaperman and author, Wilson lived in Liberia for six months in 1945 and 1946. He supervised the taking of 27,000 feet of film depicting every stop taken from the clearing of the jungle to the shipping of rubber across the Atlantic.
The movie blends the picturesque tribesmen and their ancient customs with the modern world and its never-ending thirst for the milk-like liquid rubber.
It's a combination of a travelogue and a highly interesting story of how man rolled back nature to grow something the civilized world can't get along without today.
If the film lacks anything, it is perhaps a touch of humor. But more than 100 members of the Washington press corps gave the picture an enthusiastic reception at the premiere.
IN THE LITTLE over 20 years since it entered Liberia, Firestone has cleared and planted 80,000 acres out of 210,000 acres it has leased. It has 10 million trees. Last year 60,000 acres produced 49 million pounds.
Harvey S. Firestone, Jr., president of the Akron company, and the man who selected the plantation site in 1924, will be host at a second showing of the film tonight. Nearly 50 members of congress and several members of President Truman's cabinet will be among the guests. |