Prelinger Archives. Unconditional Surrender (1956)

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  • This Prelinger Archives film concerns the development of the Salk polio vaccine and its mass production and distribution as the American public went on the offensive against the disease. Beginning in MacLean, Virginia, the film depicts Randy Kerr, the young boy who received the first inoculation. After a retrospective outline of polio's tragic impact in which numerous children are shown in wheelchairs and hospital rooms, the film moves on to show the testing and experiments which led to the vaccine. Scenes of laboratory tests on animals, including monkeys, rats, and guinea pigs, may disturb modern viewers who are sensitive to animal rights, although the film also glosses over any real trauma that test animals might have endured.


  • Encoded with permission for digital streaming by Films Media Group on August 21, 2010.
  • Films on Demand is distributed by Films Media Group for Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Cambridge Educational, Meridian Education, and Shopware.
  • Mode of access: Internet.
  • System requirements: FOD playback platform.


  • Unconditional Surrender (1956) (14:00)
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