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About the Films

The films on this website have been culled from local filmmaker Bill Beal's vast collection of stock footage. From 1952 until his retirement in 1992, Beal created over 160 films for clients such as PPG Industries, Alcoa, and Kennywood Park. The filmmaker also created stock footage for use in future productions. All of the footage on this website is without sound, and often Beal's notes didn't include information regarding specific dates or locations. However, as fragmentary as they may be, the films offer a unique glimpse into Pittsburgh's recent past, a period during which the city transformed itself through a spurt of construction and redevelopment projects.

About Bill Beal

A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Beal began his career as a radio actor for KDKA radio. During World War II, he worked for a film production company making training films for the use of carbide tools. In 1952, Beal started his own production company, William G. Beal Inc., to make films for local businesses and community organizations. Along with the content featured on this site, Beal's collection of stock footage also includes scenes documenting the opening of Heinz Hall, a performance at the Civic Arena, and André Previn conducting the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Beal donated his archives to the Senator John Heinz History Museum in 1997.


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