WGBH Openvault

Discovery; Webs And Their Weavers

Approximate date: 1957

License Clip

More material is available from this program at the WGBH Archive. If you are a researcher interested in accessing the collection at WGBH, please email archive_requests@wgbh.org.

Undigitized item: Request Digitization

Untranscribed item: Request Transcription

Webs And Their Weavers
Program Number


Series Description

"Discovery," produced by WGBH-TV, aims to make learning about the world in which we live an adventure for young people -- an adventure that opens the doors to ? of scientific knowledge. Living animals and plants become illustrations for what the producers of "Discovery " call "how learnings" -- ? thing causes something else, how change in one situation is related to ? animals are adapted to live in their specific environments, and how plants and man are related to one another. Aiming not only to stimulate intelligent curiosity about the world around us, but hoping also to encourage creative ? on the part of young viewers, emphasis is placed on what the child can do. Guests on the programs include scientific experts as well as boys and girls with science hobbies. The presentations are atraightforward and the demonstrations are interesting and unusual enough to command the attention of upper elementary school students, junior high and even high school biology classes. The producer, writer and narrator of the "Discovery" series is a young woman from North Carolina: Mary Lela Grimes. All of her life she has had nature hobbies such as collecting butterflies, keeping wild pets, naming plants, studying and watching birds. After her graduation as a Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina, she became director of the Durham Children's Museum and wrote a daily column on nature for the Durham Herald Sun. When she and her husband moved to Boston, she joined the staff of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, working on the elementary science teaching program. She also did newspaper, radio and TV for the society and helped organize and direct the Society's Wildwood Nature Camp (?) at Camp Barre, North Carolina. In 1954, Mrs. Grimes was awarded a fellowship to study communications by the National Wildlife Federation. She spent a year at Boston University (where she received her M.S.) and then began working ? in planning science programs for children. It was here that the idea of "Discovery" was born.

Series release date: 1956

Program Description

Series description: "Discovery," produced by WGBH-TV, aims to make learning about the world in which we live an adventure for young people. Directed by Robert Larsen.

Program description: Many people fear all spiders to such an extent that they never explored this interesting world of living things. Only a few spiders are harmful to human beings, and the other thousands of kinds are often shunned because of these.

This Discovery will give you a new insight into the spider, a creature with eight eyes, glands to produce several kinds of silk, and instinctual knowledge to build snares so complicated and beautiful that man has to admire their design and efficiency. On beautiful film, taken by Charles Walcott, you'll see Charlotte, (Aranea Cavatica), the barn spider that E.B. White wrote about in Charlotte's Web spin her web and catch prey.

Other film sequences will show how a funnel-web spider uses her sheet web, and how a crab spider, camouflaged like a flower, needs no web at all but awaits his victim on a plant.

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Grimes, Mary Lela (Series Producer)
Chicago: “Discovery; Webs And Their Weavers,” WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 17, 2018, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_8887971693A64D588283E955D993C545.
MLA: “Discovery; Webs And Their Weavers.” WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 17, 2018. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_8887971693A64D588283E955D993C545>.
APA: Discovery; Webs And Their Weavers. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_8887971693A64D588283E955D993C545
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.