Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Road Trip Into The Past

James Lileks was discussing this movie short the other day on his blog, The Bleat, and one of the commentators had a link to the original film.

Interesting little blurb. I love the 1930's vision of the future.

This short is from 1937; 75 years ago. The depths of the Great Depression. And yet; there was still a vision of the future that included progress.

Something we sometimes lack today.

I loved the old shots of laying concrete roads. Things have changed a little in the last few years. But they still use the angled iron forms, and the equipment still rides on the forms. How much things change, and how much they remain the same.

The part where they talk about the bridges in New York City is especially humorous, given the situation up there today, with the flooded subway tunnels and the jammed traffic. But then, years in the future to them was 35 years down the road- 1972.

40 years ago for us.

This being a Chevrolet production, they of course talk about how much safer the cars are 'today', back when hydraulic brakes were on 50% of the cars made, the automatic transmission was two years in the future and seat belts were still only in race cars. Average top speed in 1937? About 60, if you could find a road to press a car hard on. There were cars that would go faster, but they were the super cars; Cadillac, Packard, Duesenberg.

Most folks plodded along at 35 MPH, and dreamed of 55.

And  newfangled super-highway.

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