Streamlined Cars Blaze at 120 mph in 1930s Future City

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

Here's a brief, animated glimpse of a future city where torpedo cars rocket along on elevated highways. It comes from a 1930s industrial film on automotive streamlining, hence the awed tone of wonder in the narrator's voice when he describes the completely streamlined car of the future - alas, "entirely impractical" on today's streets.


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Corpore Metal

Let's consider the context in which this film clip was made. The Interstate Highway System was not yet built. In fact many long distance roads in the United States were still essentially dirt and gravel. When people thought of commuting to work, they thought of trains or trolleys. John Steinbeck wrote about how the automobile (our personal locomotive.) completely changed our sexual mores.

Automobiles had only just become common ten or twenty years earlier and the infrastructure to support them still didn't exist. The suburbs, traffic jams and shopping malls didn't exist—in fact couldn't exist without cars. It can't be overstated how much automobiles changed the United States.

That's why I love these retro-futurism posts. Thanks I09!