Ah, the 1950′s, a time when the US economy was rebounding from the stresses of World War II and federal money was freely flowing every which way to rebuild a struggling economy. The most notable “achievement” which evolved from this hasty federal spending was the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act (Dwight Eisenhower Interstate System) of 1956.

As this documentary illustrates well, the 1950′s was also a time for extreme naivety, clearly shown through the future independence personal vehicles will bring to our cities. The ideas range from absurd construction techniques (an atomic reactor which creates tunnels with extreme heat) to far more absurd “new dimensions for the American highway.”

If there is one statement where the show was actually spot on, I’d say it’s this one:

“The shape of our cities will change, as expanded highway transportation decentralizes our population centers into vast urban areas. With the advent of wider, faster expressways the commuter’s radius will be extended many miles”

You can say that again…

The official video description:

An excerpt from the 1958 “Disneyland” TV Show episode entitled “Magic Highway USA”. In this last part of the show, an exploration into possible future Transportation technologies is made. It’s hard to believe how little we’ve accomplished on this front since 1958, and how limited the scope for imagining such future technologies has become. Witness an artifact from a time where the future was greeted with optimism. Note the striking animation style here, achieved with fairly limited animation and spectacular layouts.

Today’s Metro Monday come to us from our loyal reader James Good.

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4 Responses to Metro Monday: Magic Highway USA

  1. Anonymous says:

    the 50s were terrifying

    this is terrifying

       0 likes

  2. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal says:

    This is Mild compared to some of the other real propaganda floating around on the internet from then…

       0 likes

  3. JM Palacios says:

    ROTFL
    That video was hilarious!

       0 likes

  4. Ryan Sharp says:

    Funny thing is, I’m pretty sure no other place I’ve ever been is more confusing, more autocentric, and more sprawling than Disney World’s hinterland.

       0 likes

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