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Entries in great depression (3)

Thursday
Apr262007

Prelude to a Great Depression (The Chronicle Telegram, 1929)

In the March 8, 1929 issue of the Chronicle Telegram (Elyria, Ohio) Roger W. Babson made predictions of what the future held. Below is an excerpt under the heading of "Stocks and Bonds." Babson couldn't estimate how quickly everything was about to change and that it would be for the worse. It almost reminds me of an Onion article in its optimism for the future.

In finance there will also be marked changes as the years roll by. The present generation has been chiefly interested in trying to buy and sell stocks and bonds at advantageous prices. While this is an important aspect of finance, it is very far from being the only aspect and perhaps it cannot be called the most vital aspect. I am ready to make this forecast, that during the next twenty years the public will develop a totally new viewpoint toward finance. The word will not only take meaning for thousands of people of very moderate income, but those of wealth will get entirely fresh concepts. I foresee with especial assurance that the field of trusts will offer great opportunities. The American public is being taken into partnership in our great industries of large scale. I feel very positive that the number of people interested in stocks and bonds will increase far out of proportion to the mere increase in population.

See also:
Dancing on the Moon (1935)

Tuesday
Apr172007

Amphibian Monorail (Popular Science, 1934)

The July, 1934 issue of Popular Science features the sleek, modern look we often see in this era of the paleo-future; beautiful images filled with hope that the future could somehow hold promise.


Amphibian trains that can whiz above desert sands on an overhead rail, or plunge into the water to ford a river, are contemplated by the Soviet Government in an amazing plan to tap mineral wealth in Turkestan. They are to travel three projected monorail lines of unprecedented design, totaling 332 miles in length and crossing deserts and rivers.


A single overhead rail on concrete standards could be erected at low cost along these routes, engineers estimate. Air-porpelled cars with twin, cigar-shaped hulls could straddle the track and glide along it, at speeds reaching 180 miles an hour, according to calculations based on tests of models at Moscow. The cars would be equipeed with Diesel-electric drive, and each would carry forty passengers or an equivalent freight load. Where the longest of the projected routes crosses the river Amu-Daria, a mile and a quarter wide, it is proposed that amphibian cars be used. On arriving at the shore the cars would leave the overhead rail and cross the river as a boat. Soviet engineers are reported already surveying the route.

Tuesday
Mar132007

Dancing on the Moon (1935)

The 1935 Fleischer Brothers cartoon Dancing on the Moon gave audiences a peek at the wondrous age of space travel, still decades from becoming a reality. It is difficult to imagine the world of 1935, in the middle of the Great Depression, watching a cartoon like Dancing on the Moon with such optimism. I picture Cecilia, (Mia Farrow) in the Purple Rose of Cairo, escaping her unbearable life through the images on screen.

The experimental nature of using a combination of models and animation for Dancing on the Moon is the most strikingly original aspect of this cartoon classic. The space rockets of today are clearly different from those depicted in the short but the notion of space tourism, (an idea that's been around for quite some time), was clearly an exciting concept for the tired masses of 1935. Check out the short cartoon here.




See also:
All's Fair at the Fair (1938) 21 Feb 2007