Terrific compilation of train and railroad films from the 1940s – 1950s that address the economic effects of railroads. Beef, cotton, tobacco, and other industries, are analyzed in the context of the early American railroad economy, of which they were largely dependent upon. Topics Include:Early American Railways, Railroad Economics, Railroad Industry, Freight Trains, Union Pacific Railroad
Length: 17 Minutes
New Horizons is a magnificent vintage video that demonstrates how railroads in the 1940s were revolutionizing the American South. Emphasizing how the railroads lead the way in modernization, the film explores all the ways in which the South was experiencing an economic, industrial, and agricultural renaissance while still being the South whose roots are embedded deep in the honored tradition of the old. Interestingly, the problem of race and segregation is touched upon in a most progressive fashion for the time: the film mentions how workers both white and black labored together in the spirit of diversity and modernization of Southern culture. Overall, New Horizons is a fascinating cultural experience.
At This Moment
Length: 14 Minutes
This typical industry film discusses the railroads importance to the 1950s American economy and way of life. A television producer is making a documentary on the railroads and decides to conduct a little field research by going to Scotties diner, where all the railmen go to eat. Luckily for him, theyve heard about the aforementioned documentary and are immersed in a discussion about what it should contain. Railroad facts and figures fly fast and furious, especially when Scottie, a veritable encyclopedia of knowledge about the railroads, joins in. The producer baits the men with a few well-chosen comments to his cute waitress. Soon, he, and we, have collected enough information for three documentaries on the importance of the railroads.
Beef Rings The Bell
Length: 28 Minutes
Beef Rings the Bell encourages Americans to eat meat and love it! A double promotional film produced by the Union Pacific Railroad Company, this video seeks to let Americans know that the meat they enjoy is not possible without rail transport. To do so, the Union Pacific movie takes viewers on a journey through beef cattle production in 1960s America. We see beautiful color shots of cattle ranches complete with cowboys, raising beef cattle, cows being herded, branded, and then moved to a cattle auction. This is terrific footage of olden day stockyards that no longer exist in America. Then its off to the inside of a slaughterhouse, courtesy of Union Pacific, which transports the cattle. The actual cattle slaughter process is not shown (though the chilly slaughterhouse conditions are), but there are some somewhat graphic scenes of butchers slicing and trimming the carcasses. Throughout, the narrator tries to build up our appetites through mouth-watering imagery, the thought of this beef, with dripping gravy on fluffy mashed potatoes! After the meat has been processed, it is again loaded onto Union Pacific cars to be sent to grocery stores throughout the country. The end of the film shows two classic 1960s barbecues, complete with a dorky dad in a chefs hat and apron that reads Genius at Work. We watch as the backyard feast is cooked and consumed.
Big Train Rolling
Length: 24 Minutes
This industry film discusses how the U.S. railroad companies keep the economy growing at a constant rate by providing transportation and employment to its citizens and businesses. The storyline is light and somewhat goofy, as it follows two kids, Carol and Jimmy, traveling alone. Along the way, we get to see what it was like to ride the rails in 1950s America. Shots include the inside of different trains, including the passenger train the kids are riding on, the American countryside, and town and city landscapes.
Length: 19 Minutes
This Association of American Railroads film carries the typical industry message that trains were integral to the American economy and way of life, which were the best in the world. There is much narration detailing the forward-thinking mentality of the railroads, including facts about the modernization of passenger trains. There is also a short discussion of the history of train travel, some information on the kinds of goods freight trains carry, and more. The interesting part of this film is all the great shots of 1950s era trains, including the GM Aerotrain, a military train carrying Patton tanks, B&O E units, PRR Baldwin Sharknoses, and NYC E-8s in lightning stripe livery. This film contain running views of these and many other freight and passenger trains.