The American Automobile Timeline 1899-1970

The American Automobile 1899-1970
Multimedial Historical Collection

Page 13




Telephoto is born, television is on the rise... and cold-war too: the Soviets make their A-Bomb and the Americans begin to worry about it.

Automobiles begin to change their body-styles, for the first time since 1942. The "will be" fifties lines, begins to appear.

Cadillac and Oldsmobile introduce the industry's first high-compression V8 engines.

The Oldsmobile "Rocket" V-8 engine goes into production and the "Rocket-Era" begins.

Buick introduces the first torque converter-type automatic transmission, Dynaflow, offered in U.S. passenger cars.

This year the first mass-produced car to be manufactured in Australia, the Holden, is introduced by GM to specifically meet Australia's motoring needs. The car has more road clearance and is smaller and lighter than standard American cars.

GM resumes management control of Adam Opel AG on November 1, 1948.

General Motors Interamerica Corporation completes construction of new plant in Caracas. This is the first automotive plant in Venezuela.

GM and the UAW agree to a new U.S. contract with several innovations: elimination of annual economic negotiations with the union and introduction of the idea of longer-term contracts;
introduction of a new wage formula which provides for cost of living changes (COLA); an annual improvement factor (AIF) based on increased efficiency resulting from advancing technology.

The tail fins debut on Cadillacs, inspired by the new P-38 jet fighter.

"Dynaflow" automatic transmission is pioneered by Buick.

The 1948 Buicks carry on the same bodystyle as in the two previous years, but, there's one dead give-away in identification.

Buick also builds 12 prototype Holdens in 1948. The big selling Australian-made Holdens are powered by a six cylinder engine and look very much like a Morris Minor, with that strong pre-'48 styling theme.

Ford introduces its popular Pick-Up truck.

Hudson goes off to a good start by introducing an all-new Super Six in 1948, but it might be said that the car is too advanced for the marketplace. With unit body construction that Hudson sales brochures refer to as "Monobilt", the landmark Hudson Super Six sets the stage for today's automobiles, most of which use "unibody" designs.

Preston Tucker is charged with "fast-sell" tactics. While he is exonerated, it proves the end of his automobile.




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Available on DVD

Run time: 00:10:18 Audio/Visual: sound, B&W Quality # # # # #

Building a Highway (1948)
Producer: Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, Inc.

Demonstrates major steps in the construction of a two-lane highway. Illustrates such processes as clearing, cutting, scraping, and leveling the roadbed; assembling materials; mixing and dumping the concrete; and smoothing and finishing the surface. Pictures the completed highway open to traffic. Emphasizes the necessary skills involved in providing well-built safe highways for automotive traffic.
Lots of footage of big machines dumping concrete and ripping down trees for a better tomorrow.
Some good images of bulldozers tearing up land and overviews of highways.
Available on DVD

Run Time: 00:00:48 Audio/Visual: silent, C Quality: # # # 

Producer: Romano-Archives

A 1948 Chrysler Town&Country. Actual footage.
Available on DVD

Run Time: 00:00:15 Audio/Visual: silent, C Quality: # #

Producer: unknown

A rare sequence of the 3-wheeled concept car Davis Divan.
Available on CD

Audio/Visual: color Quality: # # # # #
Filetype: Quicktime VR movie

Producer: Romano-Archives

Virtual Reality image of the exterior of a 1948 Ford pick-up truck.
Available on CD

Audio/Visual: color Quality: # # # # #
Filetype: Quicktime VR movie

Producer: Romano-Archives

Virtual Reality image of the interior of a 1948 Ford pick-up truck.
Available on DVD

Run Time: 00:00:20 Audio/Visual: sound, B&W Quality: # #

Producer: Ford Motor Company

The first tv ad of the 1948 Ford new line of trucks.

Available on DVD

Run Time: 01:12:04 Audio/Visual: Sound, B&W Quality: # # #

Million Dollar Weekend (1948)
Director: Gene Raymond
Production Company: Masque Productions

A guy runs away with a million bucks (a LOT more money back in 1948 than now)... Some nice footage showing beautiful old cars and passenger planes.

Available on DVD

Run Time: 00:03:28 Audio/Visual: sound, B&W Quality: # # # # #

Oldsmobile Presents: Futuramic Design (1948)
Sponsor: Oldsmobile Division, General Motors Corporation
Producer: Handy (Jam) Organization

Theater advertisements for the first all-new automobile to be placed on the market after World War II, the Oldsmobile Futuramic.
Ad for the 1948 “Futuramic” Oldsmobile that stress its “modern, postwar design.” The car features the “hydromatic drive,” i.e., an automatic transmission. The emphasis on the car’s “postwar design” shows Americans' desire to put the Depression and World War II behind them. The film has shots of new homes—the veterans had a little money in their pockets and were buying newly built homes in the suburbs, courtesy of the G.I. Bill. The “hydromatic” drive must have seemed magical—the film even has a cameraman perch on the back of a convertible filming a woman driving, so we can see that she keeps both hands on the wheel. America was the Futuramic place to be.
Click HERE to watch this video on

Available on DVD

Run Time: 00:11:00 Audio/Visual: sound, C Quality: # #

Going Places (1948)
Production Company: Sutherland (John) Productions, Inc.

Very smooth and entertaining look at the urban sprawl problem. And, in an interesting comparison to 'Give Yourself The Green Light', this film advocates more public transit as being the more feasible option (which is so true). Quite an entertaining beginning, with how traffic all got started, and where we are today. The film suggests more busses, cable cars and subways as viable options of moving people around. This film is FILLED with great camera angles (watch how a cable car turns and misses the camera by THIS much).

Available on DVD

Run Time: 00:09:55 Audio/Visual: sound, B&W Quality: # # # # #

When You Are a Pedestrian (1948)
Sponsor: N/A
Producer: Progressive Pictures

Pedestrians and motorists share the responsibility for accident prevention. Filmed on the streets and sidewalks of Oakland, California, and on a tabletop with model cars and dolls representing pedestrians.

Available on DVD

Run time: 00:09:10 Audio/Visual: sound, B&W Quality # # # # #

Let's Go to the Movies (1948)
Production Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc

An overall picture of the background, development and technical advances made by the motion picture industry through the years. Includes Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Al Jolson, John Barrymore and others. Many automobile related sequences.

Available on DVD

Run time: 00:19:40 Audio/Visual: sound, B&W Quality # # # #

Unfinished Business (1948)
Producer: Handy (Jam) Organization

Postwar Issues relaterd film . Many rrare automobile shots.
Available on DVD

Run time: 00:00:27 Audio/Visual: sound, B&W Quality # # 

Producer: Kaiser-Jeep

Excerpt from a Jeep promotional movie.
Available on DVD


Run time: 00:00:38 Audio/Visual: sound, B&W Quality # # 

Producer: Kaiser-Jeep

Excerpt from a Jeep promotional movie.



The American Automobile Timeline 1899-1970 - Multimedial Historical Collection (Over 1200 files)

We do provide duplicates of the multimedial files of the Collection on a customized DVD-ROM. (1)

Almost all the digital copies of the films are good quality Hi-Res editable videos.
Hundreds of hours of footage from this Collection are available in different format, size and definition. We can suggest you the right one for the use you have in mind.
PRIVATE USE: home TV vision (DVD-Divx player), PC, iPod.
WE LICENSE FOOTAGE from our Collections for: multimedial creations on CD or DVD, TV commercials, film or TV programs, documentary Productions, web sites, marketing/ad campaigns, video email, electronic kiosks, trade shows, business seminars, cultural events, museums, expositions... and more.
Hi-Res videos from our Collections are available on DVD, CD or directly in your inbox. Clips and movies can also be downloaded from our servers using a PW or uploaded by us to your FTP.

(1) It is possible to obtain digital duplicates of the multimedial files (movies, videos, audio documents, and Virtual Reality files) from Romano-Archives for research, teaching, general interest user information, and private study purposes.

The files are available on a customized DVD-ROM.

Billing is done when the order is fulfilled. Payment instructions will follow. Normal turn around time for requests is 3 weeks. Rush (2-3 business days) is available for an additional fee of 40 Euros.
Romano-Archives will provide up to 2,000 (or about 10% of this Collection) multimedial files to a single requesting party.

If you have any questions about the fees or need clarification of the service of providing digital multimedial files, please contact Vincent Romano.

The multimedial files of the Collections are compatible with the free version of the most common players: Quicktime Player, Real Player, Windows Media Player.
Mac users can easily view MPEG 1, MPEG 2, MPEG 4, and Divx movies in MacOSX with the free version of this program: VLC Media Player.

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