Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Car driving safety cartoons

In the '50s I was a kid; I got to watch cartoons Saturday
morning on the Hotpoint (!  Did it match the range &
refrigerator?)  I got up so early I watched static, the Indian
chief test pattern, Bosco Mouse (the worst of the lot) - and
car driving safety cartoons.

The cartoons were primitively animated, the cars little
rectangles, the road always straight.  It was only 2 color.
Bland music would accompany the setup, menacing music as
danger neared, loud discordant music as 2 cars collided, an X
where they hit.  Then they would start the cartoon again, show
everybody doing the right thing, triumphant music would play.
The music sounded like the guy who composed 'Dragnet's wrote
it.  Each one lasted a few minutes.

I remember the 'slow car climbing the mountain' cartoon: 5
cars backed up behind him, the last guy got impatient, tried
to pass 5 cars, collided with an oncoming car.  In the
solution the slow guy pulled over and let everyone pass.  I
have an underpowered car and used to drive in mountains; I
always pulled over when I slowed somebody down.  One guy was
too impatient and crushed my left rear lights passing me - so
I guess I don't always get rewarded - but I remember the
cartoon when I climb a mountain.

Those car safety cartoons didn’t play in the NY market in the '50s, so I really can’t visualize them.
When I got up at the crack of dawn on weekends, I got to watch The Modern Farmer–which is exactly what a kid in Brooklyn, NY wants to watch. (NOT!)

However, after The Modern Farmer, they usually ran an episode or two of Victory at Sea, which was a US Navy series from WW II. That, at least, was interesting, but–truth be told–in the '50s, people would watch just about anything on the boob tube, simply because the medium was new and unique.

When I was a kid Victory at Sea was every Sunday at 1:00 PM. Church was over by 12:30 but of course my parents stayed to socialize. I would say good bye and run across a 20 acre field. I switched the 1956 RCA on hoping the tubes would warm up in time.

I can’t recall when it was on but I did watch it. Seems to me on Sunday after church it was Raja of the Jungle or however it was spelled. Remember those two guys who would be exploring the jungle somewhere?

I remember the test pattern, I think a tone went along with it, kids today probably have never seen the colored bars, a friend has a rotary phone, teenagers don’t know how to work it, she has an old oak fridge with the compartment on top for an ice block. As a kid as a joke my grandfather put a pull chain in the outhouse at the cabins, story is I was in tears because I could not make it work!

Hee hee rotary phones. Actually wasn’t that long ago in some areas. We had to wait until Ma Bell put the electronic switching systems in before you could get the touch tone ones. Before they changed the switching we used to have the electronic phones that would convert the push button to the rotary signal for a while. Hilarious. At work in Minneapolis we had the rotary phones and Bell refused to change their switching equipment to electronic. So we just spent a couple hundred thousand and put in our own switching equipment and phones and threw Bell out. Very satisfying. When they packed up our solenoid switching equipment, they said it was bound for South America. Guess we got a little off topic.

Sure wee get off topic, why not, we had a party line at the cabins, you had to wait until another party got off to make a call, but it was considered courteous not to listen to the conversation while one waited, to keep it car related remember one post here, guy bought an old car but had trouble starting it, did not know you had to pump the gas pedal once to set the choke!

You guys had rotary phones? Our first phone had a crank!

Anyone remember this cartoon?


“it was Raja of the Jungle or however it was spelled.”

It was Ramar of The Jungle (starring Jon Hall), and I watched that one too!
In the afternoon, I can recall watching Sky King, who sometimes drove a DeSoto station wagon…

I watched Ramar but my favorite was “Sheena…Queen of the Jungle.” I was also a big of “The Three Stooges and The Little Rascals and Our Gang.”

Sheena…Queen of the Jungle

I had forgotten about that one, which starred–IIRC-the beautiful Irish McCalla (sp?).
I wonder which country her parents hailed from.


If Sheena had driven a car, it surely would have had leopard skin seat covers!

B.L.E.: Motor Mania was the first cartoon I thought of. Mr. Walker and Mr. Wheeler (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde).

Yeah that was it. Sky King was on Saturday morning along with 26 Men, Texas Rangers, Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers, etc. Yeah I liked those Desoto station wagons but I always wondered how far it was to the dealer for service. Seemed like he was way out in the middle of no where.

Sky King!!! I had a big time crush on Penny. {sigh}

She was too old for me but Annette in the Mickey Mouse Club was another story. I go back to the club every year but unfortunately time marches on and I’m married.

Both of them were too old for me at the time. I’m married, too, and have been for almost 33 years. Smartest thing I ever did.

I was in my late 20s before my home town got rotary phones. Before that you would pick up the phone and the operator would say number please. Sometimes after you gave the number the operator would tell you," Don’t bother calling them , they wen berry picking with so snd so and won’t be back for hours,"

Yeah my mom was a telephone operator in her youth.