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Video of L.A. streets and highways in the '50s

It’s interesting to see Freeways that were not congested, along with a nice assortment of cars from the '40s & '50s. If you are very observant, you will even see a couple of Model A Fords!


Yep when guys wore ties and girls wore dresses. And maybe before all the high rise office buildings where everyone didn’t have to drive downtown to go to work.

Seeing that Ford plant, did I ever tell you about how I got screwed out of the Ford plant tour 60 years ago? Oh never mind, time to move on. (They even made their own glass back then though and kids came back with samples of raw glass and all I saw was hogs being butchered.)

I was born in LA in 1969. As a youngster I remember looking outside and being able to tell if the smog was bad that day based on whether I could see the San Gabriel Mountains from the back yard. By the time I moved away 20 years later the air was noticeably better, even with more population.

Downtown LA was never destined to be a major destination like downtown in other cities. LA is not one sprawling city, but 50 smaller cities all across the street from each other.

I grew up in LA, spent 25+ years in the Seattle area, and now live in a small town in Oregon. I sometimes long for a city with freeways and streets designed to effectively move cars.

Some of the buildings seen in the video still exist

Pretty interesting, considering the trend usually is “out with the old, in with the new”

I wish the traffic today was as uncongested as in 1954 :frowning_face:

Funny how the trash was visible on the street, in the video

So, not everything was perfect in 1954

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…contrary to the folks who insist that “everything was better” in The Good Old Days.

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Didn’t I see the Superman building go by? The tall building, art deco sort of design, where Clark Kent worked, Superman flew out of, the home of the Daily Planet? I think that building in reality was (is it still there?) the LA City Hall building.

I thought he was in New York?

Yeah that’s it. Scroll down to the film credits.

Although Metropolis, Illinois claimed to be the home of Superman. Good for business. You can drive to it.

Not too familiar with the Daily Planet building, but LA City Hall was in the video

Here’s something interesting . . . since downtown LA was for decades a total dump, many of the old buildings were never torn down or renovated. So the fact that the old facades remain makes them ideal for filming movies which supposedly take place in New York City

It seemed like Superman was in NY, but they always called the town Metropolis. But like you point out above, the Daily Planet building used for the exteriors is in LA. On most of the episodes if you look carefully you can usually see palm trees. The 1950’s Superman tv series was filmed in LA.

I grew up in the 50s and things were not “better.” Everyone wearing their “assigned” clothes–ties and dresses–meant folks largely '“obeyed” their place, with little room for individuality. (I own neither tie nor jacket now).

It was NOT a better time, if you were female, black, gay or or poor–though we seem to be fast heading for a time Worse than the 1950s. Even pollution is making a comeback. Long live smog.

Me, I like seat belts, airbags, modern medicine. No amount of money (2017 or 1954 rates) would convince me to get into a time machine set for the 50s!

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