This documentary THEN AND NOW was a Warner Brothers and Vitaphone production. It was probably made between the years of 1926-1931 because Vitaphone was a sound system used during that period. The commentator was Knox Manning, an American film actor. This documentary is about the changing methods of transportation through history.
The film begins showing a person walking to get from one place to another (0.21-.34). The commentator discusses how humans search for the shortest and fastest way to get around. The Pony Express, started by the Leavenworth & Pike’s Peak Express co. in 1859 (0.35-0.45), is shown. During this period, settlers were moving west, using the Conestoga or covered wagon or riding horses (0.46-0.57). Prairie Schooners were called that because they looked like sailing ships. The Overland Stage on the Overland Trail was most heavily used by paying customers in the 1860’s and was owned by Ben Holladay (1.08-1.11). Back east, horses were everywhere. More influential people used the Coach-and-four (1.12-1.23) as well as a Cabbie/Cabby (1.24-1.27). A cabbie was first used in New York in the early 1900’s by the Electric Vehicle Company. The 1890’s produced the Junk Wagon (1.28-1.32). These days also produced the Organ Grinder and his monkeys (1.33-1.41). The Horse Drawn Fire Engine was seen in the cities starting the mid 1800’s ((1.42-1.48). The Sight Seeing Bus of the early 1900’s, started by the Gray Lines (1.49-1.59). In winter, people took leisurely Sleigh rides (2.00-2.14). From the 1820’s to 1880’s horse drawn Streetcars or Horsecars were used (2.15-2.30). Early Limousines or Limoges would drop wealthy patrons off on Broadway in New York (2.31-2.43). For those who were not wealthy, they used the Open-air Streetcar (2.44-2.53). City streets were becoming very crowded. To avoid cluttering the streets, Elevated Streetcars, or El Rails, were developed using electricity instead of horses (2.54-3.14). From running above the ground, humans began moving below. The Manhattan/New York subway was opened in 1904 (3.15-3.28). In the 1830’s, steam began to be used. The Steam car was developed and tested by the B&O railroad in 1828 (3.29-3.37). Early train locomotives were developed (3.38-3.44). Freight trains were developed (4.03-4.19). As the railroad progressed, new, intricate and powerful mechanisms were developed (4.20-4.31). Scenes are shown of the power of the engines puffing their steam and black smoke over bridges and through tunnels (4.32-4.55). The Streamliner was developed to have less air resistance (4.56-5.20).The horse was disappearing and automobiles were taking their place. The gasoline engine was developed for the Horseless carriage. Often, cranks were used to start these Gasoline Buggies (5.22-5.38). Runabouts were developed (5.39-5.45), Automobiles tires went from metal rings, to solid rubber, to inflatable tires. With inflatable tires, also came flat tires (5.57-6.01). On a Sunday afternoon in the city, there could be a maze of traffic with the air full of smog (6.48-7.02), but three decades later, the street is full of cars every day, not just Sundays (7.03-7.20).Not only the streets were getting crowded, so were the skies. In 1903, Wilbur & Orville Wright flew the first “kite with a motor”. The plane had two stacked wings and it was named the Wright Flyer or Flyer I (7.20-7.52). On September 13, 1939, the first practical air machine, running by lift and thrust supplied by rotors, was developed. The developer was Igor Sikorsky and the helicopter was the VS300 (7.53-8.00). The next to be developed was the Monoplane, a fixed wing design with one main wing. It was the plane of choice for Amelia Earhart who flew one in 1928, and Wiley Post who flew one in 1933 (8.01-8.14). Prior to World War II, the tri-motored Mail Plane was used. The first Airmail contract was signed in 1911 (8.15-8.25). The first twinjet ever flown was in 1941 (8.26-8.36). The Clipper ship or Sea Plane was developed to carry troops for World War II. It could travel along the ocean, carrying passengers in a convenient mode of transportation (8.37-9.04). Scenes of a plane flying over a bridge and the land (9.05-9.26). The question must be asked, What next will man discover? (9.28-9.34)
This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com