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Where we're always on the road, and it's always 1962! ™

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Week of April 14, 1962

This Month In 1962

Seattle Monorail above downtown Seattle, Washington
Seattle Monorail above downtown Seattle, Washington. (Public domain photo from Seattle Municipal Archives Photograph Collection.)

Happy Birthday, Seattle Monorail! Yes, that icon of futuristic travel from 1962 turns 52 this year, and it’s still running. It was originally constructed for the Seattle World’s Fair of 1962. Approximately two million passengers each year pay to be transported less than a mile in distance but over 50 years in time in a “back to the future” experience. Monorails like this were once thought to be the future of big city transportation, but few were ever constructed. There are only seven in the United States, and two of those are at Disneyworld and Disneyland. Two others are at airports. The Las Vegas Monorail System is one of the newest and longest. It covers 3.9 miles and connects many of the casinos on the strip. Outside the United States, the greatest concentration of monorails is in Japan. Just like flying cars, the rest of the future expected in 1962 has yet to materialize.


Weather Satellites Provide New Data

TIROS weather satellite assembly
Technicians mount a TIROS weather satellite to the upper stage carrier. (Public domain photo from NASA)

Well, maybe I wasn’t being fair saying the future of 1962 hasn’t arrived. We certainly have some technology envisioned back then, such as weather satellites. Three Tiros weather satellites were launched in 1962, two during 1961, and the first in 1960. These obtained data that aided in locating and tracking hurricanes, provided weather analysis for remote areas, and helped with the manned space flights of Project Mercury. Photographs from the Tiros satellites were sometimes transmitted via the Telstar satellite. Of course, we now rely on constant, 24-7 information from weather satellites that blanket the world. If you’re not too sure about the local forecast, you can look at live views from space and make your own forecast!


1962 Comic Buy of the Week

click to buy comics

Lonestar Comics

scan from Grand Comics Database

Maybe you prefer your high-tech as science fiction. If so, 1962 was also a good year for reading comic books. All the comic book publishers had entries in this genre, where interest was pushed along by the recent manned spaceflight successes of both the Soviet Union and the United States. Newspapers featured strips such as Sky Masters and Drift Marlo, and the comics featured Adam Strange, The Fantastic Four, and the space policeman Green Lantern. Unfortunately, the cover artist is unknown for this first issue of Space Man, but interior art is by the prolific Jack Sparling and it is suspected that Ken Fitch wrote the story.

 

1962 In Advertising

Electron Molecule Research, Inc. ad
Electron Molecule Research, Inc. ad from 1962 (from magazine)

Speaking of future tech from 1962, how about building your own fuel cell? And it’s a bio-fuel cell at that, making electricity from molecular decomposition of organic material. This kit promised to operate a 6-volt transistor radio or run small motors. And all with simple directions for only $14.95! Too bad Electron Molecule Research, Inc. couldn’t hang around until about 2009: maybe they could have scored one of those multi-million dollar alternative energy grants from the US Government.


More Vintage Products

Black Jack Gum
Black Jack Gum (from advertisement)

I’ve added some new information on the Vintage Products page! There are some new images and lots of links to other pages here at Roadtrip-'62 ™ where I discuss things you could buy in 1962 and still can today. You may find your favorites!


US-6 Featured Trip Segment

West Barnstable Depot, West Barnstable, Massachusetts
West Barnstable Depot, West Barnstable, Massachusetts

On day 2 of our US-6 roadtrip, we were still out on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Come back out with me and enjoy some whale-watching, old-fashioned fish 'n' chips, and a nostalgic trip on the Cape Cod Central Railroad.



Guest Blog of the Week

1962 Genuine Chevy Parts ad
1962 Genuine Chevy Parts ad (from magazine)

If you enjoy old advertising, take a look at Vintascope, which bills itself as “The Museum of Vintage Commercial and Advertising Art”. You’re sure to find things you remember, and things you never heard of. He stocks plenty of magazine ads for foods, ranging from Eskimo Pies, to Kellogg’s cereals, to coffee. Also featured are soda pop, beer, and of course, cigarettes…lots of cigarette ads! There are also ads for movies, cars, insurance, and everything else. These ads range from the 1940s through the mid-1960s, with probably a few other years from time to time.


US-23 Featured Trip Segment

Georgia Capitol Building, Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia Capitol Building, Atlanta, Georgia (public domain photo from Wikimedia Commons)

We visited the biggest city on the US-23 roadtrip, Atlanta, Georgia, on Day 16. Fun places to see in Atlanta include the Flag Collection at the Georgia Capitol, the High Museum of Art, and the Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum.


Roadtrip-'62 merchandise

Museum of the Week

Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum, Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum, Atlanta, Georgia (public domain photo by SCEhardt, from Wikimedia Commons)

Speaking of Atlanta, Georgia, the Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum is one of the more unusual museums you’ll find. That’s entirely due to the Cyclorama housed there. Cycloramas began as paintings that went all around the outer wall of a circular room, with the patrons in the center. As time passed, many of these had music, three-dimensional dioramas, and even pyrotechnic effects added. Atlanta Cyclorama is one of a few remaining examples in the world. It depicts the 1864 Battle of Atlanta and is currently 42 feet high and 358 feet long, though it was larger when first painted. The building also houses Civil War artifacts including the steam locomotive that took part in the movie “The Great Locomotive Chase".


About Roadtrip-'62 ™

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If you're new here, discover what Roadtrip-'62 ™ is all about and why it's always 1962 here.

 

Video of the Week

Time to sit back and enjoy the month of April with Frank Sinatra. This quiet song is from "Point of No Return", Frank’s last album for Columbia Records, released in 1962. He continued recording of course, releasing albums under his own Reprise label.

 
   

Our front page changes frequently, so you may have missed some fun stuff if you don't check in frequently. Check the Home Page Archives for all the previous iterations of our front page. Discover links, videos, roadtrip suggestions, and lots of news from 1962!

All photos by the author and Copyright © 2014 - Milne Enterprises, Inc., except as noted.

All other content Copyright © 2014 - Milne Enterprises, Inc.

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More Fun Stuff:

What's the weather in 1962?

Weather on April 18, 1962 for Mountain View, AR, from the National Climatic Data Center:

  • Low = 45°F
  • High = 81°F
  • Precipitation = none
  • Mean Wind Speed = 4mph

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Events Calendar: happening for over 50 years!

Arkansas Folk Festival, Mountain View, Arkansas April 18-20, 2014.

Since 1962, the folks up in the Arkansas hills have been celebrating handmade crafts, frontier life, and folk, mountain, and bluegrass music. And the Ozark Folk Center State Park opens for the season.