This Month In 1962
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Museum of the Week
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 ™
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, 2021 - Donald Dale Milne, except as noted.
All other content Copyright © 2014, 2021 - Donald Dale Milne.