Filmed in 1936 at the Chevrolet Plant in Flint, Michigan.
Thanks to Bruce Jamieson.
WOW!! AMAZING, even more that it has survived to now. Evolved Technology which for the times must be equivalent to modern aircraft manufacture today,
Mesmerizing indeed! This represents the foundations of how we mass produce an automobile today. Impressive, if not remarkable, and this mechanization no doubt contributed to our winning success during WW2
and the economic recovery afterwards. Today, electronics, robotics and new methods/materials have made car production even more efficient and faster to keep up with the market demands. Great automotive history!
Gary, thanks to you and Bruce Jamieson for sharing this insightful video.
-John M. Mellberg
Amazing any of those workers kept their hands & arms.Obviously pre OSHA times!
In our current focus on swoopy shapes and flame surfacing, it is easy to forget how complicated it is to actually manufacture a car…and to remember the faceless workers who toiled in such dreadful and boring conditions. A must see for any aspiring design student.
Excellent music score for this- it lends a surreal mood and suggests a fluid grace to the whole process. To John’s comments, it was the worker’s responsibility to stay out of the machinery back then; occasionally they didn’t. This video epitimizes the industrial might of our country at that time, and demonstrates a major component of how we were able to win a World war, industrial production on a scale never before seen. It also demonstrates a process that would become a huge styling enabler, deep-draw stamping: the soft, streamlined forms of the roofs and fenders being stamped could not be realized until dies were designed with that wouldn’t stress the metal, requiring multiple operations. This was a major advance for GM, allowing Fisher Body to create the first all-steel welded construction car bodies for high-volume production (until then, most cars had some wood reinforcement in their body structure, and closed cars often had a fabric panel closing out the roof). They even “branded” the resulting designs as “Turret Tops”, suggesting tank-like structural integrity. To my eye, this generation (1935-1938) of GM cars were some of the best-looking of the pre-WWII era, and they make great street rods today- too bad no one saved all that tooling.
Truly amazing! So very well done considering how long ago this film was made. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Bruce and Gary. Mesmerizing is a good word for it. It’s hard to believe they could coordinate all those assembly stations through a full shift. They were far more advanced in their processes than I had suspected they would be.
Great film/video. Thanks again
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