Tag: Periscope Film



The Bodybuilders is a color documentary filmed by Fisher Body between 1970 and 1972. Fisher Body was an automobile coachbuilder founded by the Fisher brothers in 1908, in Detroit, Michigan, and was dissolved in 1984 to be blended into General Motors. This film looks at the engineering and manufacturing needed to produce car bodies and their assembly.

The film opens showing industrial metal stamping machinery, presses, and sewing machines all doing their work making automobile parts that are to be assembled into Chevrolet Monte Carlos (0:082:00).

The Bodybuilders begin with product engineers who produce the concepts and ways of accomplishing those concepts (2:193:41). Computer printer (3:423:45). Engineers study new concepts and their cost (3:474:32).

Stylists put those ideas on paper (4:335:23). A Monte Carlo by Chevrolet assembled in 6 manufacturing plants from 1970-1972 (5:245:51).

They then focus on the comfort factor of roof, seats, seating space (5:526:13).

When all this is done final approval of the styling concept is given (6:136:26).

The design is then modeled in clay (6:276:48).

Electronic system called an electronic surface recorder is used to put clay dimensions into engineering drawings (6:527:12).

Photogrammetry is used to determine moldings and glass openings (7:137:23). Drawings are then transferred to a Honeywell series 200 computers which is called digitizing (7:357:45), puts dimensions on Punched tape (7:467:47), transferred to magnetic tape (7:497:50), and then to storage disks (7:517:52).

The Product Engineers use the computer information (7:538:23). A computer main frame system (8:248:39).

Machines are controlled by this computer information (8:449:27). View of engineers doing draftsman drawings (9:289:43).

Dies are used to stamp out metal parts (10:0110:07). Inca, a development of the General Motors manufacturing development organization, helps make the dies (10:0810:42).

Test bodies are created and tested (10:4312:13). Road testing the prototype at the Proving Grounds (12:1412:54).

Testing integrity and design (12:5513:23).

Tools and dies for making the prototype are designed and checked (13:2413:50).

Computer storage unit with printer (13:5614:01).

Rolls of aluminum and steel alloys being run through large presses making parts (14:0314:54).

Upholstery sewing machines at work on the interior needs (15:1216:31).

Automobile hardware and parts (16:3216:54).

Presses making the hardware (16:5517:36).

Parts ready to be assembled (18:3118:32).

Car parts being assembled (18:3319:06).

Tack welding (19:0719:13).

6 axes manipulators (19:2219:38).

Welding robotic machines (19:3919:48).

Smoothing and finishing welding (19:4919:58).

Assembling parts (19:5920:30).

Bonderite coating, a liquid chemical used to produce a protective coating on aluminum and aluminum alloys (20:3120:45).

Priming the car with robotic arms (20:4821:00).

Painting the car with robotic arms (21:0121:19).

Rear Seats being put in (21:3721:48).

Vinyl top being put on (21:4922:00).

Windshield put in place (22:0122:06).

1970-1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo moving through the assembly line (22:1722:21).

The water tunnel (22:2222:36).

Front seat put in (22:5322:58).

Released to the car division, the body building is complete (23:0423:30).

The body is placed on the frame and engine (23:4424:19).

The Monte Carlo rolls off the assembly line (24:4124:45).

America’s love affair with cars, as viewed in 1966 – Mike Austin @Hemmings


Some people think that cars might be too dangerous, expensive, and bad for the environment. What may surprise you is that some people thought that back in 1966. The Great Love Affair, preserved and presented on YouTube by Periscope Film, “looks at the impact cars have made on families, the U.S. economy (including the process of purchasing a car), marketing and media, and entertainment during the mid-1960s.” Scroll down to watch the embedded video.

Narrated by CBS News correspondent Harry Reasoner, the various aspects of automotive culture are looked at through a curious, almost anthropologic lens. The film starts by noting that 9 million cars were made the previous year, while only 4 millions babies were born. “You might conclude that we love cars more than twice as much as babies,” says Reasoner with an extra-dry delivery. From there, The Great Love Affair covers everything from traffic, drive-thru services (including a church), youth culture, and the various aspects of the car economy in an attempt to understand “this thing we have about cars.”

This being 1966, the car as the primary means of transportation wasn’t yet considered a fait accompli. The film features a dinner party scene featuring David E. Davis Jr., John Fitch, and Tom Wolfe all in thoughtful conversation. Davis questions, “Why should anybody be allowed to drive a car in and out of New York City?” and Fitch theorizes that the automobile could be reduced to a means of sport, similar to the fate of horses and boats

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