Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures
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Written by Christopher Alm in Kitsch

A Tribute to Men and Women who Design

The definitive Populuxe film on 1950s automotive, industrial, interior and architectural design. A tribute to the American designer presented by Chevrolet. The fist half of this film is a collage of 1950’s American design from appliances to architecture, the second half follows the design process of a new Chevrolet automobile from the early sketches to a full sized model and finally the finish product. A...

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A 14-minute documentary about the last “red car” train from downtown Los Angles to Long Beach in 1961. The red cars, along with buses and streetcars were famous sights in California and operated by the Pacific Electric company. The Los Angeles to Long Beach passenger rail line served from July 4, 1903 until April 9, 1961. Back then it still had long stretches of open...

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Written by Christopher Alm in Daydreaming

Scenes from a Vibrant 1960s London

It’s Friday and the weekend is around the corner. So what could be better than taking a weekend trip to a vintage flavored past-time London with its vibrant and bustling city scenes? Join Ultra Swank as we take in the sights of 1960s London – grabbing coffee at one of the Moka Bars, checking in at a prestigious Hotel, trying our luck at the casino and to finish it...

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Written by Christopher Alm in Roadtrip

Cruising Sunset Strip in 1964

Here’s a interesting video capturing the midst of a sunny 1960s Los Angeles. Let’s take a cruise down famous, Sunset Strip with a up-beat rock & roll surf tune blasting out from the radio. Look at the beautiful and colorful signage advertising everything from restaurants, liquor and mortgages and not forgetting the parade of Chryslers, Oldsmobiles, Chevrolets that look like they just drove out of the car dealer lot....

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From YouTube user ModCinema comes a selection of cheesy American television ads of the 1970s. The selection contains ads for among others Mister Tony’s Submarines, Space Mountain at Disneyland and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. I do not know if I should be nostalgic or laugh. Do anyone of you remember these ads? The Shoe Closet (1976) Mr.Tony’s Submarines (1977) Tip 833-4000 (1977) Meyer: Your...

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Elektro, the “Westinghouse Motor Man” filmed inside the Westinghouse Pavillion at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. Elektro can not only smoke, he also has a giant ego. User commands are given through a telephone with some kind of a voice recognition system. The whole presentation might look like a kitschy hoax from our eyes, but for the folks back in 1939 this technology...

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Ever wonder how early computer animations was created? This video from 1971, complete with spacey synthetic music, demonstrates not only one of the first interactive computer systems for animation, one used for production, it was also an outstanding example of early user-centered design, including one of the first computer mice. The system was developed by Marceli Wein and Nestor Burtnyk, both of whom won Academy...

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