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A working urban center laboring under the sweat of grinding cars trucks aircraft railroads and ships traffic 50 years of contributing to the continuous flow. Transportation the movement of goods services and people progress in the technology of transportation and its agencies in operations in facilities. And yet the constant development of social change the constant improvement. Of those means which compress time and space transportation and communication is essential to technological and social progress. Space and Time are compressed social problems explode. This document of major technological and social changes in transportation was produced and recorded by the University of Southern California under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National
Association of educational broadcasters. People and goods moving people and goods space and time become compressed and crushed. At the turn of the century the railroads and shipping held their own as major agencies of transportation but the motor car and the truck and the airplane have increased the numbers of transportation media and increase in the quantity of transport improved transportation also saves time. Distance today tends to be measured in time not in miles. People travel from home to work and back in ten minutes not 10 miles from the suburbs simplicity as it rests on the work of the day unaware of tension. And actually suffering from extreme
obesity. The railroad yard. Reaching out to join a whole new world. The tentacles of transportation. Hurry into. Working and. Laboring under the sweat of grinding noise from home to work in ten minutes from suburb to fringe to center at a speed in time unheard of in 1900. Constant increase in the use of transportation facilities people driving to work trucks moving goods people buying and selling. People taking less time and faster speeds to reach their homes and offices. This compression results in an explosion of social problems parking deterioration of streets
traffic jams. People must move but streets must be maintained. The demand for better facilities coexisting with the inconvenience of delay. Naturally with the higher speeds and greater volumes of traffic chuckles and depressions and other hazardous conditions in our street system must be attended promptly because of the complaints that what we want that will result in also a potential hazard to life and limb. For that reason our bureau is now a radio equipped and complaints which in former years may have taken a day or two to rectify are now being handled within an hour. In addition to that our state system is under 24 hour a day seven day a week surveillance. We have emergency
trucks on duty at all times but our regular crews are off duty to handle any conditions which may arise. Which may be a cave in an oil spill broken glass. Any of the multitude of incidents which require attention in order to avoid liability on the part of the city and damage and injury to the citizens of the city. Compression and explosion. Conflict of transportation as transportation facilities have improved the flow of goods and people has increased and the economy of America in the 20th century has improved. But social progress demands solutions to the problems of complex urban centers. Congestion parking commuter traffic. Last decades of the 19th century revealed the foundations for the
present conflict of compression and explosion. Inventions and applied technology. In power and energy resources. In the gas and steam engines in manufacturing machinery. Improvements of production operations. And in the idea of mass production. Mass production and the development of cheap steel around the turn of the century. The technological basis for transportation expansion. Means better auto parts. The lightweight parts are. The constant improvement of steel plated operations. Made Possible cheaper. And. Better material. Transportation. As most anybody will know in the steel industry in a major piece of equipment cost considerable sum of money and were to gain the greatest amount of return from this piece of equipment. The more
that you can keep it occupied in winning a full capacity the lower your cost will be. However so it probably would cause you to some specific more specific problems that cause you to start this program. Well we became involved in a highly competitive industry in the. Supplying of large quantities of material to the automobile industry. Enjoy Chicago. Which. Made it necessary to. Occupy our equipment as much as possible and the returns were rather astounding in lowering the basic costs of what was some of the increased production we got with the existing equipment. I mean one period can vary one other period with this and incentive plan. Well the closest you could compare that to would be to take an individual piece of equipment.
And some equipment. The production I'd put in pounds per hour was anywhere from double to triple what past experience. We do so quite a bit of the truth of the automotive industry using various components parts and managing the biggest user would be in your transmission. Or your automatic transmission your truck transmissions. Actually. The material goes into a wide variety of. Finished product is strictly a cold strip produced to stream close tolerance with old structure and possibly the alloy content being specified by getting the product that he definitely will. The accumulation of people greater consumer demands for better transportation
services more demand by more people and larger groups urbanization contributed to the growing compression of time and space adding to the present explosive conflict in large cities. Only in motion. Walking riding talking stopping starting going coming more people using the means of transportation. Force the explosion. The social explosion of transportation from. Major changes in transportation changes in air facilities auto traffic railroad changes that reflect improved operations and facilities. The search for greater efficiency. Increasingly higher speeds lower costs and greater customer benefit greater efficiency has stimulated the movement of passengers
and goods benefits from such improvements as the diesel engine saves highway construction air terminal Weather Service here. Have been numerous programs. First of all the runways are extended the runways you know if you plan to add almost double what we have in our. Arsenal 47 for temporary staff. Large terminal that have less dissipated about a period of three years right. Forty seven. Just recently passed and we have you know from a study. Why about 60. Buildings here the temporary buildings have been expanded and built on two or probably every six months for the past four or five years. Somebody has been doing some construction on top of that they're making
considerable improvements in the handling of weather which we have here occasionally as you know and the use of radar ground control approach that type of thing has been a major improvement which is visible actually to the public but it has improved our. Operational. Job that has given us a better schedule as to a large extent. Those are just a few of the brokenness of inmates and the people who use air terminal facilities. What specific benefits do they have from these constant improvement of benefits while they have they gain a great deal of benefit from the weather handling which I mentioned the gun control approach radar schedule of operation elimination of cancelled flights flyovers that type of thing. I don't know that I can say they've gained a whole lot of terminal facilities because the
facilities haven't been expanded nearly as rapidly as the increasing volume of traffic. However we have been building in all the space that's available. That's just a matter of the facts. There's no more space available. Just the opposite. The airlines themselves have. Proved their procedures for handling of passengers over three years we feel to the point where the public gains a considerable amount from that. The compression of time and space inherent in the trend to speed more personal mobility. People going and people returning from at a faster rate of speed. Not only has its effect upon the facilities used but also upon the people using them. Too much speed may increase stance and to the fines for providing for a very sheltered existence on earth. May make far a lack of thorough
investigation. May cripple. Reflective thinking a certain way and an aid to speed we don't get the opportunity for meditation and contemplation that we need. So far as realizing what already real value is out there. It was a living and social ladder and. The general growth of the nation reflected in improved transportation the movement of goods at a faster rate and cheaper cost made possible cities grow in population suburbs spring up and living to centralize itself from the centers of the city's transportation. During the past 50 years for example has equaled the growth of the West and in fact I would say that transportation is solely responsible for the goals of the West. The only
time that we had our horse mill an ox and run cards crossing the continent taking weeks and even months to now when we can cross the continent and proximately 8 hours by our present day aircraft and even better changes will be noted of course during the next five years and we can cross the continent with very jet aircraft and less than four hours. But continuing improvements cars continuing use and more demand. More people. Our industries using the cars the trucks the railways and increasing the complexity of urban living for the movement of traffic from zone to zone becomes more difficult. The problems seem to mount. The problem is I don't think are any greater now than they were years ago. They are to some extent shall we say but overcrowded highways in some
instances which are being taken care of by freeways not only in Southern California. They're being developed in Chicago New York almost any large population area. I knew I would of course but considerably delayed a lot of the present burden that are nosing at present the rails of course have made tremendous changes and a lot of their operations. Prior to the last two years for example Lee rails in a truck story constantly fighting arguing back and forth as to the relative merits of their particular form of transportation. The rails at present have done quite extensively into the trucking business and have at even developed a rather new concept in transportation which is considered later leaving a lot of our congestion and thinking right now there piggyback
operation throughout eastern areas and it has not come into effect on the West Coast or kinds gotten away. They where roads are even hauling. For hire company for hire. Trucking companies trailers on their cars between various community but there must be some indication of problems reflecting changes in transportation agencies. That's for sure. Diversification of ENDA strays and community as it were not for example served by rail necessitated more trucking operations along. Various interstate and intrastate roads. We have many communities for example in the state of California that are not even served by railroads who are less efficiently served by truck at this time. Highway improvements of course permitted trucks to become
more prominent and to perhaps take a larger share of freight than our previous highways where it was not feasible or even possible to early twenties for example to handle any amount of truck tonnage across the United States. No doubt you have seen some of the ads where certain truck plans are advertising 72 hours service out of Chicago. One of these days the rails still further improvements in their transportation roller bearings and their transportation their flat cars will permit them to provide us a 72 hour service for me here in Chicago and perhaps 80 for 96 hours between here in New York. I present a transportation are commodities most moving require such service have rails and truck plans I think are going to remain
competitive with the airlines where their lines are developing such tremendous kind of carries as a. High surface transportation is going to have to speed up the benefits from improved transportation continue to increase better transportation made urbanization possible. The flow of goods became more efficient. Cities in turn have been able to demand faster service. When geographical distances are made greater between producer and consumer. Industry may expand and in turn. Industry is able to demand better service. People of Transportation have seen improvement in the 20th century railroad craft unions a contribution to the improvement of the working man movers of people and goods become directly involved in changes of labor
the economy of the nation depending upon the buying power of the working man and his ability to consume the growing amount of available goods. After all the unions are going to benefit the people through force by way of raising the writers the more he buys more than the industry works. Look at history where we have heard everything we believe that the prosperity starts from the bottom and it doesn't. As far as I'm concerned personally the there's only one reason that the manufacturers give service and in order to do that it has to have a market and the market is the kind of people are and if they don't there's no market basically of course. Whenever the never industry kind of off the market in a particular country it tries to reach out to get and get whatever
there is not a country. Basically it should be willing at and I think I can speak both Labor and the biggest market is right here in the United States. I know the greater percentage of people are hurting or you're just mad when they do start buying power to think of all the automobiles refrigerators and everything else that's that's lying. The agencies of transportation railroads tend to give incomplete service in some cases. By water is slow trucking companies have uneven rates. I wonder what makes the rates are variable. I think what you might be driving at declared when you're talking about Mr. Barr here can correct me if I'm wrong.
When we're talking about overcapacity I think perhaps we mean that we do have in some instances in some areas too much transportation equipment available for example as example a trucking company although I can't say as to the rails right now but many of the trucking companies did expand and go large during the war and continue. To expand as we run into a temporary leveling off kind of a movement afraid we have too many trucks available. All of this of course produces a lot of factors which. Again. I believe therefore it contributes to increase because. Major changes in the media transportation giving force to the conflict between greater efficiency and more confusion. A saving of time and
increased flow of goods and expanding economy. But more congestion of parking spaces on her streets have chuckles. Improvements of operations and facilities create more demand and the accumulation of more people in metropolitan centers increases complexity. People constantly in motion speed over greater speed more mobility and greater efficiency. At the same time inefficient use. And where do solutions lie to the increased complexity of transportation. One Direction has been established since the early years of the century. The movement toward consolidation. Demands by consumers for better service and the need to reduce expenses are good enough reasons for consolidations.
What are some of the recent activities in consolidation. Well I think only we can wait for a break later. First of all we talk but consolidation comes in my mind we have many shipping organizations for those basic console racing as a consolidation of freight. Ten or 15 companies have either similar or related commodities that they distribute manufacture will band together and form a shipper's organization and will then be in a position to ship their freight in carload or truck load lots. Example between here and San Francisco or here in New York or wherever it might be they compare to the fact that they would otherwise have to ship their shipments in smaller lines paying high LCL rates. They can in this manner move their freight I would say for approximately 30 to 50 percent of their cost if
they ship it separately. This is a more efficient way to write. Generally speaking I would say it is because your air freight travels ordinarily from your place of business or from your shipping associations place of business to another location established in Chicago or New York or San Francisco where is unloaded then by your agents or your representatives or in many instances you're constantly the faith. I believe in in some instances it might perhaps be less acceptable to loss or damage pilferage and various other perils of transportation. Another direction for solutions to transportation problems. A certain competition. In advantages of some means over others for specific purposes is evident. Pipelines can move gas and oil at a much faster rate. And at less cost than other agencies. And should be allowed to flourish. And
taxes should be fair. I think another thing that. I have faith in transportation. This particular year we're very disappointed in was that our federal transportation tax of 3 percent was not. Removed nor was it even modified to an extent. This particular tax is very discriminatory to seven western states. The needs of the future action must be taken in the present to alleviate complexity confusion and inefficiency. So look the consumer may benefit from faster transportation at cheaper cost means must be found to predict the location of natural resources in the future. How industry will be centralize. And the changes in population. These factors will determine the transportation patterns of the future
the transportation of electrical energy must undergo constant research and re-evaluation transportation when it is a very significant problem in the industry from two aspects one is the electrical losses that are sustained in this transmission This is something that can be calculated something that can be built into the design. We go to higher voltages which corresponds to a higher pressure. If we were thinking of a hydraulic or an emetic system we go to these higher voltages to minimize these losses. But there is a very practical problem that is not related to the technical aspects of transmission and that's lot of obtaining rights of rights of way for transmission lines. The congested areas of our country are becoming in congested areas of our country is becoming increasingly difficult to find rights of ways to get on the lines from the generating stations to consume transportation.
The movement of goods services and people the complex confusion of numbers see impaired by adequate use facilities. The need for integration and Research Cooperation to increase efficiency transportations contribution to growth in the 20th century cannot be denied but the application of technology and the prediction of future patterns of use must continue. The American character now possessing more personal mobility than before must use itself to guarantee its continued ability to move a motion compressed motion has become a part of work. A part of the American. Life. I'm working urban center laboring under the sweat of grinding noise cars trucks aircraft railroads and ships traffic.
Fifty years of contributing to the continuous. Institutions and people cooperating in the production of this program were Southern California Edison Company A Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce a Los Angeles Department of street maintenance Western Airlines and cold metal products company. Written by Donal price directed and rated by Edward de Rue and produced by Stuart Cooney. The continuous flow was produced and recorded by the University of Southern California under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center. This program is distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. Radio Network.
Fifty years of growth
The continuous flow
Producing Organization
University of Southern California
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Time and space compress: the needs of transportation test old modes of movement. Goods, people and services in motion search for efficient solutions.
Series Description
A series of documentaries on industrial change in the U.S.
Broadcast Date
Social Issues
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Director: Deroux, Edward
Narrator: Kuralt, Charles, 1934-1997
Producer: Cooney, Stuart
Producing Organization: University of Southern California
Writer: Price, Donald
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 57-54-5 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:02
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Chicago: “Fifty years of growth; The continuous flow,” 1957-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 3, 2024,
MLA: “Fifty years of growth; The continuous flow.” 1957-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 3, 2024. <>.
APA: Fifty years of growth; The continuous flow. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from