booklet was handed out at a Special Preview of the Parade of Progress
in Flint, August 13, 1953. It provides a "digest" of facts
and information about the parade. The contents are as follows:
The Parade of
Progress is a traveling educational exhibit sponsored
by General Motors. Its stage show and animated exhibits present a dramatic
picture of the cavalcade of American progress, telling how scientific
research and engineering have helped improve our lives and of the even
greater things they may do for us in the years again.
Making up the
Aer-O-Dome Tent which is a
new kind of "big top" without poles, stakes, guy wires or
other obstructions. It's frame, made of aluminum beams, is on the
outside. Suspended from it is a silver colored, fireproof
"skin" of canvas impregnated with vinyl plastic. It is 152
feet long, 80 feet wide, 26 feet high and seats 1,250 persons.
There are 26 major exhibits
that tell the story of American progress, how science and industry
have contributed to it, and what our great industrial potential means
to us -- both for peace and for defense.
44 vehicles, including
12 Futurliners, 10 tractor trailers and 22 other trucks, station
wagons and passenger cars.
People of the
Parade consist of 57 men, most of them young college
graduates. They not only are lecturers, exhibitors and showmen, they
also drive the vehicles, put up the tent and tear it down, and do any
other work necessary to make the big show run smoothly.
History of the
Parade goes back to 1936 when GM put the original
Parade of Progress on the road. It stemmed from an idea by Charles F.
Kettering, famed inventory and GM research director, who wanted to
bring the story of industry and research to people throughout the
country. The Parade's basic theme was, "Who serves progress
From 1936 until it was withdrawn from the road at
the outbreak of World War II, the Parade visited 251 cities and was
seen by about 12-1/2 million people. In 1952 it was decided to build a
new and larger Parade of Progress. Jet propulsion, radar, atomic power
and television had awakened a new public interest in science,
engineering and research. And a new generation, unfamiliar with the
dramatic achievements of scientific industrial research, had come of
age. The new Parade of Progress was completed and launched on its
nationwide tour in April, 1953.
You'll See at the
The stage show, a
dramatic presentation of the marvels of science -- and how they will
affect our lives in the future. A tiny jet plane will flit across the
stage in a fraction of a second. You'll watch raw materials being
poured into a pop bottle and see them jump out as synthetic rubber in
just 90 seconds. And you'll gasp as a "rocket ship" takes
off to blaze a trail into the unknown future of scientific research.
The Theme Center is a modern
structure surmounted by a 46-foot tower. It serves as an information
center and houses these exhibits:
Automatic Transmissions --
The "inside story" of these driving aids is told by animated
-- At this exhibit, you take the wheel yourself to learn how
hydraulics make driving easier.
All-American Soap Box
Derby -- One of the racers which won this greatest of
boy's classics is on display, along with pictures.
-- Three shelves are loaded with request cards so you may order the
educational booklets displayed.
Futurliners were built especially
for the Parade to carry its animated exhibits. They are the only
vehicles of their kind in existence. Powered by 145-hourspower
gasoline engines, they have automatic transmissions, power steering
and air conditioned driver's compartments. On a show lot, their
16-foot side panels fold out to form marquees and stage platforms.
Lighting towers push up from their tops and they have their own public
address systems. In them are these exhibits:
Miracles of Heat and Cold
-- A two-part lecture demonstration tells how heat and cold serve us
in our homes and daily lives.
Our American Crossroads --
In 10 minutes you'll see 50 years pass as a village becomes a city,
largely due to the automobiles.
Power for the Air Age --
A jet engine, cut apart so you see all its parts, is explained and jet
propulsion is demonstrated.
Power for the Nation's Lifelines
-- Synchronized voice and action tell the story of Diesels on the
rails and explains economic implications.
Diesel Power Parade --
Subject is the two-cycle high speed Diesel engine -- and how it serves
America and you.
The World of Science --
We live in an ocean. A lecturer explains the ATMOSPHERIC OCEAN
and FRICTION in two talks.
The Versatile Metal Powder
-- Before your eyes, parts are made of this miracle material which
helps speed production.
Energy and Man -- Man
progressed as he substituted machines for muscles. Now he may harness
energy from the sun.
High Compression-Power and Economy
-- Push the buttons, learn how high compression engines and better
fuels, boost car efficiency.
Opportunity for Youth --
Winning model cars from the Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild are shown
and the Guild is explained.
Three-dimensional Sound --
You've heard of three-dimensional movies. Here's how binaural sound
helps build better cars.
Precision and Durability
-- How rough is a mirror's surface? A Surfagage will tell. It can
measure millionths of an inch.
Partners in Progress --
Here is what your town does for General Motors and what GM does for
your town and you.
Out of the Highway Muddle
-- Jammed highways waste money. This exhibit shows a solution to the
suburban traffic problem.
Horses or Horsepower --
Old Dobbin was a friend but the internal combustion engine is more
help to farmers.
Around the Farmhouse Clock
-- Twenty dioramas show how modern appliances have eased the burden
for the farmer's wife.
A Car is Born --
Dioramas, pictures and an animated assembly line tell the story of
building a car.
The March of Tools --
Handcraft is compared with modern production methods in the story of
Reception Center --
You'll want to see the Parade's air conditioned field office. It also
is a Futurliner.
Trailers carry the giant Aer-O-Dome tent, canvas, stage,
portable seats, lockers, baggage and all the supplies and equipment
necessary to operate and maintain the Parade of Progress on tour. Two
additional trailers carry:
Diesel -- The Modern Power
-- The big twin Diesel engine does double duty -- as an exhibit and to
generate power and light for the Parade.
Pioneer of Progress --
The 1902 Oldsmobile "Old Scout" which won the first Transcontinental
road race. It still runs as well as ever.
Purpose of the
Parade is to show how science and industry combine to
contribute to the high American standard of living. General Motors is
not concerned entirely with the manufacture and distribution of good
products for today. We are even more vitally interested in research,
design and engineering progress to prepare for better products for
tomorrow. We hope these demonstrations will develop a bitter
understanding of the aims and objectives of American industry and that
they help clarify the processes through which industry performs its
Beyond this, we hope that the Parade of Progress
will inspire young people everywhere to work toward an even better
America for through them will come the perfection of methods,
processes and discoveries still to be made.
Hosts for the Flint Preview of the General Motors Parade of
- Buick Motor Division
- A. C. Spark Plug Division
- Chevrolet, Flint
- Fisher Body, Flint
- Fisher, Grand Blanc
- Ternstedt, Flint
- GM Institute