You don’t need your imagination to imagine what city streets looked like in the 1920s. Through this colorized and restored video footage, we get a rare glimpse of city life in cities around the world. You don’t have to be a classic car expert to appreciate how unique traffic was nearly 100 years ago.
On today’s congested streets, it’s hard to imagine a similar scene unfolding over 100 years ago. From New York to London, cars filled city centers in the 1920s, and based on the images, we never quite understood how to fix the traffic problems that plagued people for more than a century. It is quite obvious that today’s cars are very different from the sculptured machines of the 1920s covered with wings.
This restored footage was created by YouTuber NASS who specializes in restoring films that show city streets from the past. NASS has shared footage of 1940s London and California in the 1950s and 1960s. These unique films give us a glimpse into the past to see exactly what everyday life was like.
In this video, we can see the interesting differences between car-centric cities like New York and London versus walkable cities like Stockholm and Amsterdam. Many of these towns still have similar preferences that have been clearly ingrained in their cultures for over 100 years.
Some horse-drawn carriage transport is still seen in all cities, but it is overshadowed by the widespread adoption of trucks as the primary means of transporting goods. Buses, including London’s famous double-decker buses, are also featured in the images.
By going back in time with the restored images, we can make connections to our past and how things have changed while still remaining the same. Sure, our cars are different from those of 100 years ago, but we’re still driving on the same roads and in even worse traffic than our ancestors, except this time we have Bluetooth.