The company took advantage of advanced film production technology (for 1939) to create a visually impressive film. Add great hokey acting. You can guess what’s left of Nick Makaroff by the time Westinghouse has its way with the dour lefty art teacher. Don’t miss the dishwashing contest between Mrs. Modern and Mrs. Drudge. Take note of Electro, the smoking robot, who resembles a seven-foot tall cell phone.
Jim Treadway, the young industrialist, is grating from the get-go if you ask me, but Westinghouse intends him to be the hero in this 1939 propaganda piece. At one point Jim intones:
[In the future] industry will make so many jobs there won’t be enough people to fill ‘em.
This drama illustrates the contribution of free enterprise, technology, and Westinghouse products to the American way of life. The Middleton Family at the New York World's Fair pits an anti-capitalist bohemian artist boyfriend against an all-American electrical engineer who believes in improving society by working through corporations. The Middletons experience Westinghouse's technological marvels at the Fair and win back their daughter from her leftist boyfriend.
Westinghouse Building at the New York World's Fair
In the end, what I learned from this movie was that the only thing different back in 1939 was that the guys had wide lapels on their suit jackets.
Or as young Bud Middleton put it in his aw-shucks way:
OH, BOY! THE JACKPOT! ELECTRICITY HERE I COME!
And that's what you'll be saying, too, when you drink the Westinghouse Kool-Aid poured out by this film.
In the following segment, Nick the commie is pouting. But hang on, three minutes into the clip comes the famous dishwashing contest. Nick comes back with a good line:
There's nothing funny about the tools of capitalism.
All the way, it was a battle of free-market-capitalism versus socialism... a lot like today:
Stupid Robot Tricks, Courtesy of Westinghouse:
Regarding robots, look how far we've come from 1939 New York to 2006 Japan: