This Animated 1959 Steel Manufacturing Documentary Deserves a Spot on Netflix

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From the introduction of color television to the formation of NASA, few decades have offered a glimpse of endless possibilities quite like the 1950s.

And while commercial jet travel and the wonder of Xerox copiers were making their way into dinner table conversations, the rise in post-war manufacturing also introduced cost competition and a growing increase in imported or alternative, cheaper materials.

Produced by Hanna-Barbara in 1959 as part of U.S. Steel’s campaign against competing steel imports and alternative materials like aluminum, “Rhapsody Of Steel” was a big-budget animated theatrical release that was shown theatrically in Pittsburgh and seven other cities. Featuring an ambitious score performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the 30-minute film used relatively few words to show how steel objects are manufactured…while also giving 1950s viewers a glimpse of what an optimistic tomorrow held:

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