This short 1952 travelogue, presented by Standard Oil Company and produced by Wilding Picture Productions, Inc., follows a road trip though the American Midwest by a Chicago reporter back from assignment in Europe. The film opens with a shot of a street and buildings in Chicago, IL, followed by the door to the Editorial Office of a newspaper. The reporter, Dale Bennett, returns from vacation an meets with his editor to discuss his vacation. Bennett drives his station wagon down a highway (02:10). Bennett swims in Lake Michigan, and then he watches beach cars (dune buggies) racing on the sand dunes of Lake Michigan. He walks into a woman painting at an easel on the beach. Bennett pulls into a Standard Oil gas station (03:30), where he buys a finished painting from the woman from the beach (Connie). He pulls up on the side of a road where Connie and her father are stranded with their car and trailer. Bennett gives the car a push start, but Connie’s dad leaves the car without putting it in park, and it rolls down the hill and off the road, crashing into a tree. Bennett pulls the trailer with his station wagon, and the trio arrive at Interlochen, MI. Kids play various instruments at a music camp (07:06). Connie and Bennett sit outside the trailer and chat. A bugler plays “Taps” at sunset with the lake in the background (09:18). Next, they visit Spring Mill State Park, IN, where they see an old water wheel. That is followed by a visit to New Salem State Park, IL featuring the restored old log buildings from the days of Abraham Lincoln (10:12). Viewers see a tugboat on the Mississippi River, a bridge taking the trio into Hannibal, MO (11:00) and the childhood home of Mark Twain, the War Memorial in Kansas City, MO and a view of the city’s skyline, the state capitol building in Lincoln, NE (11:47), Boot Hill Cemetery, and the oil derricks of Oklahoma City (12:20). From there, Bennett, Connie, and her father pass Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountains next to Colorado Springs, CO. They drive through Rocky Mountain National Park (12:40), and they take in the views from an alpine lake. There is a good panning shot from Trail Ridge Road (13:18). Next, the film goes to Grand Teton National Park, where the rocky peaks loom over what appears to be Jackson Lake (13:40). They arrive at an entrance to Yellowstone National Park (14:48); footage shows Upper Yellowstone Falls, Old Faithful (15:20), and a black bear next to a road. The ride horses at a dude ranch in Montana and fly fish on a river. Viewers see a wheat field in Montana (16:30), as well as several combine harvesters as they drive through the field. The film shows shots of Mount Rushmore (17:03), South Dakota’s Badlands, and another wheat harvest (in North Dakota). The next place they visit is Minnesota’s Itasca State Park (17:43) with its massive pine trees. Kids play at the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Viewers see the Mesabi Iron Range where iron ore is mined (18:07), Duluth and its port on Lake Superior, and a scenic overlook from a Wisconsin highway featuring a lake. A boy and his dog push off from a dock in a canoe (19:05). The trio see more sights, including small falls on Wolf River, Wisconsin Dells, and a dairy farm. The film then shows the entrance to the Iowa State Fair (21:18): Connie and Bennett walk around the grounds, ride a Ferris wheel, and watch a livestock show. Bennett pulls his station wagon and Connie’s trailer into her hometown, a small midwestern town. The film cuts back to the newspaper editor’s office, where Bennett shows his editor Connie’s paintings of the Midwest (23:58). The film concludes with a shot of Bennett and Connie at a bandstand performance at a park in Connie’s hometown.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com