Author Topic: "County on the Move" 1957 BC Freeholders film  (Read 4073 times)

Offline BLeafe

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"County on the Move" 1957 BC Freeholders film
« on: April 26, 2014, 05:32:58 PM »


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Offline BLeafe

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Re: "County on the Move" 1957 BC Freeholders film
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2014, 12:00:10 PM »
1957 film about Bergen County documents explosive post-war growth

May 23, 2014, 5:22 PM    Last updated: Friday, May 23, 2014, 5:40 PM
By JOHN C. ENSSLIN
The Record


Like a newly discovered time capsule, a 1957 film about  Bergen Countys explosive post-war growth has been making the rounds on social media of late.

Dubbed County on the Move, the 15-minute newsreel-style documentary, commissioned by the Bergen County Freeholders well over half a century ago, opens a window onto what the county looked like just as a building boom took off in the years after World War II and the Korean War.

By 2014 standards, its one part quaint, one part preachy and none too subtle.

The film opens with a bulldozer pushing a heap of dirt straight toward the camera. The baritone voice of the narrator intones, The building boom was on!

There are idyllic images of new houses on tranquil streets, with a newsboy delivering a copy of The Bergen Evening Record.

Trees fall. New houses, schools and churches go up. Hospitals expand. County roads are widened.

A parade of new businesses arrive - some now long gone - like the Ford Motors assembly plant in Mahwah.

Footage shows shopping malls under construction in Paramus and homes being demolished to make way for an extension of the Garden State Parkway.

Continue:

http://www.northjersey.com/news/1957-film-about-bergen-county-documents-explosive-post-war-growth-1.1022698?page=all


If you'd like to read current freeholders' reviews of the video:

http://blog.northjersey.com/bergenbeat/12666/freeholder-reviews-of-county-on-the-move/
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Offline Long Ago

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Re: "County on the Move" 1957 BC Freeholders film
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2015, 10:13:09 PM »
Watching this film was very interesting for me, as it covers the time period (1945 to 1957) during which I was growing up in Hackensack.  Thanks for posting the link :).

The narrator talks about the residential development of woodlands in the county, and this was certainly true in Hackensack.  During the mid 1940s, Prospect Ave. was only paved as far south as Standish Ave., and there was a large wooded area to the SE of this intersection.  I remember a winding dirt road that led into the woods to a summer cabin that was still being used by a NYC family as late as 1947.  Sometimes you would see deer in the vicinity.  By the mid 1950s it was nearly all gone and replaced by single family homes.

I also remember woodlands just north of Essex St. a few blocks to the west of Summit Ave.  It had large trees, some of which had fallen to the ground, along with grasslands.  In early Spring there was always standing water along the road and you could find skunk cabbage growing amidst the early vegetation.  Most of this area was eventually developed into apartments.

The film also mentions the growth in the number of telephones during this time period, but it doesnt mention the improvement in service.  The first telephone our family had was an upright two-piece model, where you would pick up a receiver and talk into a mouth piece.  The operator would say number please, and you would tell her the phone number you wanted.  Our number was on the Hackensack 2 exchange.  A few years later we were upgraded to a dial tone phone, and we chose a wall model.  Although you could easily make errors turning the dial, it was a vast improvement over the upright phone, and our exchange was renamed Diamond 2.

The demand for telephones was so great during the mid 1940s that getting a single line for a new telephone was nearly impossible.  Instead, there were party lines that you had to share with other families.  We were initially on a 4 party line, and then were moved up to a 2 party line, and finally to a private line.  Can you imagine people today tolerating the lack of privacy that came with a party line?  When you picked up the phone to make a call you never knew if someone else was already talking on it.  Thus it was quite easy for others on your party line to eavesdrop on your conversations.  As a result, our telephone calls tended to be quite brief :).





Offline just watching

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Re: "County on the Move" 1957 BC Freeholders film
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2015, 11:51:48 PM »
Thank you, LONG AGO, for your description of early Hackensack open space.  Would love to hear more of your personal recollections.

You would probably love to see the old maps and aerial photos stored here on this website >>>

http://www.hackensacknow.org/index.php/board,11.0.html?PHPSESSID=c7f11cbd86310c4fe337c05fa159b210

Offline Long Ago

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Re: "County on the Move" 1957 BC Freeholders film
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2015, 12:15:36 PM »
Hi Just Watching,

Thanks for the link!  It looks very comprehensive and I plan on looking through all of it.

I will post more on some of the topics covered in existing threads, but regarding open spaces, I was describing the two largest areas that I remember that were subsequently developed into residential housing.  There were other woodland areas that were not developed before I left NJ.  One was south of Mary St. and just west of Polifly Rd., but I assume it was eventually cleared when the I80 expressway was built.  Another area was north of there and to the east of Polifly Rd.  Every year there were pink wild roses growing that you could see from the road.  There were also cattails in the swampier areas, and we would sometimes collect them, dry them out, and smoke them.  Very effective in keeping away mosquitoes!

Some people have mentioned the park at Polifly Rd. and Sutton Ave. in other threads.  There was, and perhaps still is, a wooded area that extended up the steep hill to a fenced playground right behind Hillers school.  We would often play ball on the playground, but if it went over the fence and into the woods it was usually a goner.  The park itself was a fairly popular place for kids.  I remember a structure that was built there for storing equipment that consisted of two enclosed storage areas connected by a wide cement breezeway.  Around July 4th, kids would sometimes toss cherry bombs into the breezeway because the sound was magnified into a such a loud blast.

Looking back, I cant ever remember encountering any dangerous wildlife in the areas I mentioned.  But I did once stumble on a venomous snake, and believe it or not, it was less than 30 feet away from a bus stop on the SW corner of Essex St. and Prospect Ave.  This would have been in the late 1940s and there was a vacant lot at this corner covered with bushes and undergrowth.  I was traipsing through the lot with some friends while waiting for the #80 bus to take us downtown and we must have disturbed the snake.  Someone thought it was a rattlesnake, but it didnt make much noise and I didnt think there were any rattlesnakes in Hackensack.  Well, it turned out that it was not only one rattlesnake, but a den of them that had to be removed by the city.