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about 3 weeks ago

Distraction of the Day: Penn State, Circa 1950′s

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I admit that I’m a nerd for Penn State history, but I think you’ll still find this video cool as hell even if you don’t know what Old Willow is.

Penn State Libraries digitized a video from the 1950′s that introduced viewers to Penn State life back then, and the scenes of campus six decades ago are mesmerizing. Also, its narrator has that classic retro voice that usually accompany videos from the era, a nice touch.

My favorite parts:

0:36 – West Halls looks the same. The cars on Burrowes, on the other hand…

1:20 — “There are always signs of change to be found here,” the narrator says while scenes of construction play. Some things never change, I suppose.

2:19 — “They say that the world is moving into the space age now, but whether that is so or not…”

4:30 – A montage of buildings from Old Main to the library looking incredibly similar now to how they did then. So cool.

6:17 – On the emergence of television: “Both students and teachers find the new medium challenging. All available evidence seem to indicate that television is a growing asset, and that the new medium has a very definite place in the modern university.” Good call, narrator guy.

10:13 – One of the downright coolest shots of the video shows the Allen Street Mall, sans tulips.

Give it a watch:

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Penn State - Pennsylvania State University is a land grant institution founded in 1855. Penn State is one of the country's most renowned public research universities and boasts an enrollment of about 100,000 students across its 24 campuses. Read more