Jimmy Stewart on Solar Energy: 1938

July 7, 2014

From “You Can’t Take it With You”, directed by Frank Capra, most famous for “It’s a Wonderful Life” – contained this forgotten bit of americana, proving once again how a dream of distributed, free, energy from the sun has fascinated generations of idealists and dreamers.

The visionary Capra was also the director of the famous Bell Telephone Science Hour specials from the 1950s, which were ahead of their time in highlighting the then-emerging research on climate change, as well as the birth of solar energy technology, and what it all meant – below the fold.

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8 Responses to “Jimmy Stewart on Solar Energy: 1938”

  1. jimbills Says:

    I watching an original ‘Hawaii Five-O’ a few months ago, and it had an episode from 1969 with scientists working on genetic engineering. They were saying how it would soon revolutionize medicine:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0598055/?ref_=ttep_ep3

    A lot of technological ideas aren’t new – EVs are actually from the 19th century. But our natural tendency is to see the promise and assume it can be achieved quickly. Most technologies require intermediate steps that take far longer than expected, powerful interests can kill or cripple any technology in its infancy if it desires, cultural preferences can limit development, and simple economics can prevent widespread adoption. Sometimes the problem can be all of the above.


  2. […] From "You Can't Take it With You", directed by Frank Capra, most famous for "It's a Wonderful Life" – contained this forgotten bit of americana, proving once again how a dream of distributed, free, energy from the sun has fascinated generations of idealists and dreamers.  […]

  3. dumboldguy Says:

    As Cousin Vinnie said, the Bell Science Hour clips took me back to the days of my “yoot”. They were hugely popular among science teachers and students back then. Great production values, up-to-date info, and they were in COLOR rather than the grainy B&W of so many other “educational” films of the day. They were long enough that they took up nearly the ENTIRE class period, another boon for the teacher, who could use the time to mark papers or rest up for his part-time job. Blood (Hemo the Magnificent), DNA, Solar Power, Climate Change—all topics of the series, and they were one of the things that got me and many others more firmly interested in science.


  4. […] Thanks to Peter Sinclair for reminding us of these delights over on Climate Denial Crock of the Week! […]


  5. […] Thanks to Peter Sinclair for reminding us of these delights over on Climate Denial Crock of the Week! […]


  6. […] Thanks to Peter Sinclair for reminding us of these delights over on Climate Denial Crock of the Week! […]


  7. […] Thanks to Peter Sinclair for reminding us of these delights over on Climate Denial Crock of the Week! […]


  8. […] Peter Sinclair, found an interesting clip on the topic of solar energy, back from 1938. The clip is from “You Can’t Take it With You“, directed by Frank Capra. […]


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