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This Rare Footage In The 1950s Shows Utah Like You’ve Never Seen It Before

Have you ever wondered what Utah looked like before you were born? It’s changed a lot, just in the last few decades, so imagine what it was like 65 years ago! This rare footage appears to be a video for the tourism trade. It shows our beautiful state as it looked in the 1950s – with fewer people and more primitive technology, but with the same gorgeous mountains, lakes and national parks we still enjoy today.

The entire film is 27 minutes long, but it’s well worth it to watch the whole thing. The video covers tons of attractions in Utah, including downtown Salt Lake City, several LDS temples, Alta ski resort, Utah State, BYU and University of Utah, downtown Ogden, a Peach Days parade in Brigham City, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and Arches.

The narrator notes that the University of Utah has “over 10,000 students – double what it had at the end of World War II.” (Today, the University of Utah boasts over 31,500 students.) Also, notice the thriving, bustling town of Bingham – a Kennecott Copper Mine company town that was once occupied by many who worked at the open mine. These are just two examples from the film that show you how much Utah has changed since the 1950s.

Do you remember Utah in the 1950s? How was it different…and how was it the same as now?

Catherine Rees
Catherine is a lifelong resident of Utah. She's a writer, researcher and observer of the human condition.