This Rare Footage In The 1940s Shows Pennsylvania Like You’ve Never Seen Before

Let’s turn back the pages of time for just a little bit – back to the 1940s when, at least during the beginning part of the decade, the world was at war. It was also at that time (1938, to be exact) that construction began on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which you can now see in the historic video of Pennsylvania below.

If there’s one thing Pennsylvanians all have one thing in common it’s we all have driven the Pennsylvania Turnpike at least once (or we’ve been a passenger on the turnpike). It doesn’t matter where we live or where we travel in the state; we’ve all driven on the Turnpike at least once in our lives.

We’ve all probably complained at least once, too, about the continuously increasing rates to drive on Pennsylvania’s best known toll road. Those rates, in fact, will continue to rise through the 2040s. This historic video of Pennsylvania from the 1940s takes us on a journey of the construction of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, to long before the EZPass. The cars certainly look much different than their 21st century counterparts, but do other parts of the turnpike look familiar to you? Take a peek at the fascinating video below then join the conversation in the comments.

Here is the Portland Cement Association’s film on the Construction of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which was originally released in 1940:

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What do you think of this historic video of Pennsylvania? Does seeing all of the hard work that was put into building the turnpike make you appreciate it more than before? Share your thoughts in the comments! Since we’re talking about the turnpike, did you know there’s a 13-mile stretch of abandoned turnpike that includes several tunnels? Yep, and now you can hike or bike it. Just follow the Pike 2 Bike Trail in Pennsylvania. It runs from Breezewood to Waterfall, spanning both Fulton and Bedford Counties.

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The OIYS Visitor Center

historic video of pennsylvania

January 09, 2021

What are the best things about living in Pennsylvania?

We’re certainly lucky to live in Pennsylvania, a beautiful state that boasts big cities, small towns, and tiny villages. PA is also home to 121 state parks, Allegheny National Forest, and countless county and city parks. History buffs often find themselves drawn to the history of Pennsylvania, the home of the Liberty Bell and the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War (Gettysburg). Pennsylvania also holds the title of the Snack Food Capital of the World and the Mushroom Capital of the World (Kennett Square). Sports fans have professional baseball, hockey, and football teams in both Philly and in Pittsburgh and pro basketball in Philadelphia.

How has Pennsylvania changed over the years?

Pennsylvania has definitely evolved over the years. If you look back at old videos of Pennsylvania, even from the 1980s, you’ll see how much our state has grown. One thing, however, has remained consistent. The tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike continue to go up every year. In fact, Pennsylvanians can expect an increase in turnpike tolls annually through the 2040s. Speaking of the 40s – the 1940s in Pennsylvania was certainly a lot different than life in the 21st century. Pennsylvanians went off to fight World War II. As a result, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers merged for a single season in 1943 to play as the Steagles. The first computer was invented in Philly in 1946.

Where should I go to take photos of Pennsylvania?

We, Pennsylvanians, already know how beautiful PA is and how many photo taking opportunities await us all over the state. However, out-of-state visitors may be surprised to discover that PA is a photo-taking paradise. For some of the prettiest scenery, make your way to Ricketts Glen State Park, home to 21 named waterfalls, all visible on the same hiking trail (Falls Trail). Hammersley Wild Area in Austin offers both breathtaking views and tranquility. It is, after all, the most remote spot in all of Pennsylvania. Small towns like Lititz, New Hope, and Ligonier also offer beautiful backdrops for photos.

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