Norman Bel Geddes Database
Job 384, Magic Motorways Book, 1938-1956
Bel Geddes disseminated his ideas about the future of traffic in U.S. cities with his book Magic Motorways (New York: Ransom House, 1940), announcing that “there are too many cars” and proposing a more tempered approach to their accommodation, including still-valid ideas such as mini-cars for city driving, suburban subway systems, and “park and ride” areas for commuters living outside the city’s core.
Although reviewers primarily focused on Geddes’s vision of an automated highway system that effectively allowed cars to drive themselves across the country in 24 hours, the book was sufficiently influential to have many of its ideas repeated (some verbatim and without credit) by the editors of Automotive Industries in a 1956 special report on the impact of a national superhighway program titled “The New America That’s Coming.”
Copies of the book are cataloged in the Theatre Arts Library.