Videos: Rare ’50s Bermuda Colour Films

December 13, 2011

A vintage 1950s travelogue  shows Bermuda shortly after World War Two, when cars were not only still a novelty on the roads but the island’s trademark surrey-fringed taxis and other vehicles travelled both ways on Queen and Reid Streets.

It was produced by International Harvester which brought a group of employees on a cruise to the island and Nassau aboard the liner “Queen of Bermuda” as a special bonus for meeting or surpassing sales targets.

Founded in 1902 and once one of America’s largest agricultural machinery, construction equipment, vehicle, commercial truck, and household and commercial products manufacturers, International Harvester sold most of its divisions and became the Navistar International Corporation in the 1980s.

Bermuda, 1950s Travelogue, Part One

The Bermuda film was used as an incentive for the conglomorate’s sales staff at factories and offices throughout the US, encouraging them to surpass their quotas as well so they could be eligible for future company cruises.

The short film takes viewers on a cinematic tour of the 1950s Bermuda, visiting Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, Hamilton and the South Shore beaches — where the sand is “genuine powder sugar.”

Bermudians from all walks of lives are glimpsed in the film, ranging from Front Street merchants to fishermen selling their catches at Hamilton’s dockside.

“Average temperature 70 degrees,” says one of the narrators. “From March 15 to Nov 30 all you need are summer sports coats, lightweight suits, cotton dresses for the women.

“Man, it’s living. It’s cool.”

Bermuda Travelogue, 1950s, Part Two

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Comments (4)

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  1. Joe says:

    Great footage Bernews!

  2. Bermyman says:

    Funny thing is our tourism product has not change since then! We still cater to the 1950′s tourist.

  3. The road to hell says:

    What a fantastic archive film – really beautiful

  4. Rapp Bermy!! says:

    lovely

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