tv Second Look FOX April 15, 2012 11:00pm-11:30pm PDT
up next on a second look, a glimpse into the 21st century. we go back 50 years into seattle to visit the space needle and the mono rail and the vision of what things looked like 50 years ago. tonight we travel back a half century to seattle, the world's fair. with the name century 21 it opened 50 years ago this month.
♪meet me in seattle at the fair. ♪ if you want to meet me i'll be there. ♪ i will be your guide, you will be my doll, we will have a ball ♪ >> with its futuristic theme the fair employed the latest technology for a long distance ribbon cutting of sorts on april 21st, 1962. >> first world fair of the united states in 22 years has its gala opening in seattle. there are 74 acres of educational and entertainment exhibits at this $80 million exposition that is expected to play host to 10 million visitors during four months. the theme is century 21 and it looks like a bright summer. the first official ceremony before the fair actually gets underway calls for the lights from a distant star to send a signal to the fair grounds as president kennedy presses a telegraph key, the light that
left the star 10,000 years ago releases balloons and the seattle world's fair is underway. navy and air force planes join in the salute to the exposition that has exhibits from 27 nations on display. progress in science is a dominant feature of the fair and it's attempting to mirror the world's future. so this summer it's come to the fair in seattle. >> the fair had a huge impact in turning seattle into a major international trade center and future home for one of the biggest enterprises of the technology age. rusty doornan brought us this report in 1999. >> reporter: seattle's economy has always been strong. even in the 18's a major port the city has depended -- 1800's the major port the city has depended on trade. in the last half century you could see when boeing did well,
so did seattle. >> we were a relatively small city where people knew each other and we didn't have the big city problems. >> reporter: local historians say it was the 1962 world's fair that pushed the city onto the international stage even erecting the landmark still recognized by the rest of the world and with it came a new sense of sophistication. ♪ on a needle up high you can look through the high and you're seeing it all, yes you're seeing it all. ♪ as the present unfolds what the future beholds you're elated fascinated ♪ >> then came microsoft, the hi- tech age and a boom in global trade. >> we're bigger, richer, faster than anybody ever foresaw. >> and seattle had to grow up fast. >> the problems of a big city, an international city presented to a community that has thought of itself as a moderate size
city. >> these days we take satellite tv transmissions for granted but at the time of the seattle worlds fair in 1962 they were simply unheard of, that is, until the launch of the tell star satellite built by bell labs carrying the first telephone transmissions and the first transatlantic telephone transmission. those included scenes of the absolutely world's fair. the launch of tell star in july of 1962 was big news. >> the tell star is settled off from cape canaveral atop the rocket in a joint industry government effort as the space administration team handles the launching for at&t and it's a $50 million phone call for the telephone company. starting with a sixth orbit and through the ninth the tell star is in the range of both the u.s. and european nations and pictures are received clearly in france but somewhat lesser success in britain on this
first test. the signals are beamed from this 18-story dome that houses the supersensitive horn weighing nearly 400 tons. an antenna so delicately tuned that it picks up a mere whisper of the signal from the satellite and amplifies it again billions of times for rebroadcast over cables or the air. now comes the historic moment, a moment compared in significance with the first message sent over the telegraph. this is the first picture transmitted to outer space and received back again on earth. scenes of the dome at hanover are flashed across the sea and man marks another milestone in this age of scientific miracles. the president has these historic words. >> i understand that part of today's press conference is being relayed by the telestar communications satellite to viewers across the atlantic and this is another indication of the extraordinary world in which we live.
>> telestar also had a bay area connection. city officials in alameda were able to talk via satellite with city officials in their sister city in sweden. there were 23 american cities calling their sister cities around the world. here is our coverage from july of 1962. >> all of us feel a sense of wonder in realizing that our words are being transmitted through space by the magic of telestar. this system of communication opens the way to tremendous opportunities for better human understanding. >> someday i hope i can go to sweden. >> isn't it wonderful progress? >> yes, it is and this is a wonderful telestar because great groups of people can communicate. >> another telestar call is waiting. i'm sorry. please conclude your call. >> the launch of telestar even inspired a song. telestar recorded first by the tornadoes and later covered by
emerald city. for generations of cartoon watchers ever since that might look familiar. recognize this? it's the elevated home of the futuristic animated tv family the jettisons. set in 2062, 100 years in the future, the jettisons premiered five months after the opening of seattle world's fair and was the creation of cartoon geniuses bill hanna and joe barbera. in 1992 ktvu's bob shaw talked with the two about the jettisons and their many other iconic cartoon creations. >> when it comes to animated programming for television, one studio leads the pack for longevity and financial success. since the mid-'50s hanna barbera has produced more than 2,500 hours of kids' tv. former mgm animators, they
realized there was money to doing television as long as they could keep losts low enough to ensure a profit. the first was rough and ready. >> the aesthetic values were missing. it just didn't have the quality that let's say the animation of tom and jerry had, but we were able to reduce the costs let's say of a six minute cartoon from about 30 or $40,000 for a tom and jerry down to 3 or $4,000 for the same amount of time. it was a dramatic reduction in cost. >> rough and ready became quite popular eventually running for seven years on saturday mornings on nbc, but their next project was the one that led to their dominance of kids' tv. the huckleberry hound show was a prepackaged half hour program sponsored by kellogg's that was
first syndicated to local stations in 1958. containing three cartoons, huckleberry hound, pixie and dixie and yogi bear, the show ran once a week in most markets monday at 6:30 p.m. it was an immediate hit and within a few months they began to spin off characters and duplicate the format. yogi bear got his own show soon followed by quick draw mcgraw. as the studio proceeded to fill up local weekday time slots, abc took notice and in 1960 the network asked hanna barbera to create the first ever primetime cartoon series. the flintstones was an enormous gamble that few industry experts believed would succeed. >> on opening night you know what the review in the variety was? i don't mean a little headline, big headline. this is a pen and ink disaster. >> but the show ran on the
network more than six years with more than 180 episodes and won a golden globe award for outstanding achievement in animation. the studio went on to produce numerous primetime shows including the jetsons. >> meet george jetson. >> a lot of those things we put in there came to be in a year's time. when we made the jetson feature recently, we had to come with a whole bunch of new things that we hadn't thought of doing the television series. >> because all the old things were too old now? >> so we had to go beyond that a little. >> over the last three decades hanna barbera has supplied more kids shows than any producer in the history of television. >> lucky for us we hit more than we missed and i think of that the luck of hanna barbera. >> at&t was a major sponsor of seattle world's fair in 1962 the theme of which was century 21, a promise of a look into the next century.
at&t was also a major producer of promotional films about its products and projects. here is one they parodied about the fair itself and its vision of the -- produced about the fair itself and its vision of the future, about the future of telephones and computers. >> keeping in touch by means of the amazing new bell boy is the bell suspect's answer today for doctors, salesmen, deliverymen or anyone who must be available at all times. when someone calls and you are out, you can be reached by dialing your bell boy code number. so he lateral batteries are -- solar batteries are used to convert sunlight to electrical power and make our batteries talk back from outer place. >> hi, this is the bell suspect's new touchtone. i beat you. imagine if you can an
electronic brain operating at a million of a second speeds. i say brain because the new electronic central office will almost think for itself. for one thing, you'll be able to reach frequently called numbers by dialing only two digits. when you do go out, it will be a simple matter to have your calls transferred. you will dial a special code which tells the equipment's brain you want your calls transferred and then dial the telephone number where you can be reached. >> when we come back on a second look, seattle has one. so does this man. the parathas quest who bay area -- the bay area enthusiast who built his own monorail and entertaining tourists from the top of the space needle.
in the summer of 1962 seattle became a vacation destination for many families who wanted to take in the world's fair. among them apparently was the barstow family. how do we know that? because someone posted their home movies on a website called archive.org. we don't know much about the barstows, where they came from or who they are, but we know from the film they visited the world's fair and later olympic national park and left us with incredibly high quality images of the fun they had 50 years ago. as you can see from that film, one of the popular attractions was the monorail. it opened in march, 1962, a month before the fair began and it still operates today. 8million people rode the monorail during the six months the fair was open.
a one-way ticket cost 50 cents in 1962. today it costs to dollars 25. that's for the same two minute ride -- $2.25. that's for the same two minute ride. there was a movie that took advantage of the setting for it happened at the world's fair. there are not a lot of monorails in the toward. the seattle monorail is among them as are the monorails at disneyland and las vegas. in the bay area there's main who would like to change that and he's built his own home monorail to make his point. here is george watson's report from 2002. >> reporter: the monorail is like an unfulfilled dream for those who would make it a transportation mainstay, but like noble knights jousting at windmills of established light and heavy rail systems, the monorailist must sit back and know that the idea of the monorail has certainly come put not arrived. what then is -- but not
arrived. what, then, is the dedicated monorailist to do? if you're ken peterson you can found the monorail society and build your own monorail in your backyard. >> there's the fanaticism side of my enthusiasm. i hike to collect. i like to ride and enjoy looking at monorails, but then i also see the serious side. >> reporter: the serious side can be reaffirmed every time ken takes a spin around his yard and sees pugs whiz by and like any monorailist he can only wonder what if. monorails are usually dissected as society's answers to their long -- depicted as society's answers to their long term transportation problems. believe it or the, engineers once took a long hard look at bart as a monorail. in 1953 regional engineers submitted a plan which included the option for b.a.r.t. to be built as a monorail down to the technical drawings.
however, light rail prevailed. a few years later even los angeles was considering a monorail plan, but down south automobiles and buses prevailed. by and large, the monorail in america has been part of a happy fantasy that was given a big push by the master of magic himself, walt disney. >> in 1959 he thought out the monorail. i was a pretty young boy and was just fascinated by that train. i couldn't figure out how that thing stuck on the tracks. >> reporter: about 40 years later kim fig ired it out literally in his own -- figured it out literally in his backyard, but it is irony that the monorail would be synonymous with music rather than transportation. >> when he put it in his park, it wasn't seen as so much the transportation of the future. it's become known as a ride for amusement parks. other parks put them in and we've gone from there and had a
hard time convincing officials that these really do work in cities. >> reporter: but kim would have a harder time convincing me they work in backyards. >> if you hook this when you're going along forward, then you might throw yourself out of a train. it makes it go into reverse. >> reporter: i am a reluctant traveler in a model obviously not designed to fit my scale. >> the tricky part is getting in. so far so good. >> reporter: getting me out is what's going to be the miracle. it leans, it shakes, it crawls along. >> we're going now. >> reporter: i am believe it or not going as fast as conditions allow. heading down track 99. with my head in the clouds, my look into the transportation future must come to an end. >> well, i think it might be quitting on its own accord,
can't say i blame it. >> reporter: there are plans for short urban routes in las vegas and seattle, but for the most part the silent rubber wheels of the monorail must be content to roll on in the dreams of the monorailer. >> when we come back on a second look, a little bit courage, a little bit comedy, the maintenance man who likes to joke around from the top of seattle's space needle. >> follow second look on facebook and twitter.
tonight we remember the kickoff 50 years ago this month of the seattle world's fair. its most famous legacy is the landmark space needle. from time to time the 600-foot tall needle get rare by lightning. what's rare is to have video of that. these pictures were recorded in 2005 and people inside watches a phenomenon they described as awesome. the space needle has 25 lightning rods, so no one was in danger. in 1994 reporter mark carter found main who spent a lot of
time at the -- a man who spent a lot of time at the top of the space needle boldly going where few others dared to venture and cracking a joke or two along the way. >> reporter: beneath mount rainier stands one of america's most spectacular skylines dominated by the space needle, but look closely. you might see someone likely to take your breath away. mark pulhalski also known as halo man is on his way to the top. at least as a custodian, few people go higher, but even up where the air is clear, this job has its lows. >> unfortunately we also have to clean out the gutters, which is full of human hair for some reason. >> reporter: speculation about his sanity may be premature, but does he have something of a split personality at work. he's not just a custodian. he's a comedian. >> i wouldn't bungee jump.
well, you paid me, i'd obviously do just about everything. >> how much do they pay you to do that? >> what amazes me is the questions people ask. i'm always shocked. here he is, an inch or two between him and tonight and they say excuse me, is this the road i take to vancouver? >> i get this neat bag. i made it to the top. >> reporter: he used to have a comedy act, but now he mixes standup with -- >> i used to change lights at ground level and i asked for a raise. >> reporter: with light bubble changing at 600 feet -- bulb changing at 600 feet. >> these are kind of bouncy. kind of makes me a little nervous. your head needs to go down instead of your feet. >> reporter: but even up here he faces casual critics who pass judgment on halo man as comedian or custodian. >> he did have a real way of changing that bulb. >> i think comedian. >> the courage to go out there. >> reporter: for his part he
says it's easier to face high altitude winds than a chilly audience. >> highest paid light bulb changer, you're a card. >> reporter: hecklers it seems aren't afraid of heights either. mark carter, seattle, washington. >> according to his linked in profile, mark puhalski left the space needle job two years after that story aired. his profile says he lives in the bay area and works for the company that manages buildings for the intuit software company. that's it for this week's second look. i'm julie haener. be sure to visit our facebook page. thanks for joining us.
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