This Vintage Video Gave Me a Crash Course in New Bedford History
There is a lot more to New Bedford than I could have possibly imagined, but thanks to this video I came across, I was able to learn a lot about its rich history, and what life was like in this bustling city during the early 1950s.
It’s one thing to read about it, but it’s a far more fascinating experience to see actual footage of the city and its people during this time. There have been many moments in New Bedford history where it was forced to rebuild, but the citizens, tradespeople through and through, never faltered.
There is a lot to unpack in this video, but I had several takeaways that helped me get a better grasp of the area I now call my second home.
New Bedford is notorious for being a highly successful whaling community back in the day, but the success of the city stems much farther than whale oil. When the demand for whale oil dropped after the civil war, New Bedford shifted its attention to manufacturing cotton goods, and by 1920, it had 70 cotton mills in operation. During the depression, many of these mills were liquidated, but the city pivoted again and focused on electronics.
Thanks to a piece of equipment called a capacitor, New Bedford was able to manufacture electronic, radio, TV, and electrical parts. It’s incredible to think that businesses like this made my job at Fun 107 possible.
New Bedford has been home to glass blowing, golf ball making, cotton textiles, and hundreds of industries that have supported the U.S. economy. New Bedford has a long history of hardworking tradespeople that aren’t afraid of adversity, and I like to think that remains true to this day.
I am proud to just be associated with this great area, and there were certain parts of this film and life in the city nearly 70 years ago that I found absolutely fascinating: