Non Sequitur Fridays

Boston: A Video Time Capsule

Three quick things: I like history, video, cars, and Boston. Okay, so that was four things, but it will help you understand where I’m going with this.

Video rabbit hole

Every now and then I’ll find myself lying in bed on a Tuesday night diving head first down some video rabbit hole. It may start with a video of a pelican learning to fly with a GoPro strapped to its head, then lead me to a MotorTrend test drive of a Dodge Challenger Hellcat, and five minutes later, I’ll be watching round 9 highlights of the second Micky Ward vs. Arturo Gatti fight.

One night, my frenetic video watching habits led me to a video of an MIT professor driving through Boston in 1958 with a camera strapped to the hood of his car. It’s really intriguing footage, given that so much has changed in Boston since the late 1950’s.

Time capsule

While watching these streets pass by, I realized how important a video like this could be. This video documented a place in time—a space I will never have the chance to visit.

And that’s when it hit me. I could replicate the drive and document this same route in today's streets. Hopefully 50 years from now someone happens upon my video and enjoys this dynamic time capsule.


Sunday project

I mapped out their route, somehow convinced our video team they should let me borrow a GoPro4 and car mount, then made the exact same drive.

In the video above, you’ll see a side by side comparison of Boston in 1958 (or maybe 1963, since the video description references both years) and my ride in 2015. It will take you through Central Square in Cambridge, over the Longfellow Bridge, through Government Center, South Boston, the Back Bay, and finally, along Storrow Drive. It was a really cool Sunday project and made me appreciate little things about Boston that can be easily overlooked.

A huge thank you to the Wistia video team for the equipment, and a big shout out to Trevor Holmes for diving into Premiere Pro and making this footage look great!

Keep Learning
Here are some related guides and posts that you might enjoy next.