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The Unexpected Suburbs

January 4, 2013

From Brain Pickings:

Last week, while researching the lovely vintage gem The Little Golden Book of Words, I came upon another out-of-print treasure: How People Live In The SuburbsSuburbs 1 (UK; public library) by Muriel Stanek, originally published in 1970 as an educational supplement teaching primary school children about the basics of social studies.

What’s so unexpected?  Well, except for the cover and this shot:

Suburbs 7

… there are no pictures of cars.

Everyone, it seems, when the suburbs were first idealized and portrayed, got around on foot, bicycle and transit.  Like this:

.

Suburbs 3 Suburbs 4 Suburbs 6 Surburbs 5

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No wonder there aren’t any pictures – or expectations – of overweight and obese children.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Guest permalink
    January 4, 2013 4:01 pm

    Presumably children don’t drive, so it likely presented a view that was “accessible” to children.
    With about 50 pages, what else do they mention in the book?

  2. Guest permalink
    January 6, 2013 12:27 am

    It’s also likely that households only had one car, so cycling around wasn’t to ‘keep trim’, it was how you got to your friend’s house, the store, the civic centre for swimming or skating and back home again; it was that or walking. (Parents certainly didn’t drive you everywhere as they feel obligated to do today).

  3. David permalink
    January 6, 2013 3:18 am

    The suburbs, uniform houses and random streets with similar names ensure criminals stay in the city. http://goo.gl/maps/GD3ky

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