By Elaina Vitale, Assistant Librarian
Facts about the automobile (when the wheels revolve) is a slim and beautiful 1935 publication of the General Motors Corporation unearthed recently in the Niels Bohr Library and Archives stacks. This pamphlet was written to “clear up some of the mystery which has grown up about the operation of the automobile,” and is meant to engage readers of all ages. In 21 illustrated pages, the authors briefly describe the history of automotive engineering and illuminate the varied and complicated mechanical processes involved in the simple act of starting a car’s engine. Though undoubtedly an endorsement of GM’s superior motors masquerading as a celebration of the internal combustion engine, this pamphlet is a sleek example of the ways that physics and engineering surround us at all times. Most of the tips and processes remain relevant to even the newest car models, which serves as a reminder to modern readers that many elements of physics and mechanical processes are often simply timeless. Browse this volume and others like it in the Niels Bohr Library.
General Motors Corporation. Facts about the automobile (when the wheels revolve). Detroit, Mich.: General Motors Corp., 1935. C3:1 GEN.
For more examples of GM’s historic propaganda, visit their Heritage Center website.