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Published on Apr 8, 2008
In 1923, steam locomotives, the height of modern technology, were fast and exciting. Although airplanes were newer, and automobiles and roads were quickly improving, steam was still the prime mover of high-speed transport. The excitement of seeing a huge working locomotive flash by spewing steam, smoke and cinders is hard to describe. Their eerie whistles were at once frightening and exhilarating. Trains were a symbol of technology improving people's lives, of the hope for an exciting new future. This is especially poignant so soon after World War I, where technology was used to create previously unimagined horrors. The Music: The 1923 Mouvement Symphonique "Pacific 231" of Arthur Honegger is the driving force behind this video. The video's visual elements are collected from many sources, and are added to the music so that those who've never experienced the sheer power and awesome speed of steam might have some notion of what the composer saw.