In 1937, America was eight years into the Great Depression and in desperate need of some encouragement. The National Industrial Council teamed up with writer and broadcaster Lowell Thomas (the man who discovered Lawrence of Arabia) to make Frontiers of the Future, an audiovisual pep talk focusing on the promise of American industry. “As long as there is a problem to be solved or a desire to be met, American ingenuity will not rest,” Thomas says, insisting that new businesses and new jobs are yet to come.

Have a look at the movie—even almost 80 years later it’s easy to get excited about cars that will get 300 miles to the gallon, rubies made from peach pits, and artificial wool created from cheese.