Chimps Teach Bicycle Safety in This 1950s PSA (Video)

chimp bike photo.
Screen capture. Archives New Zealand

Archives New Zealand/Screen capture

We've come a long way since the 1950s, a time when a gallon of gas cost 18 cents, fresh milk was delivered to front-porches each day, and anthropomorphized chimpanzee actors were all the rage. But when it comes to the importance of bicycle safety, some things never change.

In this rather charming 1952 film clip called Monkey Tales, viewers learn a valuable lesson on proper cycling etiquette by watching how one wayward chimp does it all wrong -- failing to yield to pedestrians, making reckless turns, and other assorted monkey-business. While it may all seem a bit antiquated, particularly in its use of performance animals, its message is still spot-on today.

The short film, presented by NZ On Screen, was directed by pioneering filmmaker Kathleen O'Brien and produced for the transport department by the New Zealand Film Unit.