National Geographic : 1962 Sep
stupendous energy-gigantic industries that overnight had begun turning out the gadgets and trappings of a modern economy, that not only used electronic computers but manufac tured them, a triumph of free enterprise. On the other hand, inflation and, in some regions, stagnation, unrest, and stark physical misery so profound that many people spoke fearfully of a revolution. My introduction to Brazilian energy was the Rio traffic. Sedans from Detroit, mostly Lifesaving serums from Sao Paulo's Butantan Institute com bat disease and snakebite. This technician seals ampules. 302 taxis of incredible decrepitude, tangled with cars designed abroad but made in Brazil: German-Brazilian Volkswagens, French Brazilian Simcas, American-French-Brazilian Aero-Willyses, expensive status symbols all. I joined a crowd without status in line for a German-Brazilian Mercedes-Benz bus. Off we went, sometimes at 60 miles an hour; often through red lights; somehow through knots of cars and people. The driver said, "If I slow down, the passengers object. People Build the New Brazil in Laboratory, Mine, and Factory For centuries dependence on only a few commodities-sugar, gold, rub ber, and coffee-slowed the growth of South America's largest country. To day field and factory support a wide variety of pursuits. Politicians and pioneers strive to roll back the wil derness and open the rich interior to development. But most of the nation's 74,000,000 people prefer the more settled life of eastern coastal areas. Kashinaua Indian from Bra zil's westernmost border wears plume headdress and feathers in nostrils. Juice of the genipa fruit patterns face and body. Mine worker loads ore scooped from a mountain near Belo Ho rizonte, Minas Gerais. Some chunks contain 65 percent iron.