Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Passenger Air Travel (1945)

The cover of the March, 1945 issue of Popular Science shows a streamlined bubble-top bus onto which passengers deplane. If we notice the less fantastic predictions of this illustration, (specifically, widespread passenger air travel), we find that this vision was largely realized.

See also:
Airport of the Future (1967)
Fuller's Traveling Cartridge (circa 1960s)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

10,000 Years From Now (1922)

The February 12, 1922 Ogden Standard-Examiner (Ogden, UT) published this page, speculating on the world 10,000 years hence. The piece is a shortened article by Hugo Gernsback with illustrations by Louis Biedermann. Excerpts appear below.
The up-to-date scientist has little difficulty in predicting certain things that will happen in ten or fifty years, but a hundred centuries hence is a larger order, even for the most intrepid imagination. That practically nothing of our present civilization will be left after 10,000 years may be safely predicted. We may also prophesy that human beings, a hundred centuries hence, will live in entirely altered circumstances from those in which we now exist.

Our illustration depicts one of the future cities floating high in the air, several miles above the earth. The question of sustaining such a large body in a rareified atmosphere will prove to be of little difficulty to our future electrical engineers. Just as we construct leviathans of the sea to-day, some of them weighing as much as 50,000 tons we shall construct entire cities weighing billions of tons, which will be held in space not by gas balloons, propellers, or the like antiquated machinery, but by means of gravity-annulling devices. Already experiments have been made whereby it has become possible to reduce the weight of substances by electrical forces.

See also:
Closer Than We Think

Monday, April 28, 2008

Ice Box of the Future (1930)

The September 10, 1930 Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, NY) ran a piece about scientists' predictions for the future. A prediction is much more interesting when antiquated terms for modern conveniences are used. Case in point: the "ice box."
Another group of chemical scientists explain how the ice box of the future will tell the housewife if meat she buys is fresh or old. This age-finder is an atmosphere exhaled by the refrigerant dry ice or solid carbon dioxide. If the meat is fresh it retains its red color. If old, it turns brown.

See also:
Gadgets for the Home (1930s)
Restaurant Robots (1931)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Desk Set (1957)

The 1957 movie Desk Set, starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, explores fears of automation and computerization. When Tracy's character, Richard Sumner, introduces an "electronic brain" into the workplace it sets off a chaotic chain of events. Katharine Hepburn plays Bunny Watson, the head of a research department for a fictional television network and reluctant warrior in this battle of woman versus machine.

A short clip from the film appears below.

See also:
How Experts Think We'll Live in 2000 A.D. (1950)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Zipper-Bag Airplane (1958)

The camping trips of tomorrow will not only include throw-away clothes, but apparently stow-away airplanes. This edition of Closer Than We Think appeared in the October 19, 1958 Chicago Tribune.
Airplanes that can be stowed away between trips, like camping equipment, may be a common sight in the world of tomorrow. They could be folded up like tents, then spread out and inflated to shape.

The secret lies in a new kind of fabric being developed by Goodyear Aircraft Corporation. This material has a network of internal threads connecting the outside surfaces - the longer the threads, the greater the distances between those surfaces. Varying thread lengths could thus make possible any kind of shape, strong enough to be flown when inflated. Rubberizing makes the fabric airtight.

Flying machines constructed of this "cloth" have already been successfully test.

Next week: "Highway Space Wagons"

See also:
Closer Than We Think! Throw-Away Clothes (1959)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Love Will Survive All (1925)

The September 20, 1925 San Antonio Light (San Antonio, TX) speculated about the state of teenage love in 1955. An excerpt appears below.
The adolescents of thirty years hence will probably be in the thick of the argument. And the mothers of these adolescents, if they do their duty will be very much preoccupied with the training calculated both to lesser, the inter-sexual friction and to promote the fighting efficiency of the loving opponents.

Make no mistake, whatever happens, love will endure; it will triumphantly survive the strain, though at moments the strain may be excessive.

See also:
"Just Imagine" Pictures Life and Love 50 Years From Today (1930)
Civilized Adultery (1970)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Auto-Tutor (1964)

This "auto-tutor" from the 1964 World's Fair is very similar in concept to the "homework machine" we looked at from 1981. The photo above can be found in the Official Souvenir Book of the 1964 New York World's Fair.
The Autotutor, a U.S. Industries teaching machine, is tried out by visitors to the Hall of Education. It can even teach workers to use other automated machines.

See also:
Homework in the Future (1981)
The Answer Machine (1964)
Learning in 1999 A.D. (1967)
Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (Part 7, 1993)
The Road Ahead: Future Classroom (1995)
Closer Than We Think! (1958-1963)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tell us your own Tricentennial story (1976)

I can't believe it's been a year since we last looked at the book, The Tricentennial Report: Letters from America. Published by the Atlantic Richfield Company in 1977, the book collects the hopes and fears of common people looking forward 100 years to the United States Tricentennial.

The advertisement below appeared in the June 16, 1976 Oakland Tribune (Oakland, CA) and asked for submissions from the general public.

While we here at the Paleo-Future blog usually abhor input from readers, this seems like as good a time as any to open up the floor to discussion. What do you think the year 2076 A.D. will look like? Remember, you have 32 years on these people. Your predictions should then be 32 years smarter. Right, smarty-pants? Right?

When you're done with your prediction, mail it to:
The Mayor of Blog
10101 Blogosphere Lane
Internet, California 95041

See also:
The Tricentennial Report: Letters from America (1977)
Lisa's Picture of 2076 (1976)
Tricentennial Report Ad (Oakland Tribune, 1976)
Animals of 2076 (1977)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Drugs in 2000 A.D. (1970)

Stanley F. Yolles, M.D., Director of the National Institute of Mental Health wrote a piece which was published in the March 4, 1970 New Castle News (New Castle, PA) titled, "Drugs in 2000 A.D." An excerpt appears below.
At the turn of the century then, which is only 30 years from now, a nurse visiting a 75-year-old person may be engaged as part of her job in making sure that he is taking regularly several kinds of vitamin doses, a painkiller, a hypnotic dream regulator, an anti-depressant, a sedative or psychostimulant, and so on.

See also:
Future Shock - Electrical Stimulation (1972)
Health Care in 1994 (1973)
Computer Doctor (1982)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Colonies in Space (1987)

The January, 1987 cover of Odyssey magazine featured colonies in space, as drawn by their cover contest winner. Stay tuned as we explore some of the best 1980's content from this magazine.

See also:
Space Colony Pirates (1981)
Space Spiders (1979)
Welcome to Moonbase (1987)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Power and Wealth (1984)

The late, great Sir Arthur C. Clarke wrote about hope in the 1984 introduction of his book, Profiles of the Future. Specifically, Clarke wrote of his hope for a future without concern for politics and economics. An excerpt from his introduction appears below.
I also believe - and hope - that politics and economics will cease to be as important in the future as they have been in the past; the time will come when most of our present controversies on these matters will seem as trivial, or as meaningless, as the theological debates in which the keenest minds of the Middle Ages dissipated their energies. Politics and economics are concerned with power and wealth, neither of which should be the primary, still less the exclusive, concern of full-grown men.

See also:
Negro President by Year 2000 (1965)
2008 Presidential Campaign (1908)
Lyndon B. Johnson on 2063 A.D. (1963)
Hubert H. Humphrey's Future (1967)
Hubert H. Humphrey's Year 2000 (1967)
Governor Knight and the Videophone (Oakland Tribune, 1955)
Edmund G. Brown's Californifuture (1963)
Television: Medium of the Future (1949)
Fruition of Ideals of Democracy (1923)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Whole Meal in Pill (1923)

The August 17, 1923 Rock Valley Bee (Rock Valley, IA) ran a short piece titled, "Whole Meal in Pill Is Scientist's Dream." The entire piece appears below.
A good hearty meal, all in one pill that can be carried in a vest pocket, is the dream of scientists of today, according to Hugh S. Cummings, surgeon general of the public health service.

Some day dish washing and the dinner table will be gone and forgotten. The farthest scientists have progressed, according to Mr. Cummings, is to remove all the water from foods and condense them some 70 per cent.

See also:
Just Imagine (1930)
That Synthetic Food of the Future (Ogden Standard-Examiner, 1926)
Closer Than We Think! Fat Plants and Meat Beets (1958)
Closer Than We Think! Hydrofungal Farming (1962)
Food of the Future (Indiana Progress, 1896)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

2063 A.D. Book (1963)

Due to popular demand, I have uploaded a free PDF of the book 2063 A.D. in its entirety. To purchase a print copy of the book you can find it at my Lulu storefront.

For those just joining us, 2063 A.D. was a book published in 1963 by General Dynamics Astronautics. The book asked politicians, military commanders and scientists to speculate as to where humanity would be, a hundred years hence, in the great push towards space.

A copy of the limited print book (only 200 are believed to have been produced) was included in the time capsule at General Dynamics Astronautics headquarters in San Diego. The building was torn down in the late 1990s and the time capsule is believed to have perished. The book gives some great insight into the general sense of optimism that so typifies 1960s futurism. Space colonies? Sure! Martian life? Why not! Teleportation? Easier than commercial space flight!

See also:
General Dynamics Astronautics Time Capsule (1963)
Broken Time Capsule (1963-1997)
Lyndon B. Johnson on 2063 A.D. (1963)
Edmund G. Brown's Californifuture (1963)
James B. Utt on Space Travel (1963)
Air Force Predictions for 2063 (1963)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Super-Metropolis Map of 1975 (1961)

This edition of Closer Than We Think ran in the July 23, 1961 Chicago Tribune, and illustrates the megacities and metropolises of 1975.

As a St. Paulitan . . . St. Paulite . . . resident of St. Paul, I find the map's indication of "St. Paul Metro" pretty hilarious. You see, St. Paul has an inferiority complex due to it's big twin brother, Minneapolis, which gets all the national attention. News reports describing the upcoming Republican National Convention in "Minneapolis" are about 10 miles off.
Tomorrow's map will be vastly different from today's. Great patches over much of it will indicate the super-metropolis cities which are already evolving out of our once-separated urban centers.

The "regional cities" of tomorrow will be nearly continuous complexes of homes, business centers, factories, shops and service places. Some will be strip or rim cities; some will be star-shaped or finger-shaped; others will be in concentric arcs or parallels; still others will be "satellite towns" around a nucleus core. They will be saved from traffic self-suffocation by high-speed transportation - perhaps monorails that provide luxurious nonstop service between the inner centers of the supercities, as well as links between the super-metropolises themselves.

See also:
Closer Than We Think
1980-1990 Developments (1979)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Little Work, Big Pay Forecast Year 2000 (1969)

The July 30, 1969 Progress-Index (Petersburg, VA) ran a piece titled, "Little Work, Big Pay Forecast Year 2000." Thirty hour work weeks, lawns that needn't be mowed, and automated kitchens are just a few of the innovations mentioned by Richard Gillis Jr., in a speech given to the Petersburg Kiwanis Club in 1969.
An America with automated farming and homemaking, large incomes and short work week, most people living in urban areas and the majority of them young, was forecast by the executive director of Commerce, Richard Gillis Jr., in speaking to the Petersburg Kiwanis Club Tuesday. The entire article appears below.

The address of Gillis at the Holiday Inn was on "The Year 2000."

Gillis called control the key word in urging Kiwanians to work for an educational system that will enlarge man's understanding, control and enjoyment of life."

Looking ahead to prepare ourselves and our children, Gillis said. "Let us gather up as much as we can of this great civilized heritage which began here in Virginia while we still have it and transmit it on to our children. They will be grateful for this and it will give them the opportunity to enjoy the next fabulous 31 years, and we will know we have done something of worth."

During the next two decades, Gillis said, "young people will make up the greatest part of the U.S. population growth. Indeed, ours is a young population, with the trend moving strongly in the direction of a national population in which half of our people will be under 26 years of age in just a few years."

During the rapid growth in the population in which time "two per cent will be able to produce all the food needed by this country. . . the migration of people from rural areas to cities, from undeveloped societies to industrial ones, from poverty pockets to more affluent areas, will continue to take place at a fast rate.

"A distinguishing feature of rural America in the year 2000 . . . will be towers containing television scanners to keep an eye on robot tractors. The owner of the farm of the future will no more be out riding a tractor than the president of General Motors is out today on the assembly line, tightening bolts," said Gillis.

For the women in the homes, Gillis said, "All she will have to do to order a meal will simply be to punch a few instructions out and food will be transferred from the storage compartment to the oven at the proper intervals and cooked." He added, "Food preparation will be completely automated. By the year 2000, we will have eliminated the pot and pan."

Gillis said he wishes very much to live through the next 31 years. "I am anxious to see the time come when grass will only grow to a certain height and stay green continually, and the sound of the lawn mower will no longer be heard in the land."

Incomes will be increased greatly said Gillis. And with the increase, people "will have devoted adequate portions of their incomes to overcome successfully water and air pollution, congested roads and airways, and many disease, both physical and social.

"The work week and the work day will be drastically reduced," said Gillis. "The majority of the people will be working less than 30 hours a week." He didn't predict just how the populace will adjust to the increased free time.

See also:
1999 A.D. (1967)
Women and the Year 2000 (1967)
Farmer Jones and the Year 2000 (1956)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Computer Games of the Future (1981)

This holographic computer game of the future is from the 1981 book Tomorrow's Home by Neil Ardley.

The caption explains, "A home computer game of the future has solid images of spaceships that move in midair. These are holographic images produced by laser beams. The game is played with other people who also sit at their home computers and see the same images. Each player controls a ship and tries to destroy the other ships. Guess which player is winning!"

The entire text of this two-page spread appears below.
Your day in the future continues. It's not a school day, so you can do whatever you like. However, it's raining, so you can't play outside. Although scientists can now control the weather, this is done only in certain places to produce artificial climates that aid farming. Your home is not one of these places.

Even though everyone is busy and you're stuck at home on your own, you're still going to have an exciting and interesting day. After breakfast, you rush on to the living room. It has chairs and other furniture in new designs as well as some antiques like a twentieth-century digital clock and a push-button telephone. However, the room is dominated by a large viewscreen linked to the home computer.

You ask the computer to contact several friends, and they begin to appear on the screen. Soon you're linked into a worldwide group of people, all of whom can talk to and see each other. After chatting for a while, you decide to play some games together. As you can't agree on what to play, the computer makes up your minds for you. It gives you puzzles to do and devises quizzes, as well as all kinds of electronic games. The computer keeps the scores as you play against one another, and then it gives you games in which you all play the computer. You carry on until someone loses interest and tries to cheat for fun. The computer finds out and everyone laughs. Then it's time to break up the party and have lunch.

After lunch you decide to spend some time on your own at a hobby or craft you particularly enjoy. Making things of all kinds is easy with the computer. You design them on the screen of the terminal in your playroom, and then the computer operates a machine that constructs the objects in materials such as plastics. This system is very good for making your own clothes. You can dress up in all kinds of fantastic garments that you design yourself. To avoid waste, the objects and clothes can be fed back into the machine and the materials recycled or used again.

See also:
Future Arcade Games (1985)
Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (Part 3, 1993)
Virtual Reality (1980s-today)
Homework in the Future (1981)
Home Entertainment of the Future (1981)
Learning in 1999 A.D. (1967)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Negro President by Year 2000 (1965)

The July 19, 1965 Delta Democrat-Times (Greenville, MS) ran a piece by Lyle Wilson proclaiming that by the year 2000, "there will be a Negro president of the United States, a Negro on the Supreme Court, [and] one or more in the U.S. Senate." The full text appears below.
Leftwing political realists in both major political parties are looking eagerly beyond the era of appointment of Negroes to high federal office to the time when there will be a Negro president of the United States, a Negro on the Supreme Court, one or more in the U.S. Senate.

Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, D-N.Y., cited the trend after his brother was elected president. In an address aimed at the emerging African nations, Kennedy said; "And now we have an Irish Catholic as president of the United States. The same kind of progress can be made by U.S. Negroes."

Kennedy related the political rise of Irish American Roman Catholics in the United States to the possibilities open to American Negroes, Sen. Jacob Javits, R-N.Y., was encouraged by the 1957 (Eisenhower administration) civil rights legislation to predict that there would be a Negro cabinet member, a Negro president or a Negro vice president by the year 2000.

Writing in the magazine Esquire, Javits said that as of 1958, the immediate goal of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was to be the election in 1960 of three Negro congressmen from Mississippi and one each from North Carolina and South Carolina. NAACP didn't make it in 1960 but has mounted a continuing campaign.

Javits wrote that he hoped and believed that U.S. Negroes would attain the suggested political heights on the basis of practical political considerations.

"Once the (civil rights) fight has won for Negroes in the South their constitutional right to vote," Javits wrote, "and once they learn to take the full responsibility of voting, this country may well witness a ballot box revolution in many southern states."

Javits believes that 30 to 40 Negroes will be elected to the 107th Congress which will convene in January, 2001. He wrote that Negro leaders had told him that it would be possible to nominate a Negro to the Supreme Court in 1968 and that there would be by then a Negro member of the U.S. Senate.

Well before 2000, Javits expects a Negro to be elected mayor in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. He wrote in 1958 that he expected school desegregation to be completed by 1965, Javits calculations are based on a steady increase of the Negro vote for local and federal office under protection of federal law.

Another consideration is the population shift of Negroes to the great northern and eastern cities. A result of such a shift can be seen in New York City where the Borough of Manhattan elected in 1953 and re-elected in 1957 a Negro named Hulan Jack to be borough president, Jack, in effect, is mayor of the island of Manhattan, the one the Indians sold.

By now that important job is 100 per cent segregated. New York's commitment to politics on the basis of race and religion apparently has reserved forever the Manhattan Borough presidency for a Negro.

New York politicians see no harm in that kind of segregation.

Javits estimated that by 2000 one out of four persons in New York City will be Negroes, one of three in Chicago and one of two in Los Angeles. The political impact of that would be considerable.

See also:
Future Shock - Skin Color (1972)
Future "Brotherhood" (1976)