Thursday, May 17, 2007

Closer Than We Think! (1958-1963)

In 1958 Arthur Radebaugh started the syndicated Sunday comic Closer Than We Think! It ran in newspapers until early 1963. The strip really epitomizes the optimistic brand of futurism so common in the post-WWII era. Below are a few great examples of this paleo-futuristic strip from the Chicago Tribune.

Push-Button Education - May 25, 1958
"Teaching would be by means of sound movies and mechanical tabulating machines."

Wrist Watch TV - April 17, 1960
"TV sets the size of postage stamps will soon be worn on the wrist, each with a personal dialing number."

"Pogo" Police Car - May 4, 1958
"Here, for tomorrow, is the concept of policemen on mechanical pogo platforms ..."

Farm Automation - March 30, 1958
"A floating tower will oversee a swarm of robot implements and tractors operated by electronic command."

Gravity in Reverse - June 29, 1958
"Factory-made houses equipped with antigravity machinery could be floated above the ground - to catch the breezes!"

See also:
Word Origins: Imagineering (1947)
Ristos (1979)
Homework in the Future (1981)
Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (Part 7, 1993)
The Road Ahead: Future Classroom (1995)
Superfarm of the Year 2020 (1979)


Chris Jepsen said...

I've admired Arthur Radebaugh's work for a long time now. Does anyone know where to get those monochrome posters of his art that were making the rounds a few years ago?

Anonymous said...

Take a look at the flying cars in the antigravity panel -- one on the ground, and one flying -- this predates the Jetsons by 5 years... convergent paleo-future evolution, or theft of intellectual property?

Anonymous said...

Why would I want a TV the size of a stamp? Screens got bigger in the future, not smaller. Then again, there is there are video playing iPods...