Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Closer Than We Think! Push-Button Staff Room (1959)

The May 24, 1959 Chicago Tribune ran this Closer Than We Think strip about the war room of the future.
In the event of another war, military actions will be directed from secret, mechanized nerve centers. Ever since 1952, the Signal Corps', "Project Michigan" has aimed at the objective - to develop push-button devices that can give the top planners an immediate grasp of all situations, wherever located.

World-wide television (it's possible now, says Bell Telephone Laboratories) will provide two-way communication to battlefields. All conceivable kinds of data - concerning men, supplies, needs - will flash at bullet speed from film cabinets such as those lately installed by Kodak at the Pentagon. The result will be a near-instant analysis of problems, and computer-machine decisions whenever the generals want them!

Next Week: Probing Venus

See also:
Closer Than We Think! (1958-1963)
Will War Drive Civilization Underground? (1942)
Our Friend the Atom (Book, 1956)
After the War (1944)
Memory of 'Tomorrow' (New York Times, 1941)
Gigantic Robots to Fight Our Battles (Fresno Bee, 1934)
Pictures Stately Edifices (1923)
Looks for Era of Brotherhood (1923)
Poison War (1981)
Word Origins: Imagineering, continued (1942)
Nazi Paleo-Futurism (1941)
No Shooting War Before Year 2000 (1949)


jayessell said...

On the screen: "Good God! They're everywhere! Half of the division destroyed! We're falling back to position Delta with the remaining forces, but..." Just then the image changes to static with the words "Loss of Signal" superimposed.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the more complex the system, the more prone to failure...

Love the women with their hair in the long Florence Nightingale cape thingys. Still I suppose it's a major advance simply to picture women in that setting, regardless of their attire.

Anonymous said...

With satellites, computers, UAV's, robots, etc..., we are not too far away from this.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to the "probing Venus"!

Anonymous said...

Isn't that Venus, probing the Micro Record Autofile?

Anonymous said...

Besides, the antenna sticking out of that jetpack looks like a waepon all by itself!

Anonymous said...

And almost 50 years later, it is a reality. Underneath the 50s/60s-era conception of future technology, the basic principle was that rapid information processing is the future of the military.

I wonder if those visionaries 50 years ago ever conceived of the idea that future wars would be fought using the information systems themselves.