Thursday, August 14, 2008

Aerial Mono-Flyer of the Future (1918)

The August, 1918 cover of Hugo Gernsback's Electrical Experimenter magazine featured the "aerial mono-flyer of the future."

This monorail seems like only a modest improvement in safety over the 1930's sightseeing death-trap known as the sky toboggan. But the mono-flyer is assuredly a less safe concept than the monorail of William H. Boyes, built around 1911.

This image was found in the book Out of Time: Designs for the Twentieth-Century Future. According to the book, Gernsback introduced Electrical Experimenter in 1915 and changed the name of the magazine to Science and Invention in 1920.

Read More:
William H. Boyes Monorail (1911)
Amphibian Monorail (Popular Science, 1934)
Sky Toboggan (1935)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd have to call Hugo Gernsback "Mr. Paleo-Future"; his "Electrical Experimenter" was among the first magazines to publish science fiction regularly, he actually tried to name that genre (though his "scientifiction" name never caught on), started the first all-SF mag (Amazing Stories) that published the first "Buck Rogers" story ("Armageddon: 2419") in 1928, lent his name to SF's prestigious "Hugo Award", and had become a metaphor by the time William Gibson's short story "The Gernsback Continuum" launched the "Cyberpunk" movement in SF in the 1980s (the story follows a photographer who starts to hallucinate the paleofuture while photographing abandoned art-deco buildings). For decades, certainly while I was growing up, Gernsback was the go-to guy for outrageously futuristic pronouncements (Life Magazine, for example, showed him wearing a "television eyeglasses" prototype in 1960). He was as much an ubergeek as his contemporary R. Buckminster Fuller, and probably at least as influential.