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Entries in chicago tribune (38)

Tuesday
Jul132010

Electronic Home Library (1959)

Remember 1959? You were just 9 years old, with not a care in the world (except maybe nuclear winter). You spread the Sunday paper out across the living room floor of your suburban Chicago home, and excitedly flipped to the funny pages. Closer Than We Think! Your favorite!

What fantastical promise from the future did Mr. Radebaugh have for you this week? Cars that run on sunshine? Tomatoes as big as Verne Gagne's head? Underseas highways to the land of godless commies? No, something even more ridiculous! A home library of electronic media! What a weird futuristic world that would be! Gosh golly, what will they think of next!

Some unusual inventions for home entertainment and education will be yours in the future, such as the "television recorder" that RCA's David Sarnoff described recently.

With this device, when a worthwhile program comes over the air while you are away from home, or even while you're watching it, you'll be able to preserve both the picture and sound on tape for replaying at any time. Westinghouse's Gwilym Price expects such tapes to reproduce shows in three dimensions and color on screens as shallow as a picture.

Another pushbutton development will be projection of microfilm books on the ceiling or wall in large type. To increase their impact on students, an electronic voice may accompany the visual passages.

Eternal thanks to my Closer Than We Think pusher Tom Z., without whom I would be living in a cold, dark world of black and white comic strips.

 

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Tuesday
Nov102009

Crime Will No Longer Exist in 2007 (1907)

You know what's awesome about living in the future? Not having to worry about crime of any kind.

The March 17, 1907 Washington Post ran a piece from the Chicago Tribune titled "How Our Progeny Will Live One Hundred Years From Now." An excerpt, which imagines a world where crime is extremely rare, appears below.

I found the most interesting idea in the piece to be that those of a criminal inclination would no longer be allowed to procreate.

CRIME WILL NO LONGER EXIST

The repression of crime will largely be through preventive measures. With improved detective methods the chances of escape in any given case will be greatly diminished, the innocent will be rarely accused at all, and the punishments of the guilty will be of a reformatory character. In the meantime the study of mental science will have made great strides, and a great source of crime will be eliminated because men and women with the mental twist which leads to crime will be absolutely prevented from propagating their race.

 

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Monday
Oct192009

24-Hour Daylight (1960)

I'd put this retro-futuristic prediction in the "why the hell would you do that?" file.

The August 7, 1960 Chicago Tribune ran this panel of Arthur Radebaugh's Closer Than We Think, titled "24-Hour Daylight." It imagines a world in which miniature artificial suns illuminate cities of the future. To be fair, those people look like they couldn't be happier. Does sleep deprivation cause some sort of euphoric state?

Man-made balls of fire may be used to light up tomorrow's cities. American scientists are currently pondering an idea along those lines that was first described in technical papers by George Babat, a Russian.

Bendix researcher Donald Ritchie recently reported that balls of light -- actually miniature suns -- might be created by focusing huge transmitting devices so that the rays they generate would cross each other and produce electromagnetic fields. These luminous fields could be used to light up large areas underneath them. Rays would be pointed as necessary to determine exactly where the artificial "sunlight" would fall.

Next week: Missile Movers

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Sunday
Aug102008

Bloodless Surgery, Closer Than We Think! (1959)


The November 15, 1959 edition of Closer Than We Think, (syndicated by the Chicago Tribune, written and illustrated by Arthur Radebaugh), predicted "bloodless surgery."

With the development of an "atomic knife," tomorrow's hospital operations may be as easy on the patient as relaxing in an easy chair - no incisions, no bleeding. The technique has already been used successfully in reducing hormone flow from the pituitary, in relieving depressed mental states by "cutting" brain segments, in treating certain cases of cancer.

 

Specialists at the University of California and in Uppsala, Sweden, have been able to destroy unwanted tissues by directing a proton beam toward them. Later, many researchers feel, the method may be used in any operation that doesn't require reconnecting of tissues.

Next week: Stop-and-Go Rockets


A special thanks to Tom Z. for today's scan.

 

Read More:
Our Friend the Atom (1956)
How Experts Think We'll Live in 2000 A.D. (1950)

Thursday
Apr242008

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)

 

Friday
Feb292008

Closer Than We Think! Weather Control (1958)


This Closer Than We Think strip about weather control appeared in the June 22, 1958 Chicago Tribune.

In years to come, there will be satellite equipment for forecasting - as well as controlling - the weather.

 

The effects of air and humidity masses can be calculated more precisely from above. Sunspots, solar rays and other space disturbances will be more easily observed and studied. And sensitive sighting and analysis devices will make long-range predictions highly accurate.

Control of weather is the next step. In the words of Dr. I. M. Levitt, Director of the Fels Planetarium at the Frankline Institute: "In time, huge solar mirrors five or more miles in diameter may be used to reflect radiation of the sun to specific areas on earth to increase evaporation and to prevent crop-killing frosts."


See also:
Foolproof Weatherman of 1989 (1939)
Communities May Be Weatherized (Edwardsville Intelligencer, 1952)
American Version of Postcards Showing the Year 2000 (circa 1900)
The Coming Ice Age (1982)
A Wonderful Day to Fly (1980)
Glenn T. Seaborg's 1989 (1964)
Lyndon B. Johnson on 2063 A.D. (1963)
Postcards Show the Year 2000 (circa 1900)
What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years (Ladies Home Journal, 1900)
Space Colony Possible (The News, 1975)
Solar Energy for Tomorrow's World (1980)

 

Tuesday
Feb122008

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)