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Entries in food (67)

Saturday
Jul042009

Letters by 4th Graders to the Year 2000 (1976)

The July 4, 1976 Grand Prairie Daily News (Grand Prairie, TX) published letters written by 4th graders, addressed to people of the year 2000. Just as the newspaper did, I've left the spelling and grammatical errors. Because if we've learned anything at the Paleo-Future blog, it's that kids are stupid.

We'll begin by looking at letters by young Laurie Smith, Yolanda Tejeda, and R.C. Brown. These kids really hit all the major futurism topics of the 20th century: robot maids, moving sidewalks, flying cars, meal pills, push button everything, education through television, socialism, and candy. Lots of candy.

 

Dear Janice,

In the year 2000 I think that cars can fly in the air as fast as they want to without using gas. You can get whatever you want, including candy. Houses will be way up in the sky. You can have robots to do the housework for the mothers. Instead of walking, the the sidewalks will move for you.

Your friend,

Laurie Smith

 

Dear John,

In the year 2000 I think thay kids will be taught at home on their T.V. The army will be using lazor guns. Cars will be like spaceships and the strreetlights will be on long tall poles. Another means of transportation will be push buttons. Select where you want to go, push a button, step through a door, and you'll be where you wanted to be.

Food will be in tablet form, put on water on the tablet and your food will be on your plate.

Sincerely yours,

R.C. Brown

 

Dear Laurie,

I think in the year 2000 the earth will be much more polluted than it is.

I also think that we will have no more school, and cars can go as fast as they want without getting a ticket.

The government will pay every person as much as they want without them having to work. I also think we will be out of energy for stores or anything that uses fuel in the year 2000.

Sincerely,

Yolanda Tejeda

 

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Sunday
Jun282009

Not Enough Bread in 1959 (1909)

I never really took James J. Hill for a Malthusian, but this article in the January 28, 1909 Milford Mail (Milford, IA) certainly paints him as one. Hill's argument was basically that there would be too few farmers for a fast-growing American population.

To reflect on the progress made in the United States during the first half of the 20th century is pretty awe-inspiring. Intelligent people with opposing opinions could argue for hours whether this was despite or because of 2 world wars and the Great Depression. You can read the entire piece from the Milford Mail with Hill's predictions below.

They must learn to farm better. Intensive farming is inevitable. In very truth, two blades of grass must grow where but one grew before, and land that now produces only one bushel of wheat must produce two. And farmers must learn to handle their products more wisely after they are produced. There must be no waste either of substance or value.

Photo of James J. Hill from the Library of Congress.

1909 Jan 28 Milford Mail - Milford IA Pa Leo Future

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

 

Monday
May112009

"Factory" Farms of the Future (1961)

Remember when the term "factory farm" was synonymous with a positive way to produce food? Neither do I.

But this April 9, 1961 edition of Closer Than We Think (which appeared in the Chicago Tribune) treats the phrase as a part of humanity's natural progression in the advancement of science. I imagine what a different world we'd be living in if "FACTORY FARMED!" were plastered on food packaging rather than "ORGANIC!" or "ALL-NATURAL!" That world somehow seems just as plausible given a few historical and societal tweaks. Those giant tomatoes could have been pulled directly from John Elfreth Watkin's December, 1900 piece for the Ladies' Home Journal. And those monorail tank cars are certainly reminiscent of the high-speed freightways used to transport food in the 1958 Disneyland TV episode Magic Highway, U.S.A.

The full text of the strip appears below.

Agriculture in the world of tomorrow will be so mechanized that farms will actually resemble factories. Crops and livestock will be raised on regular schedules under uniform and carefully controlled conditions.

"Sensors," those automatic control devices for today's wonder machines, will be adapted to the requirements of precisions agriculture. They will take the place of human judgement in deciding and reacting to soil conditions, crop maturity, moisture levels, weather forecasting, feeding needs, etc. Bendix researcher W. E. Kock has reported that instruments to do this already exist or will soon be developed.

A special thanks to Tom Z. yet again for being an invaluable resource for the Closer Than We Think series.

Previously on Paleo-Future:

Tuesday
Mar312009

Corner Grocermat (1959)

The January 4, 1959 edition of Closer Than We Think illustrated the corner grocermat of the future. The modular/mobile nature of the whole idea is reminiscent of the "farm to market" trains featured in Magic Highway, U.S.A. They certainly could have inspired the "mobile malls" of 1981 we looked at a while back.

Here's an idea to make marketing faster and easier! As proposed by the Clark Equipment Company of Battle Creek, Michigan, it involves the use of self-service "food banks" that would be preloaded with bread, milk, soups, etc., at the wholesaler's and then hauled to handy neighborhood locations for the convenience of retail shoppers.

The idea might be further developed to enable the housewife to drive around an oval arrangement of such preloaded display sections and pick out what was needed. A clerk would put the desired groceries on a moving belt which would move when the auto did, so that the purchases would wind up at the checkout counter at the same time the driver did. They'd be packaged and paid for - all with the customer still seated at her wheel.

Thanks to Tom Z. for this color edition of Closer Than We Think.

Previously on Paleo-Future:

Wednesday
Dec032008

Tomorrow's Kitchen (1943)


The July 16, 1943 Morning Herald (Uniontown, PA) ran this piece about the kitchen of the future, complete with built-in pots and pans. The kitchen was designed by the Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass company, which may be the same company that imagined the glass house of the year 2008.

A special thanks to Warren for pointing me in the direction of these photos from Life magazine, which inspired me to track down this story. The photo featured at the top of the piece comes from the newspaper article. The rest of the photos are from Life.

It's interesting to compare this vision of the future kitchen with that of 1967. Both are messages from companies wishing to sell a lifestyle of post-war consumerism as much as the products themselves, it seems.


TOLEDO, O. - The "Kitchen of Tomorrow" that does everything but put out the cat at night now makes its debut.

 

It eliminates pots and pans.

It does away with stooping and squatting.

Sore feet will be only a memory of the sad past—because in this kitchen three-quarters of the "little woman's" work can be done while comfortably seated.

Dishwashing becomes a pleasure and burnt fingers practically impossible to acquire.


And, in the vernacular—that is not the half of it!

Between meal times and without the help of a magic wand the kitchen can almost instantly be transformed into a gaily-decorated play-room for the children.

In the evening, it changes into a buffet bar.

With a minimum of effort it converts to extra living space—with all of the familiar kitchen '"gadgets" and appliances buried from sight.

Designed by the Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Company to help point the way toward more practical and gracious living in the post-war era, the kitchen has an "all this and heaven, too" theme developed by the use of easily obtained and familiar materials worked into new shapes and forms.


Sliding panels cover the sink, cooking unit and automatic food mixer, so when not in use these units become part of a long buffet—ready for use as a study bench for the children or a bar for dad.


An "out of this world" refrigerator of glass construction has four times the capacity of today's model. Built on the principle of the cold storage locker, it is separated into compartments, each with an individual temperature control. One compartment shelf revolves—so that salads and often-used foods can be placed in it from the kitchen side and removed from the adjoining dining alcove.

The oven has a sliding, heat-tempered glass hood. When the roast is revolving on the motor-driven spit mother can look at it from all angles—and without opening the oven door as of old.


Most of the cooking is done in evolutionary unit one-third the size of the average stove and with built-in pots and pans which double as serving dishes.

All of the kitchen equipment has been raised to an easy working level and the space ordinarily cluttered with storage bins and cabinets has been left free to provide room for the housewife's knees.


Storage cabinets gain a new grace by being hung on the wall and equipped with sliding glass doors-no bumped heads!

And not overlooking a thing, H. Creston Doner, designer of the kitchen, turned out a model dining alcove, as a "running mate" for the kitchen. He pointed out that, other than making the ideas of his department available to other designers and manufacturers, his firm's sole interest is to demonstrate some of the decorative and utilitarian advantages of glass.


So that it, too, may be used for extra living space, the dining room sports a plate glass-topped table that folds back against the wall and becomes a mural-—the folding legs forming a frame to the sand-blasted design in the glass.

Read more:
The Future of Glass (1958)
1999 A.D. (1967)
Frigidaire Kitchen of the Future (1957)
Monsanto House of the Future Brochure (1961)
How Experts Think We'll Live in 2000 A.D. (1950)
Monsanto House of the Future (1957-1967)
Monsanto House of the Future (1957)
House of the Future for the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition (1956)

Thursday
Nov132008

Meal Pill Skeptic (1936)


We've looked at plenty of predictions about how, in the future, we'd all be eating meal pills. From turkey dinners to beer to tutti-fruitti, it was a question of when we would enjoy them in pill form, not if we would. But in the October 6, 1936 Jefferson City Post-Tribune (Jefferson City, MO), Dr. Milton A. Bridges rains on the meal pill parade. The entire piece appears below.

KANSAS CITY, Oct. 6 - (AP) -- Alack and alas, the hardworking housewife must give up her dream of dispensing with a four-course meal by simply feeding hubby a concentrated food pill -- it can't be done, an authority said today.

 

The calory factor will necessitate continued operation of America's kitchens, explained Dr. Milton A. Bridges, assistant clinical professor of medicine at Columbia University and dietitics authority.

"Human beings never are going to eat pills for meals," said Dr. Bridges, emphatically. "Pills can never be made to contain sufficient caloric volume."

Caloric volume, the quantity of calories, is a factor of daily diet that must be kept to quota, Dr. Bridges explained.

"It is perfectly plausible to supply all the vitamins and minerals needed for a meal in pill form. But you can't get calories except by eating foods.

"And you'd have to eat the same foods we eat now to get those calories," added Dr. Bridges.

These foods, if the diet is properly balance, will provide the other necessary elements at the same time, Dr. Bridges declared, making the pills just so much surplusage, as far as the normal appetite is concerned.

Dr. Bridges is attending the annual fall conference of the Southwest Clinical Society.

Read more:
Whole Meal in Pill (1923)
Food of the Future (Indiana Progress, 1896)
Just Imagine (1930)
That Synthetic Food of the Future (Ogden Standard-Examiner, 1926)
Cigarettes of the Year 2000 (1944)

 

Wednesday
Aug132008

Cigarettes of the Year 2000 (1944)

Making things smaller and more efficient has, at least since the Industrial Revolution, been a staple of American futurist thinking. A women's dinner event in 1944 included "The Year 2000" as its theme and even the cigarettes were "concentrated." From the January 26, 1944 Maryville Daily Forum (Maryville, MO):

The group was served food suggestive of the theme and included tutti-fruitti pills; a pill of golden brown for the meat course; the dessert course was a miniature chocolate pellet and concentrated cigarettes. At the close of this banquet, food of 1944, including sandwiches and coffee, was served.


Read More:
Whole Meal in Pill (1923)
A Glimpse Into 2056 (1956)
Just Imagine (1930)
That Synthetic Food of the Future (Ogden Standard-Examiner, 1926)
Food of the Future (Indiana Progress, 1896)