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Entries in mars (8)


Picnics on Mars in the Year 2012 (1962)



We've looked at a lot of the ways in which advertisers have positioned themselves as being in touch with "the future." The future's been used to advertise appliance stores, power companies, airlines, phone companies, aluminumTVs, beer and refrigerators, refrigerators, refrigerators; pretty much any consumer product or service you can think of.

By associating their brand with cutting edge design and glamour, advertisers are afforded the leniency of fantasy and fluff while still maintaining some level of respectability. The future is a perfect foil for conservative brands -- even something as boring as an insurance company -- to project fanciful ideas rooted in the long-term thinking expected of them.

The advertisement below is for the insurance company Michigan Mutual Liability and appeared in the September 12, 1962 Record-Eagle (Traverse City, MI). It predicts everything from picnics on Mars to oddly shaped money in 2012, significant for the insurance company as its centennial year.

HAVE A HAPPY TRIP! By 2012 AD, Mars may make a nice site for a family picnic, via your space craft, with a few stops for refreshments at space platforms along the way. Earth's Moon may be the site of our suburbs. Our Sun with an absolute surface temperature of 6000 degrees, is apt to be too warm for a pleasure trip. But Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, Mercury and Venus may be more hospitable, and there are of course, trillions of other planets and suns beyond our Solar System to tempt the space traveler.

This month marks our 50th birthday. While it's fun to look back on our past half century, we think it's even more interesting to look ahead to our next one. And here's what we plan for the year 2012:

Whether "autos" are traveling on "space beams" to other planets, operating beneath oceans, on compressed air, or are radar controlled... we plan to be far ahead in anticipating our policyholders' insurance needs as we have been in the past. (For instance, we started providing auto insurance when horse drawn vehicles were still a relative commonplace. We pioneered in offering motorists discounts that grow larger each accident and claim free year. More recently, we introduced a pay-as-you-drive plan that lets motorists spread costs on a monthly basis.)

Entire communities may be enclosed beneath huge plastic domes providing community-wide air-conditioning in 2012. Or they may float in space... or be underground. Wherever they are, we plan to provide our homeowner policyholders with the greatest amount of financial protection practical, against personal liability, property damage, casualty losses... just as we do now. (We pioneered in combining four major homeowner insurance needs in a single package. And Now -- you can pay for your Homeowners Insurance, with us, on a monthly basis.)

The shape of money may change, but we'll pass on all savings, all economies, to our policyholders in the year 2012... just as we do today. (Michigan Mutual Liability Company, you see, is owned by its policyholders -- operated for their benefit, so they're entitled to the most complete insurance it's practical to provide... at the lowest cost consistent with sound management.)

We plan to continue our growth pattern, too... having already become one of the ten largest companies of our kind since we pioneered with Workmen's Compensation Insurance back in 1912.

Secure your future... Insure with Michigan Mutual



First Americans on Mars (1964)

The 1964 book Rockets to Explore the Unknown contains some amazing illustrations by George Bakacs of what people thought spacesuits, rockets and even TVs of the future would look like. The image above depicts the first Americans on Mars.

Previously on Paleo-Future:



The Martian Base (1951)

This painting by Leslie Carr, based on a drawing by R.A. Smith, appears in the 1951 book The Exploration of Space by Arthur C. Clarke. Eighteen years before Man would set foot on the moon, the image depicts a Martian colony of the future, similar to those which would show up later in the 1957 Disneyland TV episode, Mars and Beyond.

Previously on Paleo-Future:



Fantastic Creatures May Greet You to Mars (1957)

The February 28, 1957 Lowell Sun (Lowell, MA) ran a fantastic piece about the plant and animal life we would likely find on Mars. A map that accompanied the piece even laid out where the likely vegetation, deserts, canals and oases were located.

The 1957 Disneyland TV episode Mars and Beyond shared many of the same assumptions about animal life on the Red Planet. Of course it would be difficult for life to sustain itself on Mars, that's why they're Martians!

An excerpt from the Lowell Sun piece appears below.

The Martians greeting the first space travelers from Earth may be fantastic furry little creatures peeking out of lonesome burrows.


Speculation that Mars might have animal life is contained in a book, "A Space Traveler's Guide to Mars," by Dr. I. M. Levitt of the Fels Planetarium, Philadelphia.

But these Martians would be astonishingly different from earthly animals, living by a different chemistry of life dictated by severe conditions of our Red Planet neighbor.

Many astronomers think Mars has some kind of plant life. One bit of evidence is changes in blue-green areas, which could be plant life spreading with the seasons over the Martian deserts.

And if there are plants, are there animals that feed on them and help decompose dead plants?

See also:
Animal Life on Mars (1957)
Plant Life on Mars (1957)
Mars and Beyond (1957)



Air Force Predictions for 2063 (1963)

The 1963 book, 2063 A.D., includes the predictions of Brigadier General Irving L. Branch. Branch was a commander at the Air Force Flight Test Center and predicted that by 2063 exploration of the near planets (Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn) will have been accomplished with manned vehicles. He also predicted that the moon and Mars will be heavily populated with researchers living in space colonies.

His contribution to the book appears below.

1. What kind of space vehicles do you think man will be using?


In the year 2063, a broad spectrum of space transportation systems will exist. Fusion power will provide the primary energy source for the large space transports of 2063. Single stage, high thrust recoverable boosters using a conventional thermal rocket engine propulsion cycle will provide ascent capability from the surface of earth or other planets, whereas low thrust electric propulsion will give an efficient means of transport in the low acceleration environment of free space between the planets. Both chemical and nuclear propulsion will, however, be used as required to extend the operational domain of man.

2. How far out in space will we have moved?

Thorough exploration of the near planets - Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn - by manned vehicles will have been accomplished by 2063. Preliminary manned exploration of the outer planets and all secondary bodies of the solar system as well as comets will be in process. A major effort will be fully organized to develop a transportation system for manned exploration of our closer stellar neighbors.

3. What sort of colonization will have taken place on other planets?

Population of the moon will have attained 100,000 by 2063. Primary products of the lunar colony will be rocket propellants for planetary exploration. Mars will attain a population of 10,000 by 2063, though rate of growth at that time will far exceed that of the moon. Population centers of the moon and Mars will consist primarily of research and engineering personnel with supporting technicians. Colonies will contain an acceptable mix of both male and female personnel. Development of these extra-terrestrial colonies will occur employing a transport mechanism operating with a steadily reducing crew return rate, i.e., emphasis will be given to encouraging a oneway system of space transport. Scientific and economic information will be readily communicated between the colonies though personnel and cargo will tend to remain fixed upon first delivery to the specified target body of the solar system.

4. Will we have moved closer to a one-world concept in our space efforts?

The one-world concept in our space efforts will not be particularly strengthened because of steady improvements made in propulsive capabilities. Independent scientific exploration and economic development of our solar system by many nations will be possible prior to 2063, due to readily available low cost propulsive systems.

5. What will ballistic missiles be used for?

Ballistic missiles will not be employed as a weapon system by 2063 due to development of other more lethal military systems and due to increased international competition in the scientific exporation and economic development of our solar system.

6. What natural resources will be taxing in outer space?

No extra-terrestrial natural resources will be taxed with direct monetary return to earth though the growing economic systems of the lunar and planetary colonies will maintain independent taxation for maintenance and development of local activities. Monetary benefits to the international bodies on the earth will accrue only through application of scientific information derived from interplanetary and interstellar exploration.

7. What commercial ventures will have derived from this feature?

Space transportation will have comprise the bulk of interplanetary activities though the primary goals of such extra-terrestrial colony will be the extraction of scientific data and transmission of this information.

See also:
General Dynamics Astronautics Time Capsule (1963)
Broken Time Capsule (1963-1997)
Lyndon B. Johnson on 2063 A.D. (1963)
Edmund G. Brown's Californifuture (1963)
James B. Utt on Space Travel (1963)



New Worlds To Radically Alter (1981)

The 1981 book Out into Space (World of Tomorrow) by Neil Ardley features this image of Venus, "bombarded with containers of plants that will begin to change its atmosphere into oxygen, which people can breathe."

An excerpt from the children's book appears below.

Plans have been proposed to change Mars and Venus, the nearest planets, into worlds like Earth - even though Venus is so hot that lead melts there, and Mars is so cold that its air freezes in winter and falls as snow. To alter whole worlds, we would employ the tiniest of living things - minute plans called algae. Special new kinds of algae would be bred to be resistant to the conditions on Venus and Mars. Huge quantities would then be sent to the planets. On Venus the algae would convert the atmosphere of carbon dioxide into oxygen. Water could come from ice-bearing comets diverted to Venus. The temperature would fall until it was cool enough for people to land and begin making a new home there. On Mars the temperature would need to be raised by using the planets to darken and warm the white ice caps. The ice would melt and moisten the soil, releasing oxygen into the thin atmosphere. As the air thickened, it would get even warmer.

See also:
Space Colony Pirates (1981)
Mars and Beyond (1957)
The Future of Real Estate (1953)
Vacations of the Future (1981)
Space Spiders (1979)



More Predictions of a 14-Year-Old (1901)

A few months ago we looked at the first part of fourteen-year-old Arthur Palm's predictions for the year 2001. Arthur was writing for his school newspaper, the Milwaukee Excelsior, in the year 1901.

According to the book Yesterday's Future little Arthur was probably influenced by this image from the January 12, 1901 Collier's Weekly.

Today we have the second half to Arthur Palm's 1901 piece.

You will see a tube stretched across the city called, "The United States Mail Tube," and a sign called, The Wireless Telephone Local and European. There will be saloons in the large buildings and in the window you will see the sign "Quick Lunch Compressed into Food Tablets." You may go to Europe in six hours by "The Submarine Line." The House-keepers will have an easy time; the dishes will be washed by electricity. In the year 2001, you will not see a single horse on Broadway, New York and only autos will be seen. In war the nations will have submarine torpedo boats which will destroy a whole fleet. In the year 2001, the locomotives will travel about 300 miles an hour, but I think it is not necessary because, before you know it, you will be killed by a locomotive. The people of the Earth will be in close communication with Mars by being shot off in great cannons. The cannon ball will be hollow to contain food and drink.

See also:
The Predictions of a 14-Year-Old (Milwaukee Excelsior, 1901)
Your Own Wireless Telephone (1910)
Collier's Illustrated Future of 2001 (1901)
600 Miles an Hour (1901)
Food of the Future (Indiana Progress, 1896)
That Synthetic Food of the Future (Ogden Standard-Examiner, 1926)
Postcards Show the Year 2000 (circa 1900)
What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years (Ladies Home Journal, 1900)
Mars and Beyond (1957)
Futuristic Air Travel (circa 1900)