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Entries in popular science (5)

Thursday
Apr222010

The Streamlined Car of 1960 (1948)

Popular Mechanics produced short films in the 1940s and 50s that showcased technology of the near and distant future. This short was released theatrically on May 21, 1948 and featured "streamlined marvels on wheels." The narrator cheerfully proclaims of the second car (pictured above), "If you're looking for a 1960 model, this may well be it!"

Clip from the Popular Science Historic Film Series DVD.

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Saturday
Mar202010

Private Planes of the Future (1944)

The July, 1944 issue of Popular Science contains this private plane of the future, as imagined by Douglas Rolfe.

 

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Sunday
Mar222009

Radio-Newspaper Receiver for Home Use (1939)

With so much talk of late about how old media outlets are dying, it may be time to look at past visions of the media future. Not that they worked. Don't get any crazy ideas guys.

The image above is from the excellent blog Modern Mechanix and was featured in the May, 1939 issue of Popular Science.

Designed to fit the top of a commercial table receiver which it matches in cabinet style, a complete radio-newspaper receiver for home use has just been placed on the market. All necessary apparatus for receiving and printing news bulletins and pictures transmitted over the air are contained in the unit. The news is automatically printed on a continuous sheet of paper that unwinds from a roll as it is received. The instrument can be used in conjunction with any radio receiver, the manufacturer declares, provided it has an output of at least five watts.

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Wednesday
Apr302008

Passenger Air Travel (1945)


The cover of the March, 1945 issue of Popular Science shows a streamlined bubble-top bus onto which passengers deplane. If we notice the less fantastic predictions of this illustration, (specifically, widespread passenger air travel), we find that this vision was largely realized.

See also:
Airport of the Future (1967)
Fuller's Traveling Cartridge (circa 1960s)

Tuesday
Apr172007

Amphibian Monorail (Popular Science, 1934)

The July, 1934 issue of Popular Science features the sleek, modern look we often see in this era of the paleo-future; beautiful images filled with hope that the future could somehow hold promise.


Amphibian trains that can whiz above desert sands on an overhead rail, or plunge into the water to ford a river, are contemplated by the Soviet Government in an amazing plan to tap mineral wealth in Turkestan. They are to travel three projected monorail lines of unprecedented design, totaling 332 miles in length and crossing deserts and rivers.


A single overhead rail on concrete standards could be erected at low cost along these routes, engineers estimate. Air-porpelled cars with twin, cigar-shaped hulls could straddle the track and glide along it, at speeds reaching 180 miles an hour, according to calculations based on tests of models at Moscow. The cars would be equipeed with Diesel-electric drive, and each would carry forty passengers or an equivalent freight load. Where the longest of the projected routes crosses the river Amu-Daria, a mile and a quarter wide, it is proposed that amphibian cars be used. On arriving at the shore the cars would leave the overhead rail and cross the river as a boat. Soviet engineers are reported already surveying the route.