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Entries in weather (12)

Wednesday
Jul012009

Roof Over New York (1949)

It's amazing how popular the idea of roofing in an entire city was in the 20th century. The concept of one day controlling the weather was likely exciting because it meant absolute domination over nature and one's environment. I suspect to conquer weather was the penultimate in shaping humankind's destiny, while the ultimate was likely immortality. (Someone's still working on that one, right?)

This illustration from the August 28, 1949 San Antonio Light (San Antonio, TX) depicts the future New York City skyline. The picture accompanies an article from Prof. A. M. Low, which we'll take a look at in the coming weeks.

CLIMATE "TO ORDER" -- One of the things to come, Professor A. M. Low points out, is likely to be the weather-controlled city. Using the famous New York skyline as a "model," the artist's conception, above, embodies some of the best scientific thinking of our time. "Roofs" like the one pictured may be constructed over cities and linked to skyscrapers to provide scientific control of weather. Open cross section of "roof" shows weather experts busy controlling temperature, etc.

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Monday
Nov102008

Weather Made to Order? (1954)


Before starting the Paleo-Future blog I had no idea that weather control was such a prominent feature of mid-20th-century futurism. Raised on Jurassic Park's pop version of chaos theory, I suppose that little Matty was deathly afraid a butterfly beating its wings in Indochina would cause a typhoon in Omaha. And thus, messing with a single little black raincloud would surely cause massive, unforeseen destruction.

Ah, the carefree years of our youth.

The May 28, 1954 issue of Collier's predicted that mankind (and by that we mean the United States) would eventually have complete control over weather. An excerpt from the piece by Capt. H.T. Orville appears below.

A weather station in southeast Texas spots a threatening cloud formation moving toward Waco on its radar screen; the shape of the cloud indicates a tornado may be building up. An urgent warning is sent to Weather Control Headquarters. Back comes an order for aircraft to dissipate the cloud. And less than an hour after the incipient tornado was first sighted, the aircraft radios back: Mission accomplished. The storm was broken up; there was no loss of life, no property damage.

 

This hypothetical destruction of a tornado in its infancy may sound fantastic today, but it could well become a reality within 40 years. In this age of the H-bomb and supersonic flight, it is quite possible that science will find ways not only to dissipate incipient tornadoes and hurricanes, but to influence all our weather to a degree that staggers the imagination.


Read more:
Closer Than We Think! Weather Control (1958)
Weather Control of 2000 A.D. (1966)
Foolproof Weatherman of 1989 (1939)
Communities May Be Weatherized (Edwardsville Intelligencer, 1952)

 

Thursday
Jul102008

Weather Control of 2000 A.D. (1966)

The 1966 radio documentary 2000 A.D. looked at a number of different issues facing the people of the year 2000. Most of these issues, as we've seen in earlier posts, involve figuring out what we're going to do with our abundant free-time. Won't people get tremendously bored, only working three days per week? You bet your sweet jetpack they will.

This clip of the radio program transitions from what to do with your free-time into what we'll do to control the weather. Can't have mother nature messing up our extravagant vacations now, can we?

If we have all this leisure, for loafing or not, we'll be at the mercy of the weather. Or, will it be the other way around?

 

My estimate is that we will start to work seriously to modify thunderclouds to reduce lightning. I think that we'll be able to have some sort of estimate of whether we can control tornadoes and such local severe storms. I think that we will not try to modify weather on a very large scale yet by that time simply because the ramifications will be of such a nature that we would run into considerable political or international difficulties.


See also:
2000 A.D. Radio Documentary (1966)
Going Backward into 2000 (1966)
Transportation in 2000 A.D. (1966)
The End of Work (1966)
Foolproof Weatherman of 1989 (1939)
Communities May Be Weatherized (Edwardsville Intelligencer, 1952)
Closer Than We Think! Weather Control (1958)

 

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)

 

Friday
Jan112008

Foolproof Weatherman of 1989 (1939)


The September 17, 1939 Montana Standard (Butte, MT) ran an article titled, "Foolproof Weatherman of 1989." Excerpts along with the article in its entirety appear below. My apologies to Pittsburgh.

Weather for November: First to tenth, rainy with some snow or sleet; tenth to twentieth, mostly fair, with frost and probably a severe freeze in the northern part of the state; twentieth to thirtieth, unsettled, clearing toward end of the month; Thanksgiving Day certain to be fair and only moderately cool.

 

Guesswork prophecy from an old-fashioned patent medicine almanac? No: official forecast, dated July 1, 1989 from the Weather Bureau headquarters in your home state. Based strictly on scientific analysis of exactly observed conditions months in advance, and made possible by improvements in instruments and mathematical methods that will come during the next 50 years.

We have the word of veteran weathermen that this kind of forecast is within the bounds of imaginable possibility, to come in the lifetime of our younger children.

A few months ago, the then chief of the U.S. Weather Bureau, Dr. Willis R. Gregg, wrote to all the leading meteorologists, both in government service and in universities throughout the country, asking them to take a holiday for a moment from the forecasting - to tell what they thought it might be like, half a century hence.


The article goes on to describe the push-button future of weather forecasting.

Looking ahead 50 years on our own account, we may vision the future chief of the U.S. Weather Bureau sitting in his laboratory. A screen is on the wall. He pushes a button, and sees a clear sky above the smoky pall of Pittsburgh (or maybe there won't be any smoke above Pittsburgh by then). He pushes another, and sees clouds scudding over Chicago, driven by a strong northwest wind. Another, and the screen blurs blind white; there is a raging blizzard at Medicine Hat. And so on, across Alaska and Siberia.



See also:
Communities May Be Weatherized (Edwardsville Intelligencer, 1952)
American Version of Postcards Showing the Year 2000 (circa 1900)
The Coming Ice Age (1982)

 

Monday
May142007

American Version of Postcards Showing the Year 2000 (circa 1900)


The image above is an American version of the German postcards from the late 19th and early 20th century. The postcard was found in the book Out of Time: Designs for the Twentieth-Century Future. The text on the left reads, "Compliments of Maher and Crosh Cutlery Co." while the text on the right reads, "Toledo, Ohio."

The image below is the German version of the postcard.


See also:
Postcards Show the Year 2000 (circa 1900)
Collier's Illustrated Future of 2001 (1901)
Predictions of a 14-Year-Old (Milwaukee Excelsior, 1901)
The Next Hundred Years (Milwaukee Herold und Seebote, 1901)
What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years (Ladies Home Journal, 1900)

Monday
May072007

A Wonderful Day to Fly (1980)


The 1980 textbook Building Dreams contains a story called, "A Wonderful Day to Fly." With picturephones, weather control and jet packs, the kids of the 1980s had quite a future ahead of them.

Someday, you may look outside on a clear day. Then you may call a friend and say, "It's not going to rain today. It's really a wonderful day for flying. Let's go!"

See also:
Picturephone as the perpetual technology of the future
Jet Flying Belt is Devised to Carry Man for Miles (New York Times, 1968)