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Follow-The-Sun House (1959)

Today we have yet another panel from Arthur Radebaugh's excellent Closer Than We Think series of comic strips. Though the strip often ran on Sunday, the more eagle-eyed amongst you (read: nerdy) may notice that this particular strip was published in the Toronto Star Weekly on Saturday, May 2, 1959. 

Before alternative energy policy became a political wedge issue, techno-utopians like Radebaugh promoted renewable energy as sleek and sexy. Solar energy was supposed to power our cars, drive our space colonies and make deserts bloom. As we enter into a new era of optimism --driven by the New Optimists, if you will-- it seems that "the future" just might become less politicized and more dependent upon the scientific, the dynamic and the rational.

But then again, maybe I'm just an optimist.

Don't be surprised if many of tomorrow's homes are built on turntables. They would slowly pivot all day long to receive maximum benefit from health-giving sun ray and insure heat in winter.

This warm and colorful year-round design is adapted from an aluminum firm's summer house which has been studied and admired by architects. It would be built, together with a patio, over a service and garage area.

Ground and living levels would connect through a glass-enclosed staircase. Two-way glass could bring the outside view to those on the inside, while protecting the latter from inquisitive passersby.

Next week: Space Farmers


A special thanks to Tom Z. for a color scan of this strip.

Previously on Paleo-Future:


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Reader Comments (12)

The reason it was pubished on a Saturday edition of the Toronto Star, is that until comparatively recently, the Toronto Star did not publish on Sundays.

April 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDon MacDonald

I figured it was something like that. Thanks Don!

April 22, 2010 | Registered CommenterMatt Novak

An addendum: Parade magazine for May 2, 2010 had an article (WHERE AMERICA LIVES: Home, Strange Home by Sharon Male) that had a picture of a round house with the following text: ‘‘Turn, Turn, Turn — The entire second floor of Al and Janet Johnstone’s La Mesa, Calif., home rotates 360 degrees with the push of a button connected to a 1.5 horsepower motor. “We can turn the master bedroom to face the sunrise, then later we can dine by sunset,” Al says.’’ The more things change, the more they remain unaccepted by the masses I guess.

I seem to be experiencing premonitions of flashbacks.

May 3, 2010 | Registered CommenterTom Zmudzinski

Hmmm... compare those "premolded plastic rooms" with the Monsanto-house-of-thee-future... no coincidence there!

May 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTimeFlies

"Radebaugh promoted renewable energy as sleek and sexy." Lets be honest, this sexy design is still quite handsome. I would like to see how today's artists see the future for 50 years. Still Sleek and sexy, No Doubt about it.

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTrepid

Hi there, where exactly do you source these images from?
Cant seem to find any reference on your website? Thankyou

May 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJlang

If they don't have a source listed they're from my private library.

May 15, 2010 | Registered CommenterMatt Novak

Or mine (when you see "thanks to Tom Z"). I've sent Matt more than 70 color scans of Closer Than We Think! panels (plus several non-CTWT Radebaugh lilios in half-tone) for the simple reason that *THIS* is the nearest thing to a CTWT website going. (All you can get from the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, et al newspaper morgue websites are low-rez B&W images, and they charge you for the privilege of viewing them!)

May 19, 2010 | Registered CommenterTom Zmudzinski

Yes of course. I am forever indebted to Mr. Tom Z!

May 21, 2010 | Registered CommenterMatt Novak

Oh the maintenence demands of a solar tracking and the mechanical rotation systems! And would you notice the motion as you walk from the center of the house to the outer rooms and back again?

July 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterpsCargile

This house exists in germany! Built to follow the sun to maximise natural light.

August 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterModernist

The more things change, the more they remain unaccepted by the masses I guess. Agree that i seem to have problem with flash back :) link-pyramid

November 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhenry

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