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Tuesday
Jul062010

Will Humanity Annihilate Itself? (1939)

The March 29, 1939 San Antonio Light (San Antonio, TX) ran this teaser for an article that was to appear in the April 2nd issue of The American Weekly.

At first glance, I had assumed that the ad was referencing this article that we looked at from 1935, but upon closer inspection it would seem they simply used the same drawing of a robot soldier from Erik Nitsche. Maybe if I track down the actual 1939 article from Professor C.M. Joad I'll straighten this whole robotic mess out. Until then, enjoy the pictures (...of an uber-dystopian, sentient robot hellscape!)

 

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

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    Paleofuture - Paleofuture Blog - Will Humanity Annihilate Itself? (1939)
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Reader Comments (8)

C. E. M. Joad was a well known philosopher and was most well known for his appearance on 'The Brains Trust' on BBC Radio during WWII.
The timing is interesting as his "Why War?" book was published in 1939; the only online excerpt I found is here (Warning copious amount of crazy may exist on destination site).

July 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersam

I visit your blog first time. It is so nice and interesting. I agree with you.
http://wofgtg.blogspot.com/.
Also thanks for this

July 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpervaiz iqbal

Why are so many articles on your blog from the San Antonio Light? Is it just that you have easy access to the archive, or some other reason? (I'd find a post answering this just as interesting as more paleo-future)

July 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim

The San Antonio Light has some of the best and most sensational articles about robots from the 1920s and 30s. I can't get enough!

July 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterMatt Novak

The cover illustration is not very far-fetched at all. Autonomous, self-propelled automatic cannon are described (and illustrated) in David Axe's WAR BOTS http://www.amazon.com/War-Bots-Military-Transforming-Afghanistan/dp/1934840378 (Nimble Books, 2008)

July 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFred Zimmerman

Take another look at the dates...is it possible that the teaser story was an April Fools Day hoax?

July 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam Hanff

too bad the sa light is now defunct. the only existing paper now (the express news) makes me yearn for mans annihilation.

July 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFarley

"within a measurable distance of destroying itself"

Considering what was beginning development at Hanford, Oak Ridge, and Los Alamos in 1939, that statement is particularly prescient (or the author was privy to some very classified information).

August 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterspinetingler

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