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Friday
Jan212011

The Trench Destroyer (1917)

This chilling image from the height of World War I appeared on the February, 1917 cover of Hugo Gernsback's The Electrical Experimenter. The excerpt below is from Yesterday's Tomorrows: Past Visions of the American Future by Joseph Corn and Brian Horrigan.

The design of this mobile dreadnaught, with its steel-tired, spoked wheels, suggests that its inventor may have been influenced by agricultural tractors or perhaps an amusement park Ferris wheel. The trench destroyer also embodies the common goal of military visionaries: maximum offensive power with total defensive security.

 Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

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Reader Comments (5)

See, I would argue that military visionaries fall into two categories - chumps who think they can make war painless (at least, for themselves and their nation), and nasty pigfuckers who by nature contrive to ruin those utopian plans with the application of known technology and a littl creativity.

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Well... apparently the Russians made something eerily similar

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsar_tank

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLars

Plenty more Gernsback magazine cover visions of the future in all of his titles (and there were a lot of them). To see more in ELECTRICAL EXPERIMENTER, you could start here: http://www.magazineart.org/main.php/v/technical/electricalexperimenter/?g2_page=4

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Ward

For more information on Hugo Gernsback check out a recent biography that is available on Amazon.

I found this document when we closed down Gernsback Publications in 2003. It was an old ms that I edited and produced as a book.

Follow the link and you can go to the book and thanks to Amazon’s “look inside” feature, you can even get an idea of what it covers.

http://www.amazon.com/Hugo-Gernsback-Well-Ahead-Time/dp/1419658573/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264627577&sr=1-3
Also at http://CreateSpace.com/3119407

Hope you find it interesting.

The book is also available as an E-book for the Kindle or your PC or Mac at Amazon. Here is the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Hugo-Gernsback-Well-Ahead-ebook/dp/B0032AMDL4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=digital-text&qid=1264627427&sr=8-1

Other Hugo Gernsback Titles available at Amazon as e-books for Kindle or your PC:

http://www.amazon.com/100-Radio-Hookups-Circuits-Experimenters/dp/1450560172/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1283959884&sr=1-1

100 Radio Hookups E-book
http://www.amazon.com/100-Radio-Hookups-ebook/dp/B0036FU0YW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=digital-text&qid=1265394338&sr=8-3

The Collected Works of Mohammed Ullyses Fips
A collection of April Fools Articles by Hugo Gernsback
http://www.amazon.com/Collected-Works-Mohammed-Ullyses-Fips/dp/1450559859/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1283959984&sr=1-1-fkmr0

1933 Official Auto Radio Service Manual

http://www.amazon.com/1933-Official-Auto-Radio-Service-Manual/dp/1450596940/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1283960074&sr=1-1-fkmr0

Radio Service Man’s Handybook

http://www.amazon.com/Radio-Service-Mans-Handybook-Addenda/dp/1451506961/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1283960157&sr=1-1-fkmr1

Radio-Cracy & Mini Radio Craft

http://www.amazon.com/Radio-Cracy-Mini-Craft-Gernsback/dp/1451521073/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1283960240&sr=1-1

For more information feel free to contact me, Larry Steckler, at PoptronixInc@aol.com

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLarry Steckler

Note that what you see here is a conception of a weapon of the future for the war of the immediate past or the present, rather than a weapon for the war of the future. Ideas like this have been a staple of military planners since the Romans--so, for example, the USA still plans new ways to lob ICBMs around and makes expensive fighter planes that might have been useful a generation ago.

BTW, note also the chronology of this item: the mag is dated Feb 1917, the Zimmerman telegram that brought the USA into WW1 was leaked at the beginning of Mar, and the USA declared war on 6 Apr. Did Gernsback (born a Letzeburger) know something that Wilson didn"t know?

January 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCorvus Illustris

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