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The refrigerator of the future, today! (1959)

We've looked at the multitude of ways that advertisers have used "the future" as a way to position their products as cutting edge or fantastical. Today we have an advertisement from the June 11, 1959 Galveston Daily News in Galveston, Texas.

At first glance, the ad appears to be for refrigerators; showing a child peeking into a fridge while wearing futuristic space clothes. Upon closer inspection we see that while the ad is promoting the benefits of combination refrigerator-freezers, it's actually paid for by the Houston Lighting and Power Company. I really wish I better understood the politics of utility companies from this era, as it would probably help me understand this ad from 1957 as well. (Is that not the most boring sentence you've read today? I'm single, ladies!)



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Some electric companies sold electric appliances, and they all sold more electricity when people bought them.

In Shawnee, Kansas, there's an All-Electric House that was originally built as a model by an electric company. It was then used as a residence, but it was bought by the county museum and restored to its "house of the future" state.

It's worth a visit if you find yourself in the Kansas City area.

July 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge P

By the 1970s, power companies were actively promoting lower consumption, because they were protected monopolies with a mandate to build in sufficient (expensive) generating capacity, so there were conditions under which it was to their advantage to promote efficiency.

I'm not sure what the dynamic was here, though. Are they trying to make people use more electricity or less?

July 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatt McIrvin

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