Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Browse by Decade
Amazonian
Advertisements

Advertisements

Search
Advertisements

Amazon Fun

Navigation

Entries in agriculture (17)

Sunday
Mar202011

Push Button Farm of the Year 2000 (1958)

This 1958 cartoon appeared in a magazine for college students studying agriculture at Kansas State. It depicts the farmer of the year 2000 tending ever so leisurely to his hyper-futuristic push-button farm. While it's clearly tongue-in-cheek, none of the technologies depicted are that far off from very sincere predictions of that time. Weather control, radioactive crops and lounge chair farming were all promises made to farmers of that distant year 2000.

Push button agriculture in the year 2,000 A.D. This is how the Kansas State College Ag Student, magazine for K-State students in agriculture, illustrated an article on the subject in the December issue, Gary Yeakley, writing half in fun and half seriously, foresees underground feed lots, copto-spraying use of selective hormones, and remote controlled jets and atomic-powered tractors.

 

From the January 1, 1958 Hutchinson News (Hutchinson, KS).

1958 Jan 1 Hutchinson News - Hutchinson KS article paleofuture

Wednesday
Jan192011

Space Farmer of the Year 2012 (1982)

The 1982 Kids' Whole Future Catalog is just bursting at the seams with amazing advancements from the world of yestermorrow. From space hotels and universal language translators to factories in space and schools in the sky, this catalog fed the imaginations of countless rugrats in the 1980s. Today we have an excerpt from the catalog that imagines an interview with a space farmer of the year 2012.

 

Interview with a Space Farmer

Island One, January 16, 2012

On a recent tour through the Colonies of the United Universe, we stopped at Island One and talked with a farmer there:

Q: At lunch today, the waiter told us that all the food on the menu was produced here on Island One. Do you import any food from Earth?

A: No, it's too expensive. We raise every bit of food for all 10,000 of our citizens right her on this farm.

Q: You must have a very large area under cultivation?

A: Not really. We can grow all the food necessary to support one person in an area just 6 1/2 ft. long and 6 1/2 ft. wide. The entire farm takes up just 100 acres.

Q: How can you raise so much food in such a small space? 

A: Well, for one thing, we raise most of our crops - hydroponically - in water instead of soil. That saves a lot of space because we can grow plants on tall vertical frames. Also, our farm produces food continuously - one crop after another, all year-round. It's always summer here, and we don't have any cloudy days or storms to contend with.

Q: Do you raise any animals? 

A: Yes, they help us recycle leftovers. We raise our cows and goats almost entirely on corn stalks, cucumber vines and other crop wastes. Our chickens eat table scraps. Rabbits are our main sources of meat. They take up less space than hogs or cows and they need only half as much feed to produce a pound of meat. We also raise fish in those ponds over there.

Q: Where do you get the. water for the fish ponds?  

A: All the water in the colony is used over and over again. Water for drinking and cooking comes from the farm's dehumidifiers, which pull moisture out of the air. Waste water is purified in a solar furnace and then piped back to the farm. 

Q: Have you had any crop failures? 

A: Not so far. When we started the farm, we inspected the shipments of plants and seeds from Earth very carefully to make sure they didn't contain any weeds or insects. Now our farm is pretty much pest-free. 

Q: Do you miss your farm back on Earth? 

A: Not a bit! I've even learned to like rabbitburgers! 


 

The following page has an assessment of what was on the Gemini and Skylab menus, comparing them to the swanky Island One menu of the future. You could even send away for a package of freeze dried ice cream for $1.20, postpaid of course.

 

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Sunday
May022010

Jean-Marc Côté's Visions of the Year 2000 (1899)

Back in 2007, when the Paleo-Future blog was just two photos of Jane Jetson and a link to my Friendster profile, I posted some images from the National Library of France that depicted life in the year 2000.

I've since learned that these prints are from 1899, rather than 1910 as reported by the BnF. I've also learned that they were illustrated by Jean-Marc Côté, a French commercial artist who was commissioned by either a toy or cigarette manufacturer, to produce them. Interestingly enough the company that commissioned the cards went out of business before they could be distributed, leaving behind just one complete set of 50 cards. And where did I learn all of this wonderful information? From reading a book! Which I hear is FUNdamental!

Isaac Asimov's Futuredays is a card-by-card analysis of these retro-futuristic artifacts and does a wonderful job of putting them into historical context for modern readers. I highly recommend it, even though the book contradicts itself by sometimes stating that the cards were commissioned by a cigarette manufacturer and sometimes claiming it was a toy company. Enjoy!

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Monday
May112009

"Factory" Farms of the Future (1961)

Remember when the term "factory farm" was synonymous with a positive way to produce food? Neither do I.

But this April 9, 1961 edition of Closer Than We Think (which appeared in the Chicago Tribune) treats the phrase as a part of humanity's natural progression in the advancement of science. I imagine what a different world we'd be living in if "FACTORY FARMED!" were plastered on food packaging rather than "ORGANIC!" or "ALL-NATURAL!" That world somehow seems just as plausible given a few historical and societal tweaks. Those giant tomatoes could have been pulled directly from John Elfreth Watkin's December, 1900 piece for the Ladies' Home Journal. And those monorail tank cars are certainly reminiscent of the high-speed freightways used to transport food in the 1958 Disneyland TV episode Magic Highway, U.S.A.

The full text of the strip appears below.

Agriculture in the world of tomorrow will be so mechanized that farms will actually resemble factories. Crops and livestock will be raised on regular schedules under uniform and carefully controlled conditions.

"Sensors," those automatic control devices for today's wonder machines, will be adapted to the requirements of precisions agriculture. They will take the place of human judgement in deciding and reacting to soil conditions, crop maturity, moisture levels, weather forecasting, feeding needs, etc. Bendix researcher W. E. Kock has reported that instruments to do this already exist or will soon be developed.

A special thanks to Tom Z. yet again for being an invaluable resource for the Closer Than We Think series.

Previously on Paleo-Future:

Sunday
Jun012008

The Technotopia of 2000 (1962)

In 1962 the French weekly l'Express postulated about a technologically advanced utopia in the year 2000.

By the year 2000 all food will be completely synthetic. Agriculture and fisheries will have become superfluous. The world's population will by then have increased fourfold but will have stabilized. Sea water and ordinary rocks will yield all the necessary metals. Disease, as well as famine, will have been eliminated; and universal hygienic inspection and control will have been introduced. The problems of energy production will by then be completely resolved.


From the essay Food - the great challenge of this crucial century by Georg Borgstrom in the 1975 book Notes for the Future: An Alterative History of the Past Decade.

 

See also:
Our Friend the Atom (Book, 1956)
Closer Than We Think! Fat Plants and Meat Beets (1958)
Closer Than We Think! Hydrofungal Farming (1962)
Man's Future Beneath the Sea (1968)
That 60's Food of the Future
Solar Power of 1999 (1956)
Hubert H. Humphrey's Year 2000 (1967)

Sunday
May112008

Experimental City of the Future (1967)


The January 22, 1967 Lowell Sun (Lowell, MA) ran this illustration of an experimental city of the future.

Typical Experimental City may look like this. At left is computerized communications complex; at center lies atomic power plant, while at right is greenhouse for vegetables and greenery.


See also:
Transportation in 2000 A.D. (1966)
Personal Helicopter (1943)
Commuter Helicopter (1947)

 

Monday
Apr072008

Little Work, Big Pay Forecast Year 2000 (1969)

The July 30, 1969 Progress-Index (Petersburg, VA) ran a piece titled, "Little Work, Big Pay Forecast Year 2000." Thirty hour work weeks, lawns that needn't be mowed, and automated kitchens are just a few of the innovations mentioned by Richard Gillis Jr., in a speech given to the Petersburg Kiwanis Club in 1969.

An America with automated farming and homemaking, large incomes and short work week, most people living in urban areas and the majority of them young, was forecast by the executive director of Commerce, Richard Gillis Jr., in speaking to the Petersburg Kiwanis Club Tuesday. The entire article appears below.

 

The address of Gillis at the Holiday Inn was on "The Year 2000."

Gillis called control the key word in urging Kiwanians to work for an educational system that will enlarge man's understanding, control and enjoyment of life."

Looking ahead to prepare ourselves and our children, Gillis said. "Let us gather up as much as we can of this great civilized heritage which began here in Virginia while we still have it and transmit it on to our children. They will be grateful for this and it will give them the opportunity to enjoy the next fabulous 31 years, and we will know we have done something of worth."

During the next two decades, Gillis said, "young people will make up the greatest part of the U.S. population growth. Indeed, ours is a young population, with the trend moving strongly in the direction of a national population in which half of our people will be under 26 years of age in just a few years."

During the rapid growth in the population in which time "two per cent will be able to produce all the food needed by this country. . . the migration of people from rural areas to cities, from undeveloped societies to industrial ones, from poverty pockets to more affluent areas, will continue to take place at a fast rate.

"A distinguishing feature of rural America in the year 2000 . . . will be towers containing television scanners to keep an eye on robot tractors. The owner of the farm of the future will no more be out riding a tractor than the president of General Motors is out today on the assembly line, tightening bolts," said Gillis.

For the women in the homes, Gillis said, "All she will have to do to order a meal will simply be to punch a few instructions out and food will be transferred from the storage compartment to the oven at the proper intervals and cooked." He added, "Food preparation will be completely automated. By the year 2000, we will have eliminated the pot and pan."

Gillis said he wishes very much to live through the next 31 years. "I am anxious to see the time come when grass will only grow to a certain height and stay green continually, and the sound of the lawn mower will no longer be heard in the land."

Incomes will be increased greatly said Gillis. And with the increase, people "will have devoted adequate portions of their incomes to overcome successfully water and air pollution, congested roads and airways, and many disease, both physical and social.

"The work week and the work day will be drastically reduced," said Gillis. "The majority of the people will be working less than 30 hours a week." He didn't predict just how the populace will adjust to the increased free time.


See also:
1999 A.D. (1967)
Women and the Year 2000 (1967)
Farmer Jones and the Year 2000 (1956)