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Entries in dale car (2)


Miss Honeywell (1968)

Every new promise of futuristic technology brings with it the hucksters, the swindlers, and the merely confused. In the 1970s the three-wheeled Dale car was supposed to get seventy miles to the gallon, but both the car and its inventor were ultimately revealed to be frauds. In the 1930s American newspapers warned that a robot in England had risen up against its inventor and shot him.

In the mid and late 1960s a highly suspicious robot made the publicity circuit with its "inventor," magician Mark Wilson promoting everything from computers to blenders. With Wilson at the controls and a blue ladybot stiffly walking like a zombie to prove just how mechanical she was, it was quite a sight to behold. In this newsreel from 1968 the "robot" is known as Miss Honeywell and the narrator himself even calls into question the veracity of the operator's claims.

The "woman in a robot suit" stunt is so transparent as to likely be harmless, but you have to wonder how many people saw this robot's demonstration and thought it was real. As we know, there are still some children of the 1980's who think, thanks to Back to the Future II director Robert Zemeckis, that hoverboards were taken off shelves by overzealous child-safety groups.

The ad below of Miss Honeywell -- or in this case, the "housewife of the future -- appeared in the October 9, 1966 Oakland Tribune.

Come see the robot "housewife of tomorrow" plugged in October 10th to 15th.

The Hamilton Beach robot "housewife of tomorrow" will be demonstrated in our 15th and Broadway window. She is the amazing robot who is programmed to do all the cleaning. Watch the robot then come to the fourth floor housewares department to register for the free drawing for Hamilton Beach electric knives to be given away twice a day for each day of the demonstrations. Also demonstrations of Hamilton Beach's amazing blenders and carving knives.


The Three-Wheeled Dale (1975)

My friend Andy, an Unsolved Mysteries nerd of the highest order, introduced me to an episode of the series which looked at the Dale; an economical three-wheeled car of the future. The Dale was to be produced in the mid-1970s by the not-quite-futuristically-named Twentieth Century Motor Car Corporation, and bore some resemblance to the General Motors three-wheeled concept car (in reverse) from 1964

Funny thing about the supposed 70 mile-per-gallon Dale? It was a fraud. There was no Dale car, and no intention to manufacture it. Twentieth Century Motor Car Corp was started by entrepreneur-poseur Liz Carmichael who, according to this People magazine article from 1975, was born Jerry Dean Michael. I love that Liz added the word "car" to her given last name.

Carmichael made off with thousands of dollars gleaned from excited inventors, until being arrested and charged with grand theft, fraud and securities violations. She jumped bail but was again caught after the airing of this episode.


Remember kids, the Future™ can be used for both good and evil.   

"We went to the research and development lab and observed what appeared to be people appearing to be busy but in wandering through the lab I saw no evidence that they were designing a vehicle or were in the process of making a vehicle." 


Previously on Paleo-Future: