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Entries in farming (15)


Closer Than We Think! Hydrofungal Farming (1962)

The March 18, 1962 Chicago Tribune ran this Closer Than We Think strip about hydrofungal farming. The text of the strip appears below.

An Ohio State University professor is researching a novel way to keep the world's supply of food proteins in step with the explosive growth of the population.

Dr. William D. Gray believes an answer might be found by cultivating certain fast-growing fungi rich in proteins. These fungi must be grown in large quantities of water, either salt of fresh, aerated by bubble streams.

One way would be to mature the "crop" in the ocean. Plant flasks would be fastened to slowly rocking underwater tables supplied with air from hoses to the surface. These mechanized "hydrofungal" centers might prove just as effective for protein cultivation as the sea itself is for the fish to eat.

See also:
Closer Than We Think! (1958-1963)
Ocean Life by Klaus Bürgle (1960s)
Sealab 1994 (1973)
Man's Future Beneath the Sea (1968)
Solar Power of 1999 (1956)
Undersea Cities (1954)
Closer Than We Think! Fat Plants and Meat Beets (1958)
Delicious Waste Liquids of the Future (1982)



Closer Than We Think! Fat Plants and Meat Beets (1958)

The September 28, 1958 Chicago Tribune ran this Closer Than We Think! strip about meat-plants of the future.

There will be less grazing land in tomorrow's crowded world, so beefsteaks may have to be replaced by extracted vegetable proteins flavored with synthetics that taste like real meat.


According to Cal Tech biologist James Bonner, new varieties of plants, rich in fats and edible proteins will be developed. Interest in this idea is already evidenced at the Michigan Agricultural Board where plans for a "phytotron" - or ultra-controlled greenhouse - are under way. This equipment will facilitate the study of plant characteristics - and show how to modify them.

Bonner also predicted at a recent Seagram scientific symposium that future farms could be operated by tapes fed through master control panels.

See also:
Farm to Market (1958)
Robot Farms (1982)
Superfarm of the Year 2020 (1979)
Farm of the Future (1984)
That Synthetic Food of the Future (Ogden Standard-Examiner, 1926)
Electrified Topsoil (1909)



Farm to Market (1958)

This clip from the May 14, 1958 Disneyland TV episode, "Magic Highway, U.S.A." depicts the high-speed freightways of the future. Simplicity and efficiency reign supreme in this streamlined future of yesteryear.


These non-stop farm-to-market freightways will bring remote agricultural areas to within minutes of metropolitan markets. At transfer points within the city, individual units automatically separate from the truck-train for immediate delivery to shopping centers.


See also:
Disney's Magic Highway, U.S.A. (1958)
Superfarm of the Year 2020 (1979)
Delicious Waste Liquids of the Future (1982)
Robot Farms (1982)


Robot Farms (1982)

The 1982 book Our Future Needs (World of Tomorrow) contains this two-page spread of robot farms of the future. No, they don't grow robots. The robots just work on the farms. But combine the idea of robot farms and the robot rebellion we looked at a few months back and you've got a hilariously horrifying combination.

Look at this fruit farm of the future. There are at least three things that make it different from a farm of today. The first, of course, is that robots are picking the oranges. The second is that the orange trees are not growing in any soil. Now look at the landscape to spot the third difference. The farm is situated in an arid region where little rain falls from the sky. Today, such regions are virtually uninhabited and useless. These three difference show how robot farms of the future will be able to produce more food for the world's people than farming can today.

See also:
Superfarm of the Year 2020 (1979)
Delicious Waste Liquids of the Future (1982)
The Population Bomb: Scenario 1 (1970)
The Population Bomb: Scenario 2 (1970)
The Population Bomb: Scenario 3 (1970)
The Robot Rebellion (1982)


Electrified Topsoil (1909)

The June 27, 1909 Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) ran an article titled, "The Electric City of the Future." Below is an excerpt as well as the article in its entirety.

All the well-known scientists and business men of today agree that the city of the future will be an electrical city. With a very few exceptions all the manifold requirements for speed and economy will be met by electricity.


Even the food products consumed in the electric city of the future will be the results of electricity applied to agriculture. The country will have an abundance of electrical power for light, power and heat on the farms. The farming communities will flourish under the stimulus of an electrical topsoil, and an increased absorption of nitrogen, procured direct from the atmosphere by electricity. These processes are already successful as experiments on a small scale.

See also:
Superfarm of the Year 2020 (1979)
Farm of the Future (1984)
That Synthetic Food of the Future (Ogden Standard-Examiner, 1926)


Closer Than We Think! (1958-1963)

In 1958 Arthur Radebaugh started the syndicated Sunday comic Closer Than We Think! It ran in newspapers until early 1963. The strip really epitomizes the optimistic brand of futurism so common in the post-WWII era. Below are a few great examples of this paleo-futuristic strip from the Chicago Tribune.

Push-Button Education - May 25, 1958
"Teaching would be by means of sound movies and mechanical tabulating machines."

Wrist Watch TV - April 17, 1960
"TV sets the size of postage stamps will soon be worn on the wrist, each with a personal dialing number."

"Pogo" Police Car - May 4, 1958
"Here, for tomorrow, is the concept of policemen on mechanical pogo platforms ..."

Farm Automation - March 30, 1958
"A floating tower will oversee a swarm of robot implements and tractors operated by electronic command."

Gravity in Reverse - June 29, 1958
"Factory-made houses equipped with antigravity machinery could be floated above the ground - to catch the breezes!"

See also:
Word Origins: Imagineering (1947)
Ristos (1979)
Homework in the Future (1981)
Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (Part 7, 1993)
The Road Ahead: Future Classroom (1995)
Superfarm of the Year 2020 (1979)


Superfarm of the Year 2020 (1979)

The 1979 book Robots (World of the Future) includes the "Superfarm" of the year 2020. Many of the advances that they write about appear to have become a reality. That being said, I've never seen a farm that looked like that. Plastic domes are in contention with the videophone and flying cars for supreme perpetual technology of the future.

Compared with a farm of the present-day, this one seems more like a factory. The high food production required by a vast human population may make factory farms the only way to avoid mass starvation.

1. Farmhouse. Weather reports arrive via satellite; computers keep track of stock and grain yields.
2. Automatic harvester glides along monorail tracks.
3. Helijet sprays fertilizer and weedkiller.
4. Grain is pumped along tubes to nearby city. Old-fashioned trucks are little-used.
5. Many people regard present-day factory farming of animals as cruel and unnecessary even though most housewives are happy to buy cheap factory-farmed chickens. If people still want cheap meat, more of it may have to be produced in this way. Here, cattle are shown in space-saving multi-level pens.
6. Monorail train, loading up with beef.
7. Plastic domes protect crops like tomatoes and strawberries.
8. Orbiting space mirror provides night-lighting to boost crop yield.

See also:
Farm of the Future (1984)
A Glimpse of the Year 2000 (New York Times, 1982)
EPCOT's Horizons