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



Amazon Fun

Entries in fresno bee (3)


Computer May Rule Household in 1999 A.D. (1967)

Remember the film 1999 A.D. we looked at a of couple years ago? (I really can't believe I've been doing the Paleo-Future blog that long. That's like 14 in blog-years.) Well, the October 16, 1967 Fresno Bee (Fresno, CA) ran a piece by Desa C. Belyea about the film and its futuristic family dynamic.

Whenever talking about "ignored futures" I tend to point to this film as a great example. The future being sold includes a dazzling array of technological advances, while depicting a family with the same social and gender norms of the time in which it was created. 

An excerpt, along with the piece in its entirety appear below.

The nagging wife will soon be obsolete -- another victim of progress.

But if Dad thinks his days of being hen-pecked are over, just wait until he meets the new head of the household -- the electronic kitchen computer.

The year is 1999. The scene: a typical American kitchen. The case: Mom, Dad and Junior. The plot: What is for lunch?

Mom goes to her automated kitchen console and presses a series of buttons. In a few seconds today's menu appears on the electronic screen.

The first one suggests consomme as a first course for all, a cheese omelet for Dad, cottage cheese and tomato for Mom and broiled chicken, mashed potatoes, spinach and mushrooms for Junior. All three get fresh fruit for dessert.

The second menu is tomato juice for all, chicken salad for Dad, a tuna sandwich for Mom and broiled salmon, broccoli and carrots for Junior. Dessert for everybody is chocolate pudding.

Dad says, "Nuts, no machine is telling me what to eat, I'm having a cheeseburger with French fries and a cold bottle of beer."

Mom consults her computer. The reply is, "Sorry, cheeseburger, fries and beer are 400 calories over allotment. Suggest you try cold roast beef, green salad and low calorie beer." Click.

And Dad scowlingly agrees. Mom presses the buttons on her console to order the meal and two minutes later the family sits down to lunch.

After lunch, Dad tries to sneak off for a nap -- but, oh, no, Big Brother has plans for him. According to the health records maintained by the family computer, which each morning checks pules, temperature, weight and blood pressure, Dad needs to exercise and so off he marches, still grumbling, to do his pushups and kneebends.

Nor is there any relief in sight. After exercises comes improvement hour. First, there is the study of mathematics, space navigation and foreign languages spewed forth on tape. Then a session on culture led by the auto-composer which reproduces the sounds of all instruments and offers Dad the opportunity to compose his own music.

Finally, as Dad slumps in exhaustion, the little beep-beep reminds him that he still has his hobby projects to finish and so he trots off again, an unhappy victim of progress, as the curtain drops on Scene: 1999.

A fantasy? An impossibility? Not according to the Philco-Ford Corporation which has just completed a color motion picture "1999 A.D." in which the "House of Tomorrow" as envisioned by company engineers and industrial designers, will be displayed on movie screens in various film houses this fall and winter.

The film 1999 A.D. can be purchased at AV Geeks.

1967 Oct 16 Fresno Bee - Fresno, CA Paleo Future


Previously on Paleo-Future:



The Family Plane of 2030 A.D. (1930)

The June 15, 1930 Fresno Bee (Fresno, CA) published a piece about the year 2030 as envisioned by F.E. Smith, 1st Earl of Birkenhead. Super-airplanes, synthetic food, eugenics and a 16-hour work week are just a few of his predictions. An excerpt about transportation from the piece appears below. Bibliodyssey has a great collection of illustrations by E. McKnight Kauffer, which were used in Smith's book, The World in 2030 A.D.

In speaking of the "family" plane, a development conceded by almost everyone, Birkenhead adds that it will mean the relegating of the automobile to a most minor place in the field of transportation.


"By 2030," he says, "motor cars will probably have passed their zenith of popularity. A century later they will only be used for shopping, picnics and the amusement of youth. They will, in fact, sink to the level now occupied by the bicycle."

We may look forward then, it is to be supposed, to having our grandchildren tour the more out-of-the-way parts of the world and marvel at the "quaint" people who still chug here and there in automobiles even as we now smile at Bermuda where bicycles and horse-drawn buggies are the only forms of transportation allowed.

See also:
Sky Toboggan (1935)
Cyclonic Rocket (circa 1930)



Gigantic Robots to Fight Our Battles (Fresno Bee, 193

The article "Gigantic Robots, Controlled by Wireless, to Fight Our Battles," from the April 29, 1934 Fresno Bee (Fresno, California) was exceptionally sensationalistic.

Professor [Felix Gaston] Gauthier disclosed in his address that two pacifistic-minded nations are today secretly (and supposedly unknown to each other) planning to construct gigantic fighting robots, controlled by wireless.

"These mechanical soldiers," declared Professor Gauthier, "will be of unexampled proportions. My informants, whose authentic statements I have never had reason to question before, have conveyed to me the startling news that each of these nations hopes some day to build robots 1,000 feet high!"

See also:
Mammy vs Robot (Charleston Gazette, 1937)
Donald Duck's "Modern Inventions" (1937)
All's Fair at the Fair (1938)