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Entries in gasoline (2)

Saturday
Jan162010

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: 

 

Sunday
Jun142009

Oil and Gas Will Eventually be Exhausted (1909)

The July 19, 1909 Titusville Herald (Titusville, PA) ran an article containing predictions by the United States Geological Survey of a coming energy crisis. The report predicted that all petroleum and iron would be exhausted by 1939, all natural gas by 1934 and all coal by the middle of the 21st century.

Interestingly, the report notes that both conservation and technological advancements might be able to head off this energy collapse. In the case of iron, the report notes that the best ores were being rapidly exhausted and that unless a new process is invented it would mean much higher prices. We see that this is precisely what happened in mines such as the one my grandfather worked in on the Iron Range of northern Minnesota, with new technologies that made use of cheap taconite, once considered a waste product.

You can read the entire newspaper article below.

The photo above is of the Fayal mining pit, circa 1940. The man on the right looks like my grandfather, though I'm not completely sure.

 

1909 July 19 Titusville Herald - Titusville PA Article 1909 July 19 Titusville Herald - Titusville PA Article Matt Novak

 

Previously on Paleo-Future: