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

Advertisements

Search
Advertisements

Amazon Fun

Navigation

Entries in house of the future (36)

Friday
Jan252008

Monsanto House of the Future Brochure (1961)


The excellent Disney blog Stuff from the Park has scans of a 1960s brochure for the Monsanto House of the Future.

The piece explains that, "The erection of the Monsanto 'Plastics Home of the Future' at Disneyland in the summer of 1957 provided a practical demonstration of the almost limitless potential of plastics in structural applications." Much like the article on the future of glass we looked at last week, this piece centers around selling consumers goods which are positioned as "futuristic." Insert reference to The Graduate here.

Some of the "outstanding equipment of advanced design on display in the 'plastics home of the future'' are listed below:

"Atoms for Living Kitchen" featuring micro-wave cooking and ultra-sonic dishwashing.

 

Telephones with preset and push-button dialing, "hands-free" speakers and transmitters, and viewing screen to see the person who is calling.

Modular bathrooms with lavoratory, tub, walls and floor molded in units.

Foamed-in-place rigid urethane plastic foam for insulation and structural strength and flexible urethane foam for cushioning furniture and rugs.

Climate control center which filters, cools, heats and scents the air in each room independently.

Foam-backed plastic floor covering with controlled resiliency and noise-reducing properties.

"Acrillan" acrylic fiber and Chemsbrand nylon for upholstery, draperies and carpeting.


See also:
Monsanto House of the Future (1957-1967)
Monsanto House of the Future (1957)

 

Wednesday
Jan232008

Gadgets for the Home (1930s)

In his 1986 essay titled, "The Home of Tomorrow, 1927-1945," Brian Horrigan describes the shift of emphasis to gadgets inside the "house of tomorrow," rather than the homes themselves. The essay can be found in the book Imagining Tomorrow: History, Technology, and the American Future. An excerpt appears below.

Although, like the public at large, American corporations ultimately refuse to underwrite a future full of modernist mansions or mass-produced homes, they were attracted by a shinier side of the Home of Tomorrow coin: the house as a wonderland of gadgets. It is not surprising that the companies that associated themselves most readily with the Home of Tomorrow were the major manufacturers of electrical appliances. General Electric exhibited a "House of Magic" at most of the major fairs of the 1930s. Alleged to "walk and talk," the house was not really a separate structure but a gimmicky update on the department store "demo" home, a kind of stage set on which glamorous women were cast as housewives, running the household machinery and making a sales pitch. Westinghouse, not to be outdone, built an entire "Home of Tomorrow" in 1934 in Mansfield, Ohio. It was intended as a lived-in laboratory in which the company's engineers and their families would temporarily reside to test the equipment. This house, a tour de force of household electrification, was designed to attract attention, which it did quite effectively. Designed by architect Dwight James Baum, the house was a conventional wood-frame and stucco structure, only slightly odd in style - a sort of Regency-Cubist affair, employing virtually none of the already notoriously "futuristic" modern vocabulary. Indeed, architecture was quite beside the point, according to the Westinghouse engineer responsible for the house. "A new profession of 'house engineers,'" maintained Victor G. Vaughan, "will soon absorb all architectural functions except those of a purely aesthetic nature." The engineers had a field day with the Westinghouse prototype, providing a connected electric load equal to that of 30 average houses, "ready to do the work of 864 servants with the flip of a switch." Some of the features of the house were air conditioning, an electric garage-door opener, automatic sliding doors, an electric laundry, 21 separate kitchen appliances, burglar alarms, 140 electrical outlets, and 320 lights. All this was available, or so it was claimed for around $12,000. Westinghouse admitted that the price would probably place the house beyond the means of most families in the future, thus further removing this spectacular exercise from the democratic rhetoric of the prefabricators.


See also:
Monsanto House of the Future (1957-1967)
Computersville is almost here (1970)
Closer Than We Think! Robot Housemaid (1959)
Maid Without Tears (1978)
Living Room of the Future (1979)
The Future of Real Estate (1953)
Startling Changes in Housing in Year 2000 (Chicago Tribune, 1961)

 

Thursday
Jan172008

The Future of Glass (1958)

The December 11, 1958 Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune (Chillicothe, MO) quotes Smith Rairdon, director of marketing for Owens-Illinois Glass Company, about the future of glass. His quotes appear below.

"In the year 2008 a bride will be carried over the threshold of a glass house. Her kitchen may be glass-walled with a glass refrigerator, glass chairs, shelves and cabinets.

 

"She'll cook with throwaway glass containers which she plucks from the supermarket shelves, uses as cooking utensils in an electronic oven and then places on a dining table as serving dishes."

According to Rairdon, more glass will go into walls and roofs than ever before, as well as into clothing fabrics, household curtains, rugs and other furnishings.

He chose the year 2008 because it will be the 400th anniversary of this country's first industry - a small glass plant in Jamestown, Va.


See also:
1999 A.D. (1967)
Frigidaire Kitchen of the Future (1957)
That 60's Food of the Future
Monsanto House of the Future (1957-1967)
Call a Serviceman (Chicago Tribune, 1959)
The Electronic Brain Made Beef Stew (1959)
Something must be wrong with its radar eye! (Chicago Tribune, 1959)
Computersville is almost here (1970)

 

Tuesday
Jan152008

Computersville is almost here (1970)

The November 8, 1970 Chronicle-Telegram (Elyria, OH) ran an article titled, "Computersville is almost here." The entire piece appears below.

NEW YORK (UPI) - In Computersville this day, Jane Doe presses buttons on the mini-computer in her kitchen.

 

She orders up a week's worth of low-calorie menus. Within micro-seconds, the machine devises such meal plans. Then it prints them.

Before she entered the kitchen, Mrs. Doe stopped briefly in the living room to admire the family's newest possession - a huge geometric print, drawn by computer.

As she goes about her chores, she is relaxed by the sounds of her favorite record, Computer Concerto. This features a musical score created by computer and orchestrated by computer. The sounds are electronic. There are blips and beeps and modulated static.

At times the sounds blend noises of a dozen jets waiting on the runway to takeoff. Altogether, it is a pleasant record.

In the afternoon, Mrs. Doe goes to her small town's medical center for her annual physical. Among other things, she has an electrocardiogram - administered by technicians, processed by computer and read, of course, by computer.

The printout on her eletrocardiogram: "Non specific T-wave changes. Possibly borderline gram. Probably within normal limits."

All of these things from the world of computers were seen at an unconventional convention in New York - the 25th National Conference of the Association for Computing Machinery.

They will come home to roost in the not-too-distant future. You probably won't have to wait until the year 2,000, for example, to have computer art and music in your home. Hospitals of the land already are experimenting with diagnosis by computer.

The menu - planning computer for the kitchen, while a bit expensive around $10,000, is available. It is designed to help keep track of financial records, lend a hand with the children's homework - and perform many other tasks.


After Radiohead's Amnesiac was released, friends and I would joke that their next record would be nothing but airplane noises. I would actually be interested in hearing that Computer Concerto record.

 

See also:
1999 A.D. (1967)
Frigidaire Kitchen of the Future (1957)
That 60's Food of the Future
Monsanto House of the Future (1957-1967)
Call a Serviceman (Chicago Tribune, 1959)
The Electronic Brain Made Beef Stew (1959)
Something must be wrong with its radar eye! (Chicago Tribune, 1959)

Tuesday
Dec182007

1999 A.D. Controversy

Back in April, I started posting clips from the 1967 film 1999 A.D. I never expected controversy. The video below should hopefully clear things up. Many thanks to Skip at A/V Geeks for the link.

There is a fair amount of skepticism from people questioning the authenticity of material I post here on the blog. Oddly enough, people tend to question the posts of microfilm scans rather than articles I've transcribed.

See also:
1999 A.D. (1967)
Online Shopping (1967)
1999 A.D. Intro (1967)

Monday
Nov262007

Maid Without Tears (1978)


Matt Chapman, co-creator of Homestar Runner, sent me this great image from the 1978 book Exploring the World of Robots.

While I've never had a maid, I didn't know that they were always on the verge of crying! As Matt notes, "the 'Maid Without Tears' does not appear to have been made without cords as she has two of them coming out of her, dragging dangerously on the ground." Text from the image appears below.

Stay tuned, because I've found some great newspaper articles about the "Quasar, robot of the future." With headlines like, "Take out your trash, laugh at your jokes," and "R2D2? You ain't seen nothin' yet!" just scratch the paleo-futuristic surface.

Today we have many different gadgets in our homes. They make housework and gardening easier. In [the] future we may have robot servants to do all the jobs in the home.

 

In charge of tomorrow's servants will be a robot brain. It will run the house. It will control other machines electronically. The brain will work vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, washing machines, food mixers, automatic cookers and other gadgets.

We will be able to give the brain its orders, telling it what jobs to do and when to do them. If we forget to mow the lawn, the robot brain will remind us. Then we can tell the robot to get on with the job.

There may be walking robots to do the dusting, and to lay and clear the table. The robots in the picture are real. One is called Quasar. Quasar can vacuum carpets, mow lawns, carry trays of food, and even take the dog for a walk! At the door is another robot, called the Maid Without Tears.

One day people may not go out to work at all. They will work from home, using television and robots. The robot brain will suggest meals for the day. It will order our shopping, finding out from other robots in the local shops where the best buys are. The goods will be packed and delivered to our home by robots.


See also:
Robots: The World of the Future (1979)
Living Room of the Future (1979)
In a Cashless Future, Robots Will Cook (1996)
Closer Than We Think! Robot Housemaid (1959)
The Electronic Brain Made Beef Stew (1959)
The Future of Personal Robots (1986)

 

Tuesday
Aug212007

Living Room of the Future (1979)

This image appears in the 1979 book Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Century and illustrates the living room of the (paleo)future.


This living room has many electronic gadgets which are either in use already or are being developed for people to buy in the 1980s.

1. Giant-size TV. Based on the designs already available, this one has a super-bright screen for daylight viewing and stereo sound system.

2. Electronic video movie camera, requires no film, just a spool of tape. Within ten years video cameras like this could be replaced by 3-D holographic recorders.

3. Flat screen TV. No longer a bulky box, TV has shrunk to a thickness of less than five centimetres. This one is used to order shopping via a computerised shopping centre a few kilometres away. The system takes orders and indicates if any items are not in stock.

4. Video disc player used for recording off the TV and for replaying favourite films.

5. Domestic robot rolls in with drinks. One robot, the Quasar, is already on sale in the USA. Reports indicate that it may be little more than a toy however, so it will be a few years before 'Star Wars' robots tramp through our homes.

6. Mail slot. By 1990, most mail will be sent in electronic form. Posting a letter will consist of placing it in front of a copier in your home or at the post office. The electronic read-out will be flashed up to a satellite, to be beamed to its destination. Like many other electronic ideas, the savings in time and energy could be enormous.

The picture [above] takes you into the living room of a house of the future. The basics will probably be similar - windows, furniture, carpet and TV. There will be one big change though - the number of electronic gadgets in use.

The same computer revolution which has resulted in calculators and digital watches could, through the 1980s and '90s, revolutionise people's living habits.

Television is changing from a box to stare at into a useful two-way tool. Electronic newspapers are already available - pushing the button on a handset lets you read 'pages' of news, weather, puzzles and quizzes.

TV-telephones should be a practical reality by the mid 1980s. Xerox copying over the telephone already exists. Combining the two could result in millions of office workers being able to work at home if they wish. There is little need to work in a central office if a computer can store records, copiers can send information from place to place and people can talk on TV-telephones.

Many people may prefer to carry on working in an office with others, but for those who are happy at home, the savings in travelling time would be useful. Even better would be the money saved on transport costs to and from work.

See also:
Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Century (1979)
Closer Than We Think! Robot Housemaid (1959)
Closer Than We Think! Lunar Mailbag (1960)
Online Shopping (1967)
1999 A.D. (1967)
The Electronic Newspaper (1978)
Startling Changes in Housing in Year 2000 (Chicago Tribune, 1961)
Monsanto House of the Future (1957-1967)
Picturephone as the perpetual technology of the future
Frigidaire Kitchen of the Future (1957)