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Entries in police (10)


A Whole World of Metal Men? (1937)

Reading about robots as envisioned in the 1920s and 30s, it is always a question of when robots would replace humans in every facet of life, rather than if. This article from the October 17, 1937 San Antonio Light (San Antonio, TX) paints a pretty bleak picture of the future of humankind. You really need to read the full article to appreciate just how far along this robo-dystopia had been imagined.

But Professor von Schmidt saw the possibility of robots becoming so well-developed mechanically that they will automatically be abel to control each other, and will outlive and perhaps wipe out their creators, man. They may become such perfect "supermen" that will despise their inferior inventors and keep them locked up in reservations and escape-proof prisons until the race dies out.

As terrible and fantastic as all this may sound, thoughtful men in Europe think it is becoming a likelihood with inventions already perfected by science. Indeed, a peep at this world of the future has been given in some extremely interesting pictures, a few of which are shown on this page.

1937 Oct 17 San Antonio Light - San Antonio TX

Previously on Paleo-Future:



Crime Will No Longer Exist in 2007 (1907)

You know what's awesome about living in the future? Not having to worry about crime of any kind.

The March 17, 1907 Washington Post ran a piece from the Chicago Tribune titled "How Our Progeny Will Live One Hundred Years From Now." An excerpt, which imagines a world where crime is extremely rare, appears below.

I found the most interesting idea in the piece to be that those of a criminal inclination would no longer be allowed to procreate.


The repression of crime will largely be through preventive measures. With improved detective methods the chances of escape in any given case will be greatly diminished, the innocent will be rarely accused at all, and the punishments of the guilty will be of a reformatory character. In the meantime the study of mental science will have made great strides, and a great source of crime will be eliminated because men and women with the mental twist which leads to crime will be absolutely prevented from propagating their race.


Previously on Paleo-Future:



Computer Criminals of the Future (1981)

The 1981 book School, Work and Play (World of Tomorrow) features this beautiful two-page spread. Apparently, thanks to computers, there's no crime in the future outside of the computerized variety. The "computer criminal" pictured really doesn't appear to be running very fast. Maybe they're playing a game of freeze-tag. Or maybe that policeman's gun has special settings the author didn't tell us about. I like to believe the former, but that's just me.

Computers will make the world of tomorrow a much safe place. They will do away with cash, so that you need no longer fear being attacked for your money. In addition, you need not worry that your home will be burgled or your car stolen. The computers in your home and car will guard them, allowing only yourself to enter or someone with your permission.

However, there is one kind of crime which may exist in the future - computer crime. Instead of mugging people in the streets or robbing houses, tomorrow's criminal may try to steal money from banks and other organizations using a computer. The computer criminal works from home, using his own computer to gain access to the memories of the computers used by the banks and companies. The criminal tries to interfere with the computers in order to get them to transfer money to his computer without the bank or company knowing that it has been robbed.

Computer crime like this in fact exists already. However, it is very difficult to carry out a successful robbery by computer. Many computers have secret codes to prevent anyone but their owners from operating them. As computers are used more and more, it is likely that computer crime will become increasingly difficult to carry out.

Nevertheless, a computer criminal may succeed now and then and the detectives of the future will have to be highly skilled computer operators. There will probably be police computer-fraud squads, specially trained to deal with computer crime. Here you can see a squad arriving at the home of a computer criminal and arresting him as he makes a dash for it. He is clutching a computer cassette that contains details of his computer crimes, and the police will need this as evidence to prove that he is guilty.

Previously on Paleo-Future:



Border Surveillance of 1990 (1977)

The November 26, 1977 Tucson Citizen (Tucson, AZ) imagined the border and facility surveillance technology of 1990.

Special sensors designed to look like rocks, plants and other natural objects could be seeded along borders, and transmit via satellite the sounds of voices, footsteps and vehicles of potential illegal aliens and smugglers.

See also:
The Road Ahead: Future of Police Work (1995)
Closer Than We Think! (1958-1963)
Jet Flying Belt is Devised to Carry Man for Miles (New York Times, 1968)
Headlines of the Near Future (1972)



French Prints Show the Year 2000 (1910)

Flying FiremenThe National Library of France (BnF) has an amazing collection of prints from 1910 which depict life in the year 2000. They are credited to Villemard.

There's speculation that they were included with "foodstuffs" of the era, much like the German postcards we looked at back in April.

Car ShoesThe BarberThe Avenue of the OperaA Curiosity
I wonder if the "curiosity" referred to is the horse as an uncommon means of transportation, or the extinction of all animals as referenced in the 1900 Ladies' Home Journal article we looked at a while back.The Electric Train From Paris to BeijingA RescueSpeak to the Caretaker
This image clearly takes its inspiration from another French futurist, Albert Robida, and his book The Twentieth Century.Sentinel Advanced in the HelicopterCyclist ScoutsPhonographic MessageOne For the RoadLady In Her BathroomHeating With RadiumHearing The NewspaperCorrespondence CinemaCars of WarBuilding SiteAt SchoolA Festival of FlowersA Chemical Dinner
It's amazing how long the idea of synthetic food has been with us. Before starting this blog I had assumed that the idea started with the Jetsons.Airship On The Long CourseThe TailorFlying Police

See also:
Postcards Show the Year 2000 (circa 1900)
Evening Fashions of the Year 1952 (1883)
The Air Ship: A Musical Farce Comedy (1898)
Going to the Opera in the Year 2000 (1882)
Collier's Illustrated Future of 2001 (1901)
Predictions of a 14-Year-Old (Milwaukee Excelsior, 1901)
No One Will Walk - All Will Have Wheels (Brown County Democrat, 1900)
The Next Hundred Years (Milwaukee Herold und Seebote, 1901)
What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years (Ladies Home Journal, 1900)
Flying Machines (circa 1885)


Headlines of the Near Future (1972)

The 1972 book Futures Conditional contains essays and lists from many different futurists of the era. This list of headlines of the near future, by Billy Rojas, presents readers with events that will "probably happen - in some cases undoubtedly happen - although not necessarily in the order presented."



Chiang Kai-shek dead in Taiwan; new regime is created that seeks to "modernize" Formosa. Ten year plan to replace most ideographs with Roman letters is announced. Major effort is made to organize "overseas" Chinese - the millions is southeast Asia, the tens of thousands in America - into a series of formalized trade associations.


Safe cigarettes invented: Lorillard stock advances 20 points in one day.



Chicago firm begins marketing robot "housekeepers": mechanical mice to vacuum rugs and clean floors, automated kitchens that prepare hot meals according to consumer specifications, etc.



Team of Muskie and Adlai Stevenson III defeats Republicans for Presidency.




J.Edgar Hoover resigns post as head of FBI.



Astronauts find evidence of sub-cellular life on the moon - two billion years ago.



Jackie divorces Ari; she plans to marry David Brinkley.



New Jersey becomes first state to legalize marijuana.



Stones break up. New music stirs U.S.; Cheyenne native rock-and-tom-tom group tops charts.



Peace settlement reached in Middle East; version of Allon plan adopted on a "phase-out" basis; Israel-Jordan to become joint secular state.




Mao-Tse-tung suffers heart attack in China. Succeeded by Chou En-Lai. Red Guard "party" forms to challenge authority of the government, cultural revolution becomes an underground movement.



Hovercraft "grass highway" bonds approved by Congress: Boston-Richmond route.



Haile Selassie dies in Washington hospital. His death removes last obstacle to United States in East Africa, a new nation made up of the former states of Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda.



South Sudan secedes from Arab Federation; civil war erupts as rebels receive encouragement and aid from Addis Ababa.



Houston doctor discloses discovery of selective memory-erasing drug.



Reagan defeated by 350,000 votes.




Rescue in space; Russians save Americans endangered on orbiting space platform.



U. of Oklahoma student disorders reach insurrection proportions; social science building destroyed, 4 police, 18 students killed.



"Electro-pop," completely synthetic beverage starts a new food craze: Electro-snax, Electro-suppers are marketed.



First space hospital (4 "beds") established by U.S.S.R.



Socialists return to power in Britain.




Cabinet restructure in U.S., new secretaries of Education, Environment.



Sex-selection industry booms. Chemical treatments enable prospective parents to predetermine sex of offspring.



Allard Lowenstein defeats Buckley in N.Y. Senate contest.




Temporary lunar base set up by U.S. - 6 men, 2 months.



Famine conditions worsen in India, Java. Communist revolution develops.



Sexual intercourse allowed in Yale sex ed. classes. Harvard follows suit.



Brazilian church secedes from Rome; "second reformation" as Dutch, some Americans, also walk out.



Tito dies in Yugoslavia, unsuccessful leftist coup to oust hand-picked successor.




Religious revival reported in Africa: Nigeria, Dahomey, Ivory Coast, Guinea become Baha'i countries.



Japanese firm announces opening of sea-chains, series of floating cities to accommodate 10,000 people each; located in Polynesia.



Police force retired in Seattle; replaced by paid, plain clothes community people.




First "time traveler." Star of ten-year hibernation for Minneapolis man.



Radio signals from vicinity of 41 Y Cygni indicate intelligent life in the universe.



Laser "arrays" used by commercial ships to navigate Antarctic waters; business firms start pilot plants on southernmost continent.



U.S. court system reformed. New features include "maximum wait law" - no more than 30 days between arrest and trial - and "obsolete statute law" - any law on the books is retired after 20 years unless specifically renewed by legislative act.


See also:
Sea City 2000 (1979)
The Future of Leisure That Never Arrived (New York Times, 2007)
Space Colony Possible (The News, 1975)
Civilized Adultery (1970)
Space Colony Pirates (1981)
The Population Bomb: Scenario 1 (1970)
The Population Bomb: Scenario 2 (1970)
The Population Bomb: Scenario 3 (1970)
Closer Than We Think! Robot Housemaid (1959)


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)