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Entries in politics (18)

Sunday
Jun032007

Television-Phone Unveiled (1955)

The August 25, 1955 Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) ran a story titled, "Television-Phone Unveiled But Caution Warned on Use." Oddly enough, they never explain the "caution" part of the headline. Below is an excerpt from the story.

The television-telephone was unveiled to the world here today.

This is the one you don't answer while in the bathtub.

Called the "videophone" or 'TV-telephone," the device gives you a 10-inch screen view of the person you're calling the instant the other party picks up his receiver.

You see her - and she sees you - until someone hangs up.

While a curious group of reporters in the Fairmont Hotel watched, Noel E. Porter, an electronics executive, dialed a conventional telephone equipped with a pair of television screens. A small camera focused on him.

A mile away in the Civic Auditorium San Francisco's Mayor Elmer Robinson picked up the receiver of an identical unit. His image flashed onto the 10-inch screen in the Fairmont and Porter's appeared on Robinson's screen.

"This is an instance where seeing is believing," Robinson punned.

The videophone, jointly developed by Kay Lab of San Diego, Calif., and Bell Telephone laboratories, is expected to get its first practical application in industry.

But its optimistic producers anticipate it will be as much a part of the American home scene as the telephone and the TV set someday.

See also:
Governor Knight and the Videophone (Oakland Tribune, 1955)
Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (1993)
Face-to-Face Telephones on the Way (New York Times, 1968)

Monday
May072007

Governor Knight and the Videophone (Oakland Tribune, 1955)


This photo ran in the September 3, 1955 Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) with the caption, "Knight 'Looks' Hello - The new Videophone is employed by Governor Knight and his wife at State Fair."

See also:
Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (1993)
Face-to-Face Telephones on the Way (New York Times, 1968)

Friday
Apr132007

Hubert H. Humphrey's Year 2000 (1967)

Yesterday we looked at Hubert H. Humphrey's vision of 1967-1987. Today we have the second part to the Vice President's piece in the February, 1967 issue of The Futurist.

Far-Out Developments by A.D. 2000
For the year 2000, however, we can foresee some really far-out developments:
The virtual elimination of bacterial and viral diseases.
The correction of hereditary defects through the modification of genetic chemistry.
The stepping-up of our food supply through large-scale ocean-farming and fabrication of synthetic proteins.
Control of the weather, at least on a regional scale.
In space, the landing of men on Mars and the establishment of a permanent unmanned research station on that planet.
The creation, in the laboratory, of primitive forms of artificial life.
This can indeed be an age of miracles. It will be your age.

The ocean and space continue to pop up as the paleo-future's greatest unexplored frontiers.

See also:
Hubert H. Humphrey's Future (1967)

Thursday
Apr122007

Hubert H. Humphrey's Future (1967)

For the February, 1967 issue of The Futurist magazine, Hubert H. Humphrey, wrote a piece articulating his vision of the future. The Vice President broke up his thoughts into two categories; Developments of the Next 20 Years, and Far-Out Developments by A.D. 2000.

Here are some of the developments we can look forward to within the next 20 years:

In agriculture, the large-scale use of de-salinated sea water.
In medicine, the transplantation of natural organs and the use of artificial ones.
In psychiatry, the widespread application of drugs that control or modify the personality.
In education, the use of more sophisticated teaching machines.
In wordwide communication, the everyday employment of translating machines.
In industry, the extensive use of automation, up to and including some kinds of decision-making at the management level.
In space, the establishment of a permanent base upon the moon.
Some of you might say that there is nothing very surprising here. And you would be right.
Experience shows that it takes 10 to 30 years for a new idea to make its way from its inception in a scientist's mind to its general application in everyday life. Therefore, the world of 20 years from now already exists, in embryo, in today's advanced research establishments.

A theme in 1960's America that seems to pop up repeatedly is faith in a permanent moon base. Tomorrow we'll look at Hubert H. Humphrey's predicitions for the year 2000.

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