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Entries in postwar (3)

Wednesday
Dec032008

Tomorrow's Kitchen (1943)


The July 16, 1943 Morning Herald (Uniontown, PA) ran this piece about the kitchen of the future, complete with built-in pots and pans. The kitchen was designed by the Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass company, which may be the same company that imagined the glass house of the year 2008.

A special thanks to Warren for pointing me in the direction of these photos from Life magazine, which inspired me to track down this story. The photo featured at the top of the piece comes from the newspaper article. The rest of the photos are from Life.

It's interesting to compare this vision of the future kitchen with that of 1967. Both are messages from companies wishing to sell a lifestyle of post-war consumerism as much as the products themselves, it seems.


TOLEDO, O. - The "Kitchen of Tomorrow" that does everything but put out the cat at night now makes its debut.

 

It eliminates pots and pans.

It does away with stooping and squatting.

Sore feet will be only a memory of the sad past—because in this kitchen three-quarters of the "little woman's" work can be done while comfortably seated.

Dishwashing becomes a pleasure and burnt fingers practically impossible to acquire.


And, in the vernacular—that is not the half of it!

Between meal times and without the help of a magic wand the kitchen can almost instantly be transformed into a gaily-decorated play-room for the children.

In the evening, it changes into a buffet bar.

With a minimum of effort it converts to extra living space—with all of the familiar kitchen '"gadgets" and appliances buried from sight.

Designed by the Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Company to help point the way toward more practical and gracious living in the post-war era, the kitchen has an "all this and heaven, too" theme developed by the use of easily obtained and familiar materials worked into new shapes and forms.


Sliding panels cover the sink, cooking unit and automatic food mixer, so when not in use these units become part of a long buffet—ready for use as a study bench for the children or a bar for dad.


An "out of this world" refrigerator of glass construction has four times the capacity of today's model. Built on the principle of the cold storage locker, it is separated into compartments, each with an individual temperature control. One compartment shelf revolves—so that salads and often-used foods can be placed in it from the kitchen side and removed from the adjoining dining alcove.

The oven has a sliding, heat-tempered glass hood. When the roast is revolving on the motor-driven spit mother can look at it from all angles—and without opening the oven door as of old.


Most of the cooking is done in evolutionary unit one-third the size of the average stove and with built-in pots and pans which double as serving dishes.

All of the kitchen equipment has been raised to an easy working level and the space ordinarily cluttered with storage bins and cabinets has been left free to provide room for the housewife's knees.


Storage cabinets gain a new grace by being hung on the wall and equipped with sliding glass doors-no bumped heads!

And not overlooking a thing, H. Creston Doner, designer of the kitchen, turned out a model dining alcove, as a "running mate" for the kitchen. He pointed out that, other than making the ideas of his department available to other designers and manufacturers, his firm's sole interest is to demonstrate some of the decorative and utilitarian advantages of glass.


So that it, too, may be used for extra living space, the dining room sports a plate glass-topped table that folds back against the wall and becomes a mural-—the folding legs forming a frame to the sand-blasted design in the glass.

Read more:
The Future of Glass (1958)
1999 A.D. (1967)
Frigidaire Kitchen of the Future (1957)
Monsanto House of the Future Brochure (1961)
How Experts Think We'll Live in 2000 A.D. (1950)
Monsanto House of the Future (1957-1967)
Monsanto House of the Future (1957)
House of the Future for the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition (1956)

Wednesday
May162007

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)

Friday
Apr272007

Ray Gun book (1999)


The book Ray Gun by Eugene W. Metcalf and Frank Maresca examines the science fiction side of the paleo-future. I tend to stay away from pure science fiction on the Paleo-Future blog but there's no doubt that images of futuristic heroism had a large impact on mainstream ideas of what tomorrow held.

Above is one of the many ray guns featured in the book which were beautifully photographed by Charles Bechtold. This particular gun is from 1950s Japan. Below is an image from the Buck Rogers Origin Storybook, originally published in 1933.

See also:
Space Colony Pirates (1981)