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Entries in trains (8)


Robot Railroading (1960)

The April 24, 1960 edition of Arthur Radebaugh's Closer Than We Think imagined a futuristic world of robot-driven trains. Looking at this image makes me think that someone could produce some pretty awesome steampunk art featuring James J. Hill and a Katrina Van Televox type robot, even though the "robots" described in this strip weren't of the humanoid variety.

Future trains will be fully automatic -- robots that can regulate their own speed and control their own movements to meet the most precise schedules.

The Union Switch and Signal Division is currently working on two kinds of electronic "brains" to make this possible. One type would be a trackside "decision maker," to regulate train speed, routing, starting and stopping. The other would be a "control servo," to signal that the robot train is obeying orders -- or isn't, and why. A central monitoring panel would oversee train movements for hundreds of square miles. The first such installation may be on the New York subway shuttle trains.

Next week: Lunar Power Pack

Thanks to Tom Z. for supplying the color version of this strip.

Previously on Paleo-Future:



The Gyroscope Monorail System (1912)

August 15, 1912 Fort Wayne Sentinel (Fort Wayne, IN)

The August 15, 1912 Fort Wayne Sentinel (Fort Wayne, IN) ran a short piece about how the gyroscope monorail system was the mass transit wave of the future. An excerpt as well as the full article appear below:

On the left, a common scene when the gyroscope monorail system comes into general use. It looks dangerous,  but is perfectly safe. On the right, above, monorail system in operation in Prussia, more than eight miles long and mostly overhanging the river Wupper. Each car carries fifty passengers, weighs fourteen tons and is suspended from a single rail. Below, sketch of monorail system planned to connect Liverpool and Manchester, England, with cars running 120 miles an hour.

Previously on Paleo-Future:


Transportation of the Future (1992)

The 1992 children's book Transport (Timelines) features this two-page spread of futuristic bicycle wheels, solar-powered cars, high-speed trains and fire engines with robotic arms.

See also:
The Future World of Transportation


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)


Car-on-Train Pallet System (1968)

This "car-on-train pallet system" is featured in the 1968 book Transportation in the World of the Future.


Farm to Market (1958)

This clip from the May 14, 1958 Disneyland TV episode, "Magic Highway, U.S.A." depicts the high-speed freightways of the future. Simplicity and efficiency reign supreme in this streamlined future of yesteryear.


These non-stop farm-to-market freightways will bring remote agricultural areas to within minutes of metropolitan markets. At transfer points within the city, individual units automatically separate from the truck-train for immediate delivery to shopping centers.


See also:
Disney's Magic Highway, U.S.A. (1958)
Superfarm of the Year 2020 (1979)
Delicious Waste Liquids of the Future (1982)
Robot Farms (1982)


More Predictions of a 14-Year-Old (1901)

A few months ago we looked at the first part of fourteen-year-old Arthur Palm's predictions for the year 2001. Arthur was writing for his school newspaper, the Milwaukee Excelsior, in the year 1901.

According to the book Yesterday's Future little Arthur was probably influenced by this image from the January 12, 1901 Collier's Weekly.

Today we have the second half to Arthur Palm's 1901 piece.

You will see a tube stretched across the city called, "The United States Mail Tube," and a sign called, The Wireless Telephone Local and European. There will be saloons in the large buildings and in the window you will see the sign "Quick Lunch Compressed into Food Tablets." You may go to Europe in six hours by "The Submarine Line." The House-keepers will have an easy time; the dishes will be washed by electricity. In the year 2001, you will not see a single horse on Broadway, New York and only autos will be seen. In war the nations will have submarine torpedo boats which will destroy a whole fleet. In the year 2001, the locomotives will travel about 300 miles an hour, but I think it is not necessary because, before you know it, you will be killed by a locomotive. The people of the Earth will be in close communication with Mars by being shot off in great cannons. The cannon ball will be hollow to contain food and drink.

See also:
The Predictions of a 14-Year-Old (Milwaukee Excelsior, 1901)
Your Own Wireless Telephone (1910)
Collier's Illustrated Future of 2001 (1901)
600 Miles an Hour (1901)
Food of the Future (Indiana Progress, 1896)
That Synthetic Food of the Future (Ogden Standard-Examiner, 1926)
Postcards Show the Year 2000 (circa 1900)
What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years (Ladies Home Journal, 1900)
Mars and Beyond (1957)
Futuristic Air Travel (circa 1900)