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Entries in wireless telephone (3)

Wednesday
Jun042008

Bubble-Top Car (1948)


Leo Rackow's 1948 illustration of a bubble-top car of the future appears above. Its sleek, uber-streamlined design can be found in the book Out of Time by Norman Brosterman.

You may observe that there doesn't appear to be cord coming from the driver's phone. Is Mr. Future just listening to the ocean inside that handset? Or do you suppose that he's so rude he can't be bothered to speak with his mistress, who's so clearly making breakfast for him in the backseat?

See also:
Gyroscopic Rocket Car (1945)
Commuter Helicopter (1947)
Dymaxion "Car of the Future" (1934)

Monday
Jan282008

How Experts Think We'll Live in 2000 A.D. (1950)


The December 27, 1950 Robesonian (Lumberton, NC) ran an Associated Press article titled, "How Experts Think We'll Live in 2000 A.D." The article covered the future of movies, commercial flight, space travel, medicine and women, among many other topics. Can you believe that by the year 2000 a woman may be president of the United States? Apparently not.

Some highlighted predictions of the piece appear below. A transcribed version of the article in its entirety can be found on my other blog, Older Than Me.

- Third dimensional color television will be so commonplace and so simplified at the dawn of the 21st century that a small device will project pictures on the living room wall so realistic they will seem to be alive. The room will automatically be filled with the aroma of the flower garden being shown on the screen.

- The woman of the year 2000 will be an outsize Diana, anthropologists and beauty experts predict. She will be more than six feet tall, wear a size 11 shoe, have shoulders like a wrestler and muscles like a truck driver. She will go in for all kinds of sports – probably will compete with men athletes in football, baseball, prizefighting and wrestling.

- Wireless transmission of electric power, long a dream of the engineer, will have come into being. There will be no more power lines to break in storms. A simple small antenna on the roof will pick up the current for lighting a house.

- The Third World War - barring such a miracle as has never yet occurred in relations between countries so greatly at odds - will grow out of Russia's exactly opposite attempts to unify the world by force.

- The telephone will be transformed from wire to radio and will be equipped with the visuality of television. Who’s on the other end of the line will seldom be a mystery. Evey pedestrian will have his own walking telephone – an apparatus by a combination of the X-ray and television. Electronic appendectomies will be performed with an X-ray-TV camera, projection screen and electric “knives” – the latter actually being electrodes functioning without puncturing the skin.

- In 2000 we shall be able to fly around the world in a day. We shall be neighbors of everyone else on earth, to whom we wish to be neighborly.

- The nation's industrial and agricultural plant will be able to support 300 million persons 50 years from now - twice the present population. Land now unproductive will be made to yield. Science will steadily increase crop production per acre. Technological, industrial and economic advances will give the American people living standards eight times as high as now.

- Public health will improve, especially the knowledge of how air carries infections, like the common cold, from person to person. Before 2000, the air probably will be made as safe from disease-spreading as water and food were during the first half of this century.

- Space platforms, sent out from earth, will end mid-century’s “iron curtain” era by bringing the entire globe under constant surveillance.

- Combination automobile-planes will have been perfected.

- People will live in houses so automatic that push-buttons will be replaced by fingertip and even voice controls. Some people today can push a button to close a window – another to start coffee in the kitchen. Tomorrow such chores will be done by the warmth of your fingertip, as elevators are summoned now in some of the newest office buildings – or by a mere whisper in the intercom phone.

- Radio broadcasting will have disappeared, for no one will tune in a program that cannot be seen. Radio will long since have reverted to a strictly communications medium, using devices now unheard of and unthought of.

- Some movie theaters of A.D. 2000 may be dome-shaped, with ceiling and walls arching together like the sky. These surfaces would be the “screen.” Most action would still be in front of you, as now. But some could be overhead, some at the sides, and some even on the wall behind. A little girl steps into a street in the action before you – and you turn around and look behind you to see if an auto is coming.

- Through the extended use of better plants and animals, improved fertilizers, new growth regulators and more efficient machinery, it should be possible, leaders say, for farmers to produce future crop needs on much less land than today.

- Some see us drifting toward the all-powerful state, lulled by the sweet sound of “security.” Some see a need to curb our freedom lest it be used to shield those who plot against us. And some fear our freedom will be hard to save if a general war should come.

- So tell your children not to be surprised if the year 2000 finds 35 or even a 20-hour work week fixed by law.


The piece was written by the following specialists of The Associated Press: J.M. Roberts, Jr., foreign affairs; Howard W. Blakeslee, science; Sam Dawson, economics; Dorothy Roe, women; Alexander George, population; James J. Strebig, aviation; David G. Bareuther, construction; C.E. Butterfield, television; Gene Handsaker, movies; Ovid A. Martin, agriculture; Ed Creagh, politics; Norman Walker, labor; David Taylor Marke, education.

 

See also:
After the War (1944)
Will War Drive Civilization Underground? (1942)
Taller Women by Year 2000 (1949)
Tomorrow's TV-Phone (1956)
Disney's Magic Highway, U.S.A. (1958)
The Future is Now (1955)
Closer Than We Think: Headphone TV (1960)
Transportation in 2000 A.D. (1966)
I want an oil-cream cone! (1954)
The Complete Book of Space Travel (1956)

Tuesday
May292007

Your Own Wireless Telephone (1910)


Are the switchboard girls listening in on your calls? Get the Wireless Telephone! This story ran in the February 20, 1910 Washington Post (Washington, D.C.). The story has a number of typos and grammatical errors so I took some liberties with the transcript, but you can read it unedited above.

The part about calling your husband and telling him to stop at the butcher's shop is amazing. I don't think I'd believe the article was real if I hadn't found it myself.

The wireless telephone makes it easy enough for the timid lover who hasn't the courage to make his avowal to his Valentine face to face.

He could have used the ordinary telephone you say? Ah, there was the dread of the listening giggling telephone girls at the Central switchboard. Crossed wires might cross him in love besides.

He wasn't safe with the old style telephone - for it is old style though still in use. Somebody else might cut in. Somebody else might cut him off and thereby cut him out.

For the wireless telephone is here. That is if it isn't here it's there.

And do you think it is necessary to hitch a wireless telephone to a tall steel tower to get results? Not at all. Mr. Pickerill uses an umbrella. Mr. Pickerill says if you are at all superstitious about raising an umbrella in the house -- for the wireless telephone can be used anywhere within a radius of several hundred miles outdoors or in-you can hitch the telephone to a typewriter or an iron bed or the metal frame of a sewing machine or the coal scuttle or the radiator or the kitchen stove or the gas fixture - he doesn't care - and call up your own true love.

Wives can call husbands at their offices or on the way to Harlem or the suburbs in the car and say, "Do stop at the butcher's on the corner and get some liver and bacon!" It's the girl's day out. And you know how she is! She never orders a thing ahead.

As a matter of fact, the present style telephone is used mostly by loving couples. After a man's married the trouble begins - not on account of needles and pins money so much as because he doesn't telephone that he'll be late at the office or has to sit up with a sick friend.

"When we were keeping company you used to ring me up a dozen times a day simply to ask me if I still loved you!" the wife will cry. "And if Central would say Busy you'd get so jealous and accuse me of having other fellows call me up. And if Central would say Nobody answers you'd write complaints to the main office. But now you never even let me know you are not coming home!"

Lovers must be sure that their wireless telephones are in tune as well as their thoughts in accord. The wireless telegraph companies are appealing to the Government to supervise aerograms because mocking amateurs are continually butting in on the Hertzian waves.

So too if lovers are not in tune, the wrong girl may get the wireless telephone proposal.

Advice to Married Men - Don't you care when your wife says angrily, "Don't tell me, I know you heard me. I called you all day and your wireless telephone was in perfect condition when you fastened it to your hat this morning when you left the house."

Affect a look of surprise and reply, "Don't be angry dear. I forgot to take off my rubbers and wore them all day."