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Welcome to the Paleofuture blog, where we explore past visions of the future. From flying cars and jetpacks to utopias and dystopias.

Superfarm of the Year 2020 (1979)

Superfarm of the Year 2020 (1979)

The 1979 book Robots (World of the Future) includes the "Superfarm" of the year 2020. Many of the advances that they write about appear to have become a reality. That being said, I've never seen a farm that looked like that. Plastic domes are in contention with the videophone and flying cars for supreme perpetual technology of the future.

Compared with a farm of the present-day, this one seems more like a factory. The high food production required by a vast human population may make factory farms the only way to avoid mass starvation.

1. Farmhouse. Weather reports arrive via satellite; computers keep track of stock and grain yields.

2. Automatic harvester glides along monorail tracks.

3. Helijet sprays fertilizer and weedkiller.

4. Grain is pumped along tubes to nearby city. Old-fashioned trucks are little-used.

5. Many people regard present-day factory farming of animals as cruel and unnecessary even though most housewives are happy to buy cheap factory-farmed chickens. If people still want cheap meat, more of it may have to be produced in this way. Here, cattle are shown in space-saving multi-level pens.

6. Monorail train, loading up with beef.

7. Plastic domes protect crops like tomatoes and strawberries.

8. Orbiting space mirror provides night-lighting to boost crop yield.

The Kids' Whole Future Catalog (1982)

Sealab 1994 (1973)

Sealab 1994 (1973)