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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.

Talking of Tomorrow (1962)

Talking of Tomorrow (1962)

Talking of Tomorrow is a short animated film that was produced for Bell Labs and released in either 1960 or 1962. Directed by Jetsons writer Chuck Couch, the film tells the story of a business executive from the future who works for an "interspace engineering company."

This executive works in a soundproof room attached to his house and doesn't have to worry about commuting or traffic jams -- yet still wears a suit, tie and hat to work. Why dress up if you're working from home? Because, of course, Mr. Future Executive lives in a world of videophones!

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Business, school and play in this retrofuturistic utopia all depend on the highly advanced communications technologies brought to you by Bell Telephone Labs. Documents -- or "business materials" as they call them -- are exchanged by "telephonic machines." Lasers transmit phone calls and TV shows from space. Data processing machines... um... process data.

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Kids get school help from tutors via videophone, wristwatch radio telephones are all the rage with teenagers, and windowshopping becomes that much easier with picturephone.

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The character design of Talking of Tomorrow instantly reminded me of both the Pink Panther shorts as well as the Rocky and Bullwinkle series. Perhaps someone more educated in animation history can scan the credits and tell us where those connections might be. 

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NOTE: You can watch the video at the AT&T Archives site, but I didn't like how it looked while embedded, so I ripped my own copy from the DVD set of Invaders from Space and Atomic Rulers.

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Fast Mail of To-morrow (1919)

Fast Mail of To-morrow (1919)

Construction Begins on the Space Needle (1961)

Construction Begins on the Space Needle (1961)