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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.

Smoking Robots of the Future (1931)

Smoking Robots of the Future (1931)

This picture of the bucket-headed Willie Vocalite appeared in the September 6, 1931 San Antonio Light. Designed by Westinghouse engineer Joseph Barnett, Willie appears to have been programmed with a fondness for nictoine. Early 20th century inventors sure loved to make robots smoke, (when they weren't shooting apples off their heads). So much so, that I'm surprised they didn't give Sparko his own robo-doggie cigs.

The mechanical man has been "humanized" in some respects and taught some of the manners of polite society. The Westinghouse robot shown in this photograph smokes cigarettes and obligingly "gives a light" to his companion. Another robot in Pennsylvania State College with a glass throat and water lungs puffs cigars all day long and reports scientific facts about tobacco which the most expert human smokers could not find out.

The Push-Button School of Tomorrow (1958)

The Push-Button School of Tomorrow (1958)

This future was made in a facility that also processes peanuts (1982)

This future was made in a facility that also processes peanuts (1982)