Tag "in the future"
More Leisure for Man in the Automatic Age (Jun, 1931)

Windows? Bah, who needs windows when I’ve got sunlamps?

More Leisure for Man in the Automatic Age

by L. Warrington Chubb

Director of Research, Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Co.
As told to J. EARLE MILLER

Mr. Chubb describes in this remarkable article a number of the amazing inventions recently developed which promise to free man from toil at machines, to better health, and to add greatly to the comforts of home life.

IN A ROOM down the hall an electric eye is busy at a task that human eyes and hands have always performed. Nearby an electric organ fills the building with the deep, soft notes of a cathedral instrument. Across the way a facsimile machine receives and dispatches exact copies of written or printed pages, a cathode tube flickers with the moving picture of electricity in transit, and a beam of polarized light passing through a piece of celluloid is telling its master that railroad rails are being made with too much steel near their base and not enough just beneath the flange on which the car wheels glide.

YOUR WORLD OF TOMORROW + Roomba (Nov, 1959)

HECK? Really? HECK? That’s the best they could come up with? What exactly does kid mean in this context? Baby goat?


By James C. G. Conniff

RADIOS as small as sugar cubes. Typewriters that print letters as fast as you can dictate them.

A memory storage plate smaller and thinner than a postage stamp—a shoe-box full of them will store and produce any one of a million facts in seconds.

An automated house with electronic devices that awaken you in the morning, make your bed, prepare your breakfast, clean house and make it burglar-proof while you are out.

All of these electronic miracles are in existence. They are products of the David Sarnoff Research Center in Princeton, N. J., and scientists of the Radio Corporation of America are working today to make them available to you tomorrow.

Radio Power will Revolutionize the World (Jul, 1934)

Radio Power will Revolutionize the World


Tesla’s World of Tomorrow

“We are on the threshold of a gigantic revolution, based on the commercialization of the wireless transmission of power.

“Motion pictures will be flashed across limitless spaces . . .

“The same energy (wireless transmission of power) will drive airplanes and dirigibles from one central base.

“… In rocket-propelled machines . . . it will be practicable to attain speeds of nearly a mile a second (3600 m.p.h.) through the rarefied medium above the stratosphere.

“. . . We will be enabled to illuminate the whole sky at night . . . Eventually we will flash power in virtually unlimited amounts to planets.”

—Nikola Tesla.

MI Readers Suggest: Amazing Marvels of Tomorrow (Aug, 1955)

MI Readers Suggest: Amazing Marvels of Tomorrow

Here are the 50 Golden Hammer-winning inventions for the world of 2055, selected from the thousands submitted by MI readers.

Illustrated by Gurney Miller IF YOU future-minded MI readers can bear to cast a backward glance (just to the March 1955 issue) you’ll recall a rosy forecast of the year 2055 A.D. entitled Amazing Marvels Of Tomorrow by that joyous prophet O. O. Binder. In connection with that article we announced that 50 Golden Hammers would be given for the 50 best ideas for inventions that would make the world of 2055 even jollier. From the thousands of suggestions that poured in from enthusiastic futurists we have selected the 50 below. Some of these ideas were sent in by as many as 20 different readers. In such cases, when the idea was a winner, we gave the award to the writer of the letter with the earliest postmark.

How Solid-State Electronics Will Change Your Life (Sep, 1954)

This article is an exploration of the changes that will be brought on by the rise of solid-state electronics. The author does a very good job extrapolating what will be possible, with very few of the flights of fancy such as flying cars and domed cities that are common to articles of this genre. Almost every product he discusses is available now.

People do have video crib monitors, solar panels are available, but are not quite efficient enough to power a house, as he predicted. Video phones are only now really practical because of the bandwidth limitations spelled out in the article. We don’t have ultrasonic washing machines in our houses, but ultrasonics are used in a number of areas for cleaning. We do (did) rent movies for our color VCRs, and there are megahertz range computers managing very complicated factory production with very little human intervention. Not to mention touch tone phones and microwave ovens. Plus, if you showed that picture of a flat screen tv on the first page to someone without any context they’d probably guess that someone had hacked an LCD monitor to look all “retro”. By the way, if you’re interested in flat screen TVs, you should check out this one from 1958.

I’ve actually been wanting to post this article for a few years. When I was posting this piece about a pocket transistor radio, I noticed that the author used the word “stereatronics”, which I’d never heard. I googled it and found the complete text of this article, with no pictures, here. After reading it I learned that stereatronics was a word created for this article, which they hoped would catch on. It didn’t. I thought it would be perfect to post to the site, so I tracked down a copy. Then when I got it I realized that Colliers magazine was 11×14″ and I couldn’t fit it on my scanner. However, I recently bought an 11×17″ scanner for the site, and so here it is.

Stereatronics – A New Science that Will Change Your Way of Life

Tiny solids are turning the electronics industry upside down. Some vibrate, others change light to energy or energy to light, or direct current to alternating. Together, they spell revolution

A NEW science, stereatronics, has been creeping up on us in the last few years and has started to make major changes in the way we live. Few of us have noticed any difference; the changes have come so quietly that even many of the people who are closest to the new science are surprised at what it has been doing. Yet the evidences have been all about us.

—Television sets are a great deal less expensive now than they were a relatively few months ago.

—More and more tape recorders are being sold. Five years back, they were too costly for most people. Ten years ago, they weren’t to be had at any price.

What Will Life Be Like in the Year 2008? (Nov, 1968)

Well, we do have flat-screen computers you can write on that fit in a briefcase, but I’m still waiting to take my 250 MPH car to a business meeting in another domed city. Perhaps by the end of the year.

40 Years in the Future

By James R. Berry

IT’S 8 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008, and you are headed for a business appointment 300 mi. away. You slide into your sleek, two-passenger air-cushion car, press a sequence of buttons and the national traffic computer notes your destination, figures out the current traffic situation and signals your car to slide out of the garage. Hands free, you sit back and begin to read the morning paper—which is flashed on a flat TV screen over the car’s dashboard. Tapping a button changes the page.

How Much Longer Will Our Big Cities Last? (Oct, 1932)

How Much Longer Will Our Big Cities Last?

Like the dinosaur, which grew too bulky for its own good, our mammoth cities are doomed to extinction, say scientific prophets. Disintegration began when Lindbergh hopped the Atlantic, foreshadowing the day of interurban planes, as told here.


SCIENTIFIC prophets looking into the future proclaim that our mammoth cities, the likes of which the world has never seen before, are doomed to obsolescence. In time, cobwebs will enshroud the cloud-piercing Empire State building and dandelions will grow on Fifth Avenue and Wall Street, they believe, after exhaustive studies into the trend of the times.


Compton gives a nice history of the rise of American science and engineering prowess as well as making some pretty good predictions here.

Some answers to this question seem clear, and others seem very uncertain. It is safe to predict that the 2002 person will be clothed with synthetic textiles which will not fade, shrink or wrinkle and in which the desired creases will stay put. Atomic energy will be in use for special, but not for general, power purposes. Gasoline will be coming more from oil shale than from oil wells, and may be already produced commercially from coal. Cancer may then be as well under control as tuberculosis is now. Television may have proved to be an instrument to perpetuate dictatorship, or to make the democratic process more effective, depending on the trends of control and public concern.

Cancer is certainly not under control, though we do have much better treatments and shale oil is only now starting to take off but he nailed clothes, atomic power and TV.

As an aside; the design of this article is really nice, however, for people who are supposed to predict the future I wish the PM’s designers would have shown a little consideration for schmucks like me who have to scan their articles. Why didn’t they realize that putting an illustration of balloons behind the text of the article would play havoc with my already finicky OCR software? (Lest you think I’m picking on PM, Modern Mechanix also had a nasty habit of doing this.

By Dr. Karl T. Compton

Chairman of the Corporation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology THE AMERICAN TRADITION of mechanical skill and inventiveness, often called “Yankee Ingenuity,” goes far back of the turn of this century. It grew out of the challenge of pioneer life to a people of high native intelligence engaged in forging a new way of life in an environment of rich but undeveloped resources. But our development of scientific knowledge and its useful applications is, despite a few notable predecessors like Benjamin Franklin, Joseph Henry and Thomas Edison, essentially an achievement of the last 50 years.

Ancient Seer of Modern Marvels (Aug, 1941)

Ancient Seer of Modern Marvels

Nylon and air-conditioning wouldn’t have surprised Sir Francis Bacon. He predicted them, along with most of our other present scientific wonders, over 300 years ago!

by Tyche Ayres

WILL we soon be broadcasting smells? Three centuries ago, when the Earl of Essex was flirting with Good Queen Bess of England, a genius sat down and wrote an amazing prediction of the wonders of science which were to be realized in our day.

Writing in an era of intellectual darkness, when alchemists and wizards practiced their black arts, this astounding man foresaw the airplane, television, movies, submarines, automobiles—almost the whole range of modern discoveries.

Miracles You’ll See In The Next Fifty Years (Feb, 1950)

This is a pretty fun article that does a pretty mediocre job of predicting the future. Must have been those damn labor-unions that held everything back. My favorite prediction is that used underwear will be recycled into candy.

Miracles You’ll See In The Next Fifty Years

By Waldemar Kaempffert

Science Editor, The New York Times

WHAT WILL the world be like in A.D. 2000? You can read the answer in your home, in the streets, in the trains and cars that carry you to your work, in the bargain basement of every department store. You don’t realize what is happening because it is a piecemeal process. The jet-propelled plane is one piece, the latest insect killer is another. Thousands of such pieces are automatically dropping into their places to form the pattern of tomorrow’s world.

The only obstacles to accurate prophecy are the vested interests, which may retard progress for economic reasons, tradition, conservatism, labor-union policies and legislation. If we confine ourselves to processes and inventions that are now being hatched in the laboratory, we shall not wander too far from reality.