Electric airships, submarines, and other futuristic vessels were the main attractions on the covers of a pulp novel series called Frank Reade Weekly Magazine: Containing Stories of Adventures on Land, Sea & in the Air.


The Smithsonian Libraries’s tumblr has just posted some of the best examples of these paleofuturist transportation devices. They explain:

The Frank Reade Weekly Magazine was a series of cheap and colorful dime novels published at the turn of the 20th century aimed at a young, predominantly male audience. They spun tales of adventure in exotic settings – often in polar regions—with the inventor hero traveling in futuristic airships and submarines.

You can read twelve issues of the magazine online, from the digital collections of the Smithsonian Libraries. Here are all the covers containing awesome artwork, showing bold visions of future transportation.

“Searcher”, a Snow locomotive

“Ranger”, an electric ice ship

“Explorer”, a submarine boat

“Kite”, a flying sailboat

Four-wheeled airship

The Engine of the Clouds

“Dolphin”, an electric submarine

Treasure hunter deep sea divers, and a submarine boat in the background

“Dart”, an airship with butterfly sails

An airship called “Spectre”

“Dart”, a submarine boat

“Sea Diver”, an electric submarine boat

[Smithsonian Libraries]