This 1924 Illustration Nails the Real Future of Drone Warfare

It's no secret that military drones predate the 21st century. But it's still amazing to see illustrations of unmanned aerial vehicles that are nearly a century old. Like this drone command center from 1924, with pilots sitting 500 miles away from the battlefield. It's an image that's strikingly similar to the drone… » 2/27/14 3:23pm 2/27/14 3:23pm

Editorial From 1925 Predicted Decline of Coal, Rise of Atomic Energy

Coal has been keeping our lights on and our houses warm for centuries. But coal's inherent messiness — both in mining it and burning it — has always been a problem. So it's no surprise that many people today advocate for cleaner alternatives. What may come as a surprise, however, is that some people were dreaming of a… » 11/20/13 3:11pm 11/20/13 3:11pm

WWI's Amateur Hour Death Bot Brigade

John Ptak recently posted an interesting 1916 cover from Illustrated World magazine showing the futuristic "Electric Titan" robot fighter. Though rarely in humanoid robot form, the multi-soldier death machine of tomorrow was a surprisingly common idea during World War I. Why so outlandish? Because the military… » 9/03/13 6:13pm 9/03/13 6:13pm

This Depression-Era Carphone Was Way Ahead of Its Time

Today if your car breaks down or you're in an accident, help is little more than a phone call away. It's something that many drivers of the 21st century take for granted, what with our Space Age smartphone technology. This automotive safety net, of course, wasn't available in the 1930s. But one visionary who was… » 8/13/13 12:40pm 8/13/13 12:40pm

The Depression-Era TV of Tomorrow Had Home Shopping--And a Like Button

TV advertisers imagine that one day soon you might see a product on screen — say Don Draper's whiskey glass or Daenerys Targaryen's dress—and pause the program, click on the product and then instantly purchase it. Relatively primitive versions of this technology already exist, but the idea is far from new. Long before… » 7/15/13 4:54pm 7/15/13 4:54pm