It is a constant theme of early science fiction, and one you are almost certainly familiar with: the man or woman of the future pops a pill on to their tongue, knocks it back and is almost immediately satisfied. For inside the little white capsule was a full three course meal, designed to mimic the meals of the past…
We've looked at plenty of predictions about how, in the future, we'd all be eating meal pills. From turkey dinners to beer to tutti-fruitti, it was a question of when we would enjoy them in pill form, not if we would. But in the October 6, 1936 Jefferson City Post-Tribune (Jefferson City, MO), Dr. Milton A. Bridges…
Welcome to Ask a Biogeek, a column where you ask UC Berkeley researcher Terry Johnson any question you want - no matter how weird. Reader Matthew asks:
Making things smaller and more efficient has, at least since the Industrial Revolution, been a staple of American futurist thinking. A women's dinner event in 1944 included "The Year 2000" as its theme and even the cigarettes were "concentrated." From the January 26, 1944 Maryville Daily Forum (Maryville, MO):
The March 10, 1956 Ames Daily Tribune (Ames, IA) ran this story about a local play called Futurama 2056. The entire piece appears below.
The August 17, 1923 Rock Valley Bee (Rock Valley, IA) ran a short piece titled, "Whole Meal in Pill Is Scientist's Dream." The entire piece appears below.
The Independent Press-Telegram magazine, Southland (Long Beach, CA) dedicated their entire November 4, 1956 issue to "You and the Year 2000." The section about farming appears below.
Encarta has an interesting online quiz about paleo-futuristic products. The quiz was produced by the Discovery Channel and asks questions about jet packs, nuclear-powered cars, meal-in-a-pill, videophones, among others. You can take the quiz here.
The introduction to the book Technology and Man's Future has a tone appropriate for 1972. The words seem to offer a first glimpse into true disillusionment with early 20th century futurism. And yet, the book nurtures remnants of optimism; of hope that the future may hold some version, however imperfect, of that shiny,…
A few months ago we looked at the first part of fourteen-year-old Arthur Palm's predictions for the year 2001. Arthur was writing for his school newspaper, the Milwaukee Excelsior, in the year 1901.
The 1930 film Just Imagine depicts the futuristic world of 1980. With flying cars, food pills, and a totalitarian government the world is orderly but not much fun.
This article from the January 1, 1896 Indiana Progress (Indiana, Pennsylvania) describes the synthetic food of the future.
This cartoon appeared on page 10 of the Ogden Standard-Examiner (Ogden City, Utah) on September 19, 1926. In a clear homage to Dilbert, the boss in panel three screams, "It's the second time this week you've taken four minutes for lunch!!" It seems like everyone's stealing from Scott Adams these days.