Friday, 27 November 2015

Imagining the Future

What will life be like in the future? And how will technology advance in the next ten, twenty, one hundred years?  I think that I'd like to do away with the tangly mess that plugs, sockets and leads make quite soon.  Of course, I'd also be happy with that old chestnut, a personal flying machine.  Wouldn't anyone?

My pondering gives me a chance to show you some charming cartoons of how 19th and early 20th century French artists believed we would be living today.   First up, does anyone fancy a little ride in a spaceship to Mars?  Climbing down that ladder in a long dress onto the red planet would be mighty difficult but at least a big pointy umbrella might come in useful for poking an annoying alien playing his cymbals too loudly.

It seems that  I'm not the first person to dream of taking to the skies under my own steam without those interminable waits at airports. It looks like our ancestors thought it would be a nifty idea as well.  I found flying firefighters and people playing aerial tennis.  I was particularly tickled by this image of the policeman  from 'Allo 'Allo complete with wings and a teeny tiny truncheon.apprehending a lady. She looks pretty innocent to me but could it be that she's has more than 100ml of liquid secretly stashed away in her hand luggage?

I think this Whale Bus has to be my favourite idea.  Genius!  I wonder why it's never come to fruition. Maybe marine mammals aren't compliant enough.  They've all got together and refused point blank to play ball.  Or perhaps they're too flighty to stick to a scheduled route. Instead of cruising backwards and forwards between  Plymouth and Roscoff  you'd never know where you might end up if they spotted a shoal of tasty krill heading in different direction.

And here's another idea that never caught on.  I'm not sure why not. Radium central heating! Now there's a heat source that would give you and your mates a lasting glow!

For more great examples of retro futurism, head on over to this page at Wikimedia Commons.  There's plenty to inspire all you wannabe Wallaces out there.


  1. There does seem to be someone sitting on top of the Whale Bus with a sharp stick; no doubt to encourage the Whale to swim one way or another. It could work.

    1. I didn't notice that. That would do the trick! x