Closer Than We Think! Retrofuturistic Tech Predictions

If there is one thing that has remained constant throughout the ages, it’s our capacity for envisioning what might happen in coming years. We’re fascinated with the future, and we never stop making predictions. In 1958, artist Arthur Radebaugh began the syndicated comic strip called Closer Than We Think! The strip was centered on making predictions about futuristic technology, and through its entire four-year run it brought plenty of crazy and not-so crazy predictions to the American public.

Radebaugh was surprisingly right on target with some of his predictions, such as factory farms and super-tiny televisions. Considering how much had to change between then and now to make these things possible – much less mainstream – it is rather astonishing that the futurist was able to predict them in 1958.

Other predictions made in the strip are things that we only wish had come true. The rotating sun-loving house is one of those. According to Radebaugh, homes of the future would be mounted on turntables and follow the sun to receive maximum light and heat from the sun all day long.

Still other predictions are best left in the realm of fantasy. The “throw-away clothes” predicted in a 1959 strip have thankfully not come to pass as of yet – and given the current state of the environment and dwindling landfill space, we rather hope they never do.

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See more in Retrofuturistic or under Vintage & Retro. May, 2011.
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