Monthly Archives: August 2017

Another Episode in Our Bulbous Future (1931)

JF Ptak Science Books   Quick Post    

I’ve written several posts here on the great science fiction/speculative science illustrator Frank R. Paul, and I am returning to him now with this glorious image of spaceflight commercial services. It appears in Everyday Science and Mechanics, published in November 1931 (volume 2/12), and the great Bulbosity is featured splashily on the cover. The airship was supposed to get its passengers 628 miles into space to complete a one-hour arc from Berlin to New York City, and the image shows us the end of a flight,  the craft slowing above the bay, just south of Manhattan and Brooklyn and north of Staten Island:


The Rolling Houses and Glass Homes of Futurlandia


JF Ptak Science Books   [Part of a series on the History of the Future]

The rolling house of the future (offered in the September, 1934 issue of Everyday Science and Mechanics) promised at least one thing–the ability to be towed by a tractor.  (And seeing that the thing is being pulled along by chains, let’s make sure that there’s no downhill towing, yes?)


[Image source originally located via  Retronaut though now I cannot find the correct links for them. Sorry!]

The spherical houses seemed to come with their own railroad tracks for easier motion–a continuously self-laying track, which would make the new American suburbs a Suburbia Mobilia.  Cheap cars, cheap houses, and a Great Depression might have made for a picture of the future that was very self-sustaining.  On the other hand, the one thing that would not have been in the gunsights of the American manufacturing center is the size of the houses, which seem to me to be on the order of 500 square feet or so, which does not make for a lot of room to store all of the consumables that were waiting just around the next decade or so, waiting for the first real generation with a large amount of disposable income to loosen on all manner of never-to-be-purchased-before-by-the-working-classes consumers.  In this respect I am sure that these small buckets for human life would seem unacceptable, leaving little room for purchases. 


This Is a Generic Millennial Ad

This Is a Generic Millennial Ad, created with And/Or studio, shows how easy it is to appeal to anyone born between 1980 and 2000. The good news? Thanks to social media, it’s easy to connect with this influential audience. The bad news? They hate spending money on things. (Except for maybe avocados.)

See and license the clips used at

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