Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Jane, His Wife. And, Her Hats.

Over on the Smithsonian's Paleofuture blog — "A history of the future that never was" — they're halfway into a 24-part series covering the first season of The Jetsons. Not just recaps, the pieces interlace themes in each episode with actual early- to mid-twentieth century news reports about the future. Episode 11, "A Visit from Grandpa," deals with fashion, sports, and aging, and features this spooky prediction from a 1950 AP story: "Medicine by the year 2000 will have advanced the length of life of women to an expectation of nearly 80 and of men to over 75."

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Rock and Roll Ken Doll

WHAT?! I love this kind of stuff! My prediction for the future: drone vehicles making possible things that we can't quite imagine right now.


That blog was such a delightful rabbit hole to fall into.

fondue with cheddar

The top of that Dreyfuss dress looks an awful lot like Princess Leia's metal bikini!

Jane Marie

@fondue with cheddar RIGHT?

fondue with cheddar

@Jane Marie I wonder if it was modeled after it or just a coincidence.

Also, everything about that picture is perfect. And check out his idea of future menswear! (scroll down)

fondue with cheddar

"Before 2000, the air probably will be made as safe from disease-spreading as water and food were during the first half of this century."



@fondue with cheddar Seriously. Deeeepressing.


@fondue with cheddar But polio IS almost gone!

fondue with cheddar

@Ophelia True! And that is a pretty wonderful fact.


I remember every single one of these episodes! And the New Historicist in me loves all the ties with ads/magazine articles from the time. This is so great!

cecil hungry

Man, it turns out "the future" is really mundane. Are we really far behind where we should be, or what?

cecil hungry

Also, I just realized that if Grampa Jetson is 110 in 2062, that means he's my father's age! THAT IS MIND BLOWING. But I'm pretty sure my dad really could live until 110 at the rate he's going.


Man, The Smithsonian HAS THE BEST BLOGS.


this is amazing:
The 1910 film Looking Forward featured a Rip Van Winkle type character who awakens in 2010 to find that men no longer have the right to vote. Produced ten years before American women gained the right to cast their ballots in 1920 with the passage of the 19th Amendment, the film depicts a world of men oppressed by women as soon as they’re allowed to vote.

I have oppressed exactly ZERO men today. WTF.

fondue with cheddar

@Leanne Yeah, we're really dropping the ball on that one, aren't we? Nearly 100 years and what do we have to show for it?


@fondue with cheddar I don't know. I even just helped a male colleague in my office with a project to further his professional development. I'm not helping our cause here. I should have taken away his computer and told him to go fix me a drink.


@Leanne I oppressed one today, if you count dramatically crumpling up the meeting minutes the office manager wrote and handed out "oppression", and I do. Come on, ladies, I can't pull this oppression cart all by myself!

fondue with cheddar

@MilesofMountains I only seem to be oppressing men in passive-aggressively, too. I don't think it works very well that way.


I just watched an episode of the Jetsons recently and my MIND WAS BLOWN. I love that kind of Future From the Past stuff (like, everybody go watch Back to the Future 2 right now because the time they visit is in like, 2 years).

My favorite part was how they imagined all of these major technological advances but their culture was still exactly the same, especially when it comes to gender roles. Like, we can imagine flying cars and robots and houses on poles but we cannot imagine a wife with a job.

fondue with cheddar

@OhMarie But we do finally have our video phones!

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