|Vintage Pulp||Jun 6 2017|
A future so bright it still casts a shadow today.
Berlin to New York in one hour! 190 mph with ball-wheel train! Big things to come! These covers of Science and Mechanics magazine, all published during the 1930s and 1940s, tout a future of endless invention, with stability and prosperity, high productivity and infinite possibility for all. And they're even more more amazing when you consider that this was the assumption these magazines made even through the Great Depression and a global war. Does anyone really still believe in a bright shiny future for all the world? We seriously doubt it.
Take Elon Musk's Hyperloop as an example. Musk claims his tube transport system might move people coast to coast at airliner speeds for the price of a bus ticket. That's big thinking Science and Mechanics style. But his critics say it's insane to think three thousand miles of track will go unsabotaged in today's world. They say the security cost alone of protecting that much infrastructure would completely negate any possibility of journeys costing the price of a bus ticket. They point out that big plans rely not only on scientific know how, but political, economic, and social stability, a trifecta of items lacking in today's America.
And the thing is all those critics are right. It really is hard to imagine 600 mph ground transport being safe. And the pocket sized price sounds—frankly—too altruistic to be true. Musk isn't going to charge people through their noses for his miracle train? Really? Such gut reactions say everything about the age in which we live. But in Science and Mechanics every place was stable, people everywhere would be prosperous enough to partake in the fruits of progress, and cynicism was nowhere in sight. We have thirteen covers for you today, and you can see our other uploads along these lines here and here.