Many people now in maturity first got here to know the nineteen-twenties as the last decade our grandparents have been born. It could thus give us pause to contemplate that it started over a century in the past — and much more pause to contemplate the query of why its visions of the longer term appear extra thrilling than our personal. You’ll be able to behold a wide range of such visions within the movies above and below, which come from The 1920s Channel on Youtube. Utilizing a set of print-media clippings, it affords an expertise of the “futurism” of the nineteen-twenties, which has now impressed a definite sort of “retro-futurism,” between the “steampunk” of the Victorian period and the “atompunk” of America after the Second World Conflict.
“Being within the trendy age, futurism of the nineteen-twenties leans extra in the direction of atompunk,” says the video’s narrator. But it surely additionally has a considerably dieselpunk taste,” the latter being a form of futurism from the nineteen-forties. “In America, the nineteen-twenties have been much like the nineteen-fifties, in that they passed off within the speedy aftermath of an enormous, damaging battle, and each carried an optimism for the longer term. The one distinction was that science fiction was not as mainstream within the twenties because it was within the fifties, so it didn’t fairly totally develop a singular look that permeated society.” This gave twenties futurism a appear and feel all its personal — in addition to a preponderance of dirigibles.
Aside from these helium-filled airships, which “solely rose to prominence after the Victorian period, and their recognition ended in the nineteen-thirties,” its different parts of science fiction and (eventual) truth embrace shifting walkways, private helicopters, cities enclosed by glass domes and webbed by sky bridges, highways stacked ten ranges deep, zero-gravity chambers, dream recorders, theremins, “light-beam pianos,” a tunnel below the English Channel, “aerial mail torpedoes,” and a curious know-how referred to as tv. Longtime Open Tradition readers can also spot the Isolator, a distraction-eliminating helmet invented by sci-fi writer Hugo Gernsback — whose personal journal Science and Invention, the narrator notes, initially ran many of those pictures. Maybe what our personal decade lacks isn’t thrilling visions of the longer term, however a Gernsback to fee them.
Associated Content material:
The Isolator: A 1925 Helmet Designed to Eliminate Distractions & Increase Productivity (Created by SciFi Pioneer Hugo Gernsback)
The Word “Robot” Originated in a Czech Play in 1921: Discover Karel Čapek’s Sci-Fi Play R.U.R. (a.k.a. Rossum’s Universal Robots)
Futurist Makes Weirdly Accurate Predictions in 1922 About What the World Will Look Like in 2022: Wireless Telephones, 8-Hour Flights to Europe & More
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“When We All Have Pocket Telephones”: A 1920s Comic Accurately Predicts Our Cellphone-Dominated Lives
Based mostly in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His initiatives embrace the Substack e-newsletter Books on Cities, the ebook The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll via Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video collection The City in Cinema. Observe him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.