Promises for the future were made; some sadly broken and some unfortunately honored. While we didn’t get household jetpacks and personal serving-drinks-by-the-pool robots, or even our orgasmatrons, we did get things like the super-fantastic building materials of the future—asbestos, lead, and foam.
So just what was the utopian master plan for future households during the early twentieth century? Follies of Science is the keeper of such knowledge, offering glimpses into sparkling, smooth lead paint covering our living room walls, dazzling DDT foggers killing mosquitoes dead, alchemists transforming atoms into gold and diamonds, homeowners living in “The Foam House of the Future,” and, of course, commuters blasting away on their jet packs to work. Utopian indeed.
Aptly illustrated with full-color and black-and-white classic imagery, the visions of the future spread across page after page, pulling the reader in to what could have been and what shouldn’t have been.
Eric Dregni has written nine books, including Midwest Marvels, The Scooter Bible, Ads that Put America on Wheels, and Grazie a Dio non sono bolognese. As a 2004 Fulbright Fellow to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Dregni researched Scandinavian culture and roots for a forthcoming book. His time is divided between Italy, Norway, and Minneapolis where he is the curator for El Dorado Conquistador Museum and guitarist for the mock-rock trio Vinnie & the Stardüsters.
Jonathan Dregni is a futurist and sci-fi enthusiast, raising a family midway between the soon-to-be domed cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota.