Futurism was one of 20th century America’s most important commodities. It was mined for domestic consumption and proved to be one of the nation’s most important exports. Cars, television, space travel — the U.S. may not have been first in churning out bold visions of these things, but Americans always did it with more flair. By looking at the history of American futurism, we get a peek at our greatest hopes and darkest fears. And with any luck, we can gain a new perspective for our own future.
Matt Novak, the editor of Gizmodo’s Paleofuture blog, will explore the history of futurism as told through ten objects. Largely taken from his own personal collection, these objects tell the story of who we were and who we wanted to become. Matt will look at retro-futuristic artifacts like a 1930s robot puzzle, a late 1950s Space Age lunchbox, a 1980s videophone, along with others to show how American futurism evolved in the last century.