Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Trade Your Trouble for a Bubble!

For some reason I've always liked this image from the February, 1946 issue of Amazing Stories (the "trade your trouble" theme reminds me of omnitopia, I guess). So I recently bought a copy via eBay.

While purists may protest, I spared no effort in the Photoshop cleanup. The original included too many rips and scratches to evoke James B. Settles's postwar future vibe.

Here's the text that goes along with the picture [including some occasionally odd grammar]:

"The world of tomorrow may see science progressed to the point where mankind will have a great deal more time for amusement than ever before. A great amusement enterprise may grow up. Here is one possibility for pleasure in the future, a giant pleasure ball that rolls along a thousand-mile scenic route."

(Continuing from page 178)

"Now that atomic energy is coming, we have asked artist James B. Settles to picture for us one of the developments in amusement to which it might be put. He surprised us with this huge rolling cross-country pleasure ball.

With atomic energy, it has been postulated that man will have many leisure hours that he never had before. He will have most of the day to pursue as he pleases, either for pleasure, or in pursuit of a hobby, or in art, or in just plain being lazy.

Now, envisioning this future leisure-rich man casting about for a way to pass the day pleasantly, he might see an advertisement in his television set which might go something like the title of this article and of Settles’ cover — “Trade Your Trouble for a Bubble” [—] and decide to go sightseeing across the country in this giant rolling ball of transparent plastic, balanced by interior gyro stabilizers controlling a suspended core which ever remains erect as it travels around its giant “track-ring."

This ring is magnetic, and powered by the atom, revolves along the roadway, which is a specially magnetized roadway. The same power that makes the ball move forward (or backward) acts for stopping the ball. There are no huge motors, no complicated apparatus, just the simplest of gadgets, and a complex and very interesting interior which is the last word in pleasure palaces. Games, terraces, ramps, restful lounging places, dance floors, swimming pools and just plain sightseeing would make this huge ball a pleasant place to while away a day."


Thesaurus said...

Very cool find, though I would never want to see it realized.

Lynnae said...

I really like the little saying. But the idea is pretty funny. It's sad that no matter how advanced we get, containing humans in an airtight device of any sort will always stink.
I do find it interesting that the bubble is sort of like a land based cruise ship. Cruise ships are still immensely popular (maybe due to the fact that there is plenty of fresh air), and they really haven't changed too much in 100 years.