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Flashback Friday: The House Of The Future

by Sean P. Aune | September 24, 2010September 24, 2010 4:00 pm PST

You have to love “views of the future” that the 1950’s give us.  Maybe it had something to do with the post-war giddiness that it seemed like nothing was impossible, but all we wonder now as we look back at things like this video is, “Were they drunk when they thought this stuff up?”

The Monsanto House of the Future (yes, Disney allowed corporate sponsorship back then) was one of the big attractions at Disneyland in the early days of the park.  While the video starts out a little slow, I promise it’s worth getting to about the four minute mark to see what everyone was so stoked about.

House of the FutureThis video is pretty hysterical in some of the things it imagined happening, and what it got excited over. The announcer’s voice as he tells you about the amazing push button phone that requires no handset is a laugh riot.

The part that really kills me is the kitchen.  They go on and on about all the space saving aspects, and all I see is wasted space.  The sonic dishwasher has all sorts of wasted space in it, and don’t get me started on the “cold zones”.  First, they lower insanely slow, and secondly you could, oh, I don’t know, just open the doors of the cabinet they’re stored in?  No no, it’s far cooler if they lower down for no good reason.

The part about the son’s room is hysterical to me about how every surface is washable and durable.  Did they expect young boys of the future to go feral and start flinging around their feces on to every surface?

You can see the final few minutes on YouTube, and there you get to experience the bathrooms of the future which are just as oddball.  I will say there is an interesting footnote to this story in that the house was in Tomorrowland from 1957 to 1967, and when they went to demolish it … well, it didn’t go so well.  Wrecking balls, chainsaws and jackhammers were all found to be useless, and they finally had to use choke chains to crush it.  They weren’t lying when they said the thing was durable.

Sure we’ve always been interested in what the future holds for us int he ways of technology, but does it have to come off as so goofy?

What say you?  Are they any “visions of the future” that crack you up from the past?

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...