How does the "future" home of the 1950s stack up to today's amenities?

By Virginia K. Smith | March 20, 2017 - 3:59PM 

Nothing makes you feel simultaneously smug about—and disappointed in—modern technology quite like seeing how people in the past thought we'd be living here in the future (or, rather, the right here, right now). On the one hand, we've got the internet, but on the other, where are those flying cars we were promised?

Retro Futurism dug up these illustrations of "The House You'll Live in Tomorrow" from a 1957 issue of Mechanix Illustrated, projecting what the modern home might look like by 1989. (H/T Jonathan Miller's Housing Notes for alerting us to this find.) And we must regretfully inform the scientists of the 1950s that we're still waiting to move into a solar-powered home inside a glass dome, complete with hydroponic vegetable gardens. (Though we're curious what the apartment building equivalent of this would be—a stack of domes? One giant dome with multiple housing units within?)

Nonetheless, minus some slightly confusing terminology, the kitchen (pictured above) is actually pretty on point, with the "portable sink" (portable kitchen island, anyone?), "frozen food thawer" (microwave?), bar, and TV. We are, however, confused by the "glassed-in 'quiet-spot' for housewife." 

This sustainable solar-powered dome would also be completely climate-controlled, and would turn on lamps and heating in bad weather via backup batteries. (You can head over to Retro Futurism for the rest of the photos and details.)

Suffice it to say, suddenly we find ourselves even less patient with our clanging prewar radiators. Where's a future dome when you need one?


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