American Futurism: Flying Postman by Arthur Radebaugh

Electric dreams or electro-nightmare?

By Dr Rebecca J. Wray

The period of 1958-1963 is referred to as the ‘Golden Age of American Futurism’. This was characterised by an optimistic outlook on the future, and in particular a vision of an easier domestic life for housewives made possible via technological wonders. This optimism was epitomised in the Hanna-Barbera animated series The Jetsons (first season’s initial run 23rd September 1962 – 3rd March 1963). The Jetsons was set in an unspecified future period in which people only worked two hours a week, drove flying cars, lived in houses raised on adjustable columns in the sky, had access to many gadgets and appliances around the home, and were served by cheerful robots who not only perform various chores and labour, but are also part of the family.

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Clean kitchen with red crockery and black cupboard doors. Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash.

Pink vs Blue, another perspective – Gareth’s story

My wife and I got married in August 2015 and moved in together in a new home we had been renovating for 6 months for the first time the day after the wedding. Having neither livid with anyone other than family before it was always going to be interesting and different, no parents or siblings to help with the housework and chores, we were, for the first time, on our own!

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Woman on sofa with two young children. Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash.

In search of respite – Jacqui’s story

I live with my two sons: 16 and 10. My 10 year old is autistic and not able to meaningfully participate in school with Covid so I’m home schooling. And working full time as an academic. I’ve hired two wonderful respite workers to work on reading, math and socialisation skills with my 10yo and my mom takes him 4 hours in the afternoon. I’m a single mom, and my youngest goes to his dad’s on the weekend. My workweek has shifted to include the weekend, though I try to spend meaningful time with my oldest during those days because he tends to get overlooked because of his younger brother’s additional needs.

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