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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