November 21, 2011

My new favourite 1950s personal spaceship design

Day 325 of Vintage 365


Have you ever had one of those weeks or months (or perhaps even years) that didn't just tax your soul, it full on audited it?

November began as such on this end, and while thankfully the eye of the storm has likely touched down already, I can't help but still feel a bit drained from contending with some rather serious stuff (sorry to be vague - I'm alright; the mister and I have just been trying very hard to determine some important elements of our lives in the coming months and years, which has lead to many, many heavy-as-lead discussions).

You know how it is after you go through an emotionally trying time - even a short lived one. Often you find yourself seeking moments of laughter, enjoyment, and escapism from the worries of the world, if only for a fleeting moment.

Perhaps it was for that reason then that I could help but smile ear-to-ear when I came across the fantastically fun image below of a lovely 1950s mom, her daughter and the darling family dog flying home in a futuristic personal spacecraft.

{This stylish, highly convenient mode of future transportation first appeared in the April 1959 copy of Newsweek, and no doubt appealed to just as many then as it likely would still today - perhaps even more so, given how congested many of our roadways now are! Vintage illustration via What Makes the Pie Shops Tick on Flickr.}


As the fifties neared and end and rocketed (sorry, I love a good pun) in the crazy sixties it was all the rage for movies, TV shows, comic books, and magazines to create pieces centered not only around the space race that was underway, but also to creatively imagine what life was perhaps going to look like in a few decades.

Though many such portrays of the future (in some cases, what is now the present) are downright hokey, kitschy, or simply absurd, there's something so wonderfully cool about this particular image. The gals aren't sporting helmets or space suits, they're dressed simply as though they were taking the family car out. And much like through the windows of an automobile, you can easily spot that the occupants have been out doing a spot of grocery shopping.

Other than the slightly futuristic looking patio furniture there is nothing inherently "far out" about this image. From the hairstyles to the architecture of the house, I love how the world still looks much the same (or rather, much as it did in the 50s) here, yet the all-important issue of transportation has morphed, in this vision of the future, into one involving personal flying saucers.

Humanity has long been keen on forecasting what lies ahead in the ensuing decades and centuries. Very often these predictions become comically laughable or eyebrow-raisingly alarming when viewed through the eyes of the present.

Sometimes though even those that haven't quite come to fruition at the point in time seem to retain a sense of possibility - as though at any moment we might open a newspaper or flick on the TV and catch word of the fact that someone really did finally create a handy little spacecraft like the one in this endlessly charming illustration.

Just as I'm not quite sure of the answers to many of the unknowns my husband and I were pondering so hard earlier this month, so too was the creator of this piece uncertain of what life would be like in the years to come.

They took a stab at guessing though, and while the mark they're aiming for has yet to be hit, I can't help but think that one day we'll get there. We'll have our own family sized flying saucers and finally be able to prove all those wild and crazy daydreamers of the 50s and 60s right.

After all, who really knows what the future holds in store until it arrives? Smile


  1. So very true Jessica! Every day-every moment is different than the next. I never thought I would be able to have children (I have a disability) and I ended up having three in four yrs! I never thought I would find my "forever love" and this year we mark nine yrs together. So life has this amazing way of surprising us and making us go "Ohhh so thats what all that was for?"

    Hope you remain well. Love the idea of traveling in my own personal spacecraft-maybe they will have these when I am old lady heheh

    Hugs-Bunny xox

  2. The one thing that is very 50's? They're not wearing seat belts! I would definitely NOT fly home without buckling up.

    (Please don't feel that you have to respond. I'm fine without.)

  3. Love this and tis so true! Hope you're ok!!

  4. Hello Jessica,
    I tried to send you a message, but it didn't quite go through another link. It is delightful. Your questionnaire/preference is so honest.

    I am guessing that you are going through some tough times, know that your blogging friends are praying for you.

    I have become a follower and hope to get to know you better in the future.

    Be well,