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Retrofuturist Flashback: Family Portrait 2029


Family Portrait, circa 2029 AD Otto Maya/Condé Nast via Getty Images
Family Portrait, circa 2029 AD Otto Maya/Condé Nast via Getty Images

Here's another slice of the future via the past, this time in the form of a 1952 Condé Nast vision of a family in the year 2029. Obviously this isn't the hardest sci-fi vision of the future, but it still raises some questions.

Are they wearing helmets because they're on another planet, or due to terrestrial pollution? What's that in the center of the father's jumpsuit? Perhaps he's a robot. Perhaps they're all robots, and the helmets are but homages to a species that tried and failed to survive alongside its technological creations.

The dinner table burners are also a solid idea.


About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.