Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Home of the Future from 1960 - The Future is Now?

"Home of Future to Be an El[ectric One]"

For your entertainment, I would like to share a clipping I discovered recently, tucked in one of my vintage sewing patterns. From time to time, a vintage pattern includes a hand-worked pattern piece, cut from a newspaper. Most often the pattern piece is cut from the want ads or the sports pages. But every now and then, one is cut from other sections of the newspaper, and in this one, from a November 13, 1960 edition of the St. Louis Globe Democrat, there is a great article on the "home of the future"!

As you can see, the article was trimmed during the process of making the pattern piece, so we are missing some of the details. But there is still quite a bit of the article, so that we can peer into their vision of the home of the future.

 The article states:
"Harried housewives who today feel they are overworked can take heart. Paradise is just around the corner.

Word of this miracle comes from a couple of St. Louisans whose job is to keep abreast of new household developments ... long before they reach the production stage for American homes.

Women can look forward to such pleasures as:
  • ONE. Cooking a six-pound roast in 48 minutes while watching the children from a built-in kitchen TV-monitor, whether they are in any room of the house or in the yard.
  • TWO. With the touch of a button, she will be able to eliminate any offensive odors; change the lighting to fit her mood. Her floors will need no waxing; her drapes and bed clothing little cleaning and her hands will never have that "dishpan" look, because she won't need soap or detergents to clean her dishes.
  • THREE. Her family will enjoy "lifesize" television in color, they can dial in the latest movies from any theater; talk and "see" their friends by a sort of "person-to-person" television-phone hook-up, and "read" good books by listening to them on tape recordings to rest their eyes for their jobs.
Sound too far-fetched? Not according to John (Jack) Sparkman, a youngish handsome bachelor, whose job it is to hunt out such miracles and get them on display a few years before they become commonplace."

So how many modern conveniences did you spot? Here is a bit larger version of the "no-muss kitchen" of the future, as envisioned in 1960!

The picture is pretty grainy, but the caption highlights the following kitchen features:
  • "freezer units and storag[e located in] hidden ceiling storage places"
  • "ultra-sonic ranges pop up from recessed c[ounters]"
  • "floors are self-waxing"
  • "telephone-TV unit that enables the [house]wife to speak and see her family anywhere inside or around the house" (it's that boxy thing in the right foreground)
The article goes on to quote Mr. Sparkman: "The future keeps catching up too fast with the present," he declared. "Some of the futuristic household products we thought would not be available until 1970 are already here."

Do you feel that you are in paradise? Enjoy this glimpse of the future!


  1. How fun! Thanks for sharing. (Off to wax the floor and change the bedsheets!)

    1. Thanks for your comment! Waxing is no concern these days, thank heavens. But I would love to find a way to remove the dirt without effort! And I am looking at my kitchen ceiling with a view to finding storage space in it - lol! Not in paradise quite yet!