"The World of Tomorrow" from 1959
"The World of Tomorrow" from 1959
( Source: Die Welt von Morgen, Birkel-Sammelalbum, 1959 / retro-futurismus.de)

A view from the past The mobility of the future from the perspective of 1959

Author / Editor: Thomas Kuther / Florian Richert

A look into the future has always been fascinating. But just as interesting is the look back: what visions of the future did people have in the past? The Birkel collection album "The World of Tomorrow" from 1959 provides an interesting look at the future of the past.

Flying cars, nuclear-powered long-distance trains, floating passenger ships and flying submarines - this was how the editors of the Birkel album "The World of Tomorrow" imagined the future in 1959.

Nuclear energy was predicted to have a great future: cars, ships, trains, airplanes, and rockets were to be equipped with nuclear propulsion. Even the reference to a nuclear-powered small generator for households can be found in the collection. Even though nuclear power is no longer seen as the energy of the future, such projects were planned in the 1950s and 1960s.

Gallery with 30 images

Realized ideas

Flying cars with television screens and radiotelephones on board, on the other hand, are no longer a utopia, even though they are still not very common - and a telephone on board is self-evident now.

A manned space station was expected, as we have had it for a long time, as were hydrofoils, telecommunications satellites, and observatories in space.

These and numerous other examples of yesterday's visions of the future can be found on the „Retro-Futurismus“" website.

We don't want to withhold the text of the last page from you either:
"The last page has been turned. Before our eyes and senses, the colorful world of the near future passed by like a great adventure. Astonishment and admiration gripped us. Some things seemed barely comprehensible to us, and yet we felt that everything described and depicted in this Birkel album was within the realm of possibilities. But to gain this insight was not the sole purpose of the album. It should also enrich us with new knowledge, broaden our view and give answers to many questions that move us, we should concern ourselves with the world of tomorrow. That this task was fulfilled to the best of our knowledge and ability will be confirmed by everyone who owns this album now."

This article was first published in German by next-mobility.news.