Coal has been keeping our lights on and our houses warm for centuries. But coal's inherent messiness — both in mining it and burning it — has always been a problem. So it's no surprise that many people today advocate for cleaner alternatives. What may come as a surprise, however, is that some people were dreaming of a cleaner energy future nearly a century ago.
In the January 1925 issue of Science and Invention magazine, publisher and author Hugo Gernsback took the opportunity to write about his own era as a kind of dark age. Many people were rightly proud of all the advancements being made — including in radio broadcasting, aviation, women's rights, and new inventions — but Gernsback was quick to point out that they shouldn't get too proud of themselves.