The 1960s Office Desk of the Future Was More NASA Than Mad MenS

With its hovering videophone, modern dictation machine and space pod design, this 1961 executive desk of tomorrow would fit in better on the ISS than at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

The February 5, 1961 edition of Arthur Radebaugh's "Closer Than We Think" gave millions of people reading the Sunday comics a peek at the office desk of the future — complete with a console that looks like it belongs on that Hollywood set where they filmed the moon landing. Or at least Flight of the Navigator.

From the February 5, 1961 Chicago Tribune:

Advanced styling and electronic automation forecast new miracles in office procedures.

The industrial design concept of an office of tomorrow focuses on a round desk which, when opened, will give its owner far more space and convenience than is possible today. Folded shut, the unit encloses a matching chair.

Interoffice television screens will provide immediate face-to-face links with other business command posts. Rotary files will be keyed electronically for rapid reference. The switchboard — as you see at the left — will employ miniaturized connections to handle many more extension lines in less space than are provided by today's already-advanced centrals.

A telephone switchboard in the office of the future? I suppose it doesn't get more hilariously anachronistic than that.