The House of the Future in 1945 Included a Rotisserie and Built-In Waffle Maker

“What’s tomorrow going to be like?” the opening of this 1945 newsreel asked. For many Americans who were watching, the answer was “a better life than my parents had.” World War II was winding down, the postwar boom was just around the corner, and planners were promising incredible things ahead—incredible things like…

Warner Bros. and Turner Are Killing One of the Internet's Last Good Things

As AT&T rushes to pare down its business in an apparent attempt to not seem like a giant monopolistic media company sucking at the teat of the American public by relying on subsidies and overpriced data plans to stay afloat, some hard choices have to be made. The latest is devastating for anyone who likes old films. …

How Thomas Edison Used a Fake Electric Chair Execution Film to Fight the Electricity War

You’ve probably heard about Thomas Edison’s infamous 1903 film where he electrocuted an elephant. It’s just as horrifying as you’d imagine. But fewer people know that this wasn’t actually Edison’s first electrocution film. Two years earlier, in 1901, he produced a film re-enacting a famous execution. Perversely, it…

Facebook's Portal Is the Jetsons Videophone That We Thought Humanity Skipped

Facebook announced its new Portal hardware today, a limited-purpose device that allows users to video chat on Facebook almost exclusively. And there’s something strangely retro about the concept: This is the standalone videophone device that George Jetson had in the 1960s and that AT&T imagined in the 1990s—the device…

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