1925 feb 8 san antonio light - san antonio tx
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A Glance Ahead at the Surprises Science Has in Store for Us and a Prophetic Picture of Our Great American Cities Half a Century Hence
As thevWife Sit* at the Telephone to Talk to Her Hu&band m His Office, She Will See Him and His'.Desk" and All the r - Surrounding Room as Plainly as if She-Were There with Him.
Everybody Will Be His Own Taxicafc. With a Simple Wireless Arrangement in Your Hat or Using Cane of Parasol. You Will Go to Business or Shopping on Electric Skates at Any Speed You Desire. Indeed, some of the sunlight power plants can be located right in the heart of the city, if desired, and such plants will be sufficient to take care of the power for our office buildings and smaller manufacturing shops. The tops of our tallest buildings will be flat and glass-covered. They will have airplane landing platforms on which all kinds of airplanes, or even the transAtlantic planes of the future will land. O.ur large office buildings, or, for-that matter, private houses, will have real gardens with large trees on top of the roofs, as has already been tried experimentally with smaller plants in some of our large cities. All of our buildings and houses are due for a great revolution. In the Wintertime all of our buildings will be warm, and in the Summertime they will be cooj. The future buildings and houses will be fashioned along the principle of a thermos bottle. Each wall' will be double, and' the space between the "walls will be filled with cork or some other poor heat conductor. At the present time as soon as we hea*. a room the heat is dissipated through the walls and through the windows. By having double walls and double or tripl" window panes, a small electric heater will keep a big room warm. In the Summertime, on the hottest day, our rooms will be nice and cool, because no heat can get into the room. All year around, windows will be kept closed, the same as they are now in the Winter; of. course, there will be some ventilation in-order to give us air, but this air will be cooled in the Summer and heated in the Winter. We must stop here, -dfirst, for lack of space and second, because we do not wish to be ridiculed. We dp not wish to delve into the future of what will be going on inside' of these buildings, because we probably would riot be believed. The following arc some of the impossible things that will have become possible fifty years hence: By that time, we shall be able to send all sorts of materials by radio. If you think that it is impossible to transmit a carload of coul thousands of miles, you need only go back less than fifty years, when it would have been thought equally impossible to have the street cars; of Syracuse, N. Y., run by the power generated by Niagara Falls. Today no one thinks anything of this. To anyone who doubts that solids can be transported through space it should be pointed out that the same thing is being done right now. Every time an X-ray picture is taken, solid particles leave the X-ray tube, being shot right through the glass walls of the tube. These small particles, which are being shot at tremendous speeds, then impinge upon the photographic plate, if such is in the path, where they blacken the plate, which we see visually after the plate is developed. .A similar action takes place with radium. Alpha and Beta particles, which are given off by radium, are just as solid substances as bricks or pieces of steel. These particles are shot off from the radium substances. In time it will be possible to do the same thing by radio, tn other words, let us say, a brick will be disintegrated into its elements and radiated out into space the same as radio waves, or light waves, are now radiated, to be reassembled at the receiving station. This may seem quite incredible today, but it is not at all so to the up-to-date scientist who can see into the future. Fifty years hence, we shall not be using'our wasteful electric bulbs either, which waste over OS per cent of theenergy put into them. We shall have cold light, and we shall utilize nearly all th" energy, instead of ihrowihg,,riearly all of it away in wasteful heat. ' . Movies by radio! Why not? You will be -able to have a moving picture produced in some central plant and projected in your home, on your yacht, or on your camping trip, the "picture being- sent by radio, an5 received and projected upon your screen. All this is perfectly possible. Fifty years hence, we shall surely have the "telephot," whereby we shall be enabled to see each other over the phone, instead of being satisfied with the. voice, as we are today. Much progress has been made on this invention, and many models built, and while so far .nothing practical has. been developed, we are getting there by 'degrees. The. chances are that if someone run? across this fifty years from now, he will severely condemn the writer of this for his great lack of imagination, for, no matter how wild the predictions may seem now, they will .look very tarne fifty years hence. If someone had tried to explain radio to you fifty years ago, or the X-ray, or radium, he would have been put down as ripe "for the insane asylum, and you may rest assured "that we arc no different today.
By Hugo Gernsback,Editor of Radio News* Science and Invention, and The Experimenter. Member-; of American Physical Society. EW-, people have patience- with a prophet. Most people live .only today^ to-morrow is an unknown quantity. .Tfee remarkable thing about the scientific prophet is that, as a rule, his wildest flights of imagination have proved absolutely inadequate to the progress that actually occurred long before the time assigned In the prophecy was reached. When Jules Verne wrote his prophetic books some fifty years agor he was ridiculed not a-little. He had "'invented" the submarine, almost down to the last nut and bolt He even had it propelled electrically, and there were few things he had overlooked; When his story first appeared, it was held.that the device was impossible. Twenty years later his prophecy had been fulfilled. When we look back fifty years, it is amazing to find the tremendous progress that has been wrought by electricity, the mysterious fluid. Fifty years ago there was no telephone. There was no skyscraper, because we had no electric elevators. There was no electric light, there were no moving pictures, there were no electric trolley cars, no electric trains, no tunnels under rivers because we had no electric trains to keep us from suffocating. Wireless telegraphy fifty years ago would have been held as preposterous. The suggestion to send a picture from- New York to London through the air without wires would have called forth a storm of ridicule. How will this world look 'to us fifty years hence? If the rate of population is maintained, as it has been in the past, all large cities will at least be three or four times as large as they arc now. A city like Chicago, for instance, will probably have 10,000,000 inhabitants. New York City will probably have anywhere from 12,000,000 to 15,000,000, with other cities in proportion. How will this tremendous population be taken care of, as, for instance, going to and from work? In ail our large cities transportation has become well nigh intolerable. It seems that it will be necessary^to have streets arranged in such a way that the various traffics can be taken care of in a more adequate manner than is possible today. Every city will probably have a so-called belt line, similar to that shown in our illustration. The top level will be for light passenger vehicles, autos and the like. - There is no doubt that all of these will be propelled electrically by that time. In the accompanying illustration you sec a wire line running along the top of the structure. This line will give its power by radio, not only to the automobiles, buses, etc., but it will serve to propel pedestrians as well. Each pedestrian will roll on electric skates, such as have been constructed even today. An insulated wire running from the skate to the head or shoulder of the skater will be sufficient to take the power from the radio power line, an-1 we shall then all be propelled electrically at a pace at least four or five times as fast as we walk today. Underneath the first level in the picture we have the elevated railway much as .it is now, electrically propelled, of course. This railway, however, will -make much greater speed than we now know, due to the different manner of construction, as v/ell as to better track-and other vital elements of construction. Below the elevated railway we have continuous moving platforms. There will be three such moving platforms alongside of each other. The Cities Will Grow Bigger and the Great Pressing Problem of Transportation of Persons and Things Will Be Solved by Moving Platfirst platform will move only a few miles forms, Avenue* for Wireless Propelled Skaters, and Tunnels at Enormous Depths Below the Surface, While the Weather Conper hour, the second at eight or ten miles per hour, and the third at twelve or fiftrol Station Will Provide Rain or Sunshine at Will. teen mile's, per hour. . ' ' '," . .'. From Drawing Copyright b y "Practical Electrics.' You step upon -the slowest moving one from terra firma and move to the faster able to ones and take your seat. Then arriving ening rain, or, if necessary, produce rain be greatly stimulated, as recent high fre- into us, and how in popular parlance it the aerial you arecar a.nd draw stinging from at your station, you can either take the as needed during the hot spells or during quency experiments on plants have shown. "peps us up." If we could be under such sparks from the the automobile, the ocdue to Our crops and plants will grow practically stimulus twenty-four hours a day and, cupants, because lift to the top platform or else you can the night. , its rubber tires, is insulated The qUesti6n is often asked: "What ef- , two to ten times as quickly and the