The year is 1967: broadcast journalist and "most trusted man in America" Walter Cronkite hosts CBS's The 21st Century, a show that unveils midcentury predictions for the future—forecasts with varied accuracy but pretty much universal amusement value. In one of the early episodes, Cronkite tours the home of 2001: a place where multi-purpose entertainment centers are the heart of the home and where in-house offices are commonplace. See, by 2001, technological advancements would increase work efficiency and reduce the work week to 30 hours; all that extra time would be spent with family at home, watching movies "shown in full-color on our big, 3D screen" and listening to "stereophonic music from another age." In the kitchen of 2001, Cronkite says meals "are programmed, the menus given to the automatic chef by a typewriter or punched computer cards." In the office, find the world's strangest telephone, plus a console that "provides a summary of news relayed by satellite from all over the world." Watch Cronkite explore each prediction—from the eerily accurate to the semi-ridiculous—in the videos below.
↑ "This consul controls a full array of equipment to inform, instruct and entertain the family of the future."
↑ "I just push a button and the right amount of cups and saucers are moulded on the spot. When I've finished eating, they'll be no dishes to wash, the used plates will be melted down again, the leftovers destroyed in the process, and the melted plastic will be ready to be moulded into clean plates when I need them next."
↑ "In the 21st century it may be that no home will be complete without a computerized communications console." Closing out Cronkite-style: and that's the way it is.
· Walter Cronkite Imagines the Home of the 21st Century … Back in 1967 [Open Culture]
- Walter Cronkite