The launch of Sputnik and the space race led to an era of optimism which influenced pop-culture in America and overseas. We imagined where we might live, the clothes we might wear and the cars we might drive. Words and phrases such as astro and space age entered our vocabulary as a way to describe our sense of the future. The following films are a record of that time and include a Sputnik amusement ride, a fashion show, a concept car and a space bed.
Space Rides in 1950s America
An exhibit in the United States pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair documented and promoted the American way of life with a series of short films. This film shows a shopping center and some amusement rides that include a Sputinik ride.
59.210 “Shopping Center”
Cars of the Future-The XNR Idea Car
From Universal News 3/7/1960 “IDEA CAR” ON THE ROAD: On a Detroit proving ground, a glimpse of the XNR “IDEA CAR”, a new departure in styling and radical design that may foreshadow things to come on our highways in the future.
Space Culture in Fashion
From Universal News 3/10/1967 the ASTRO FASHIONS At a Planetarium in West Germany, fashion designers show their ideas of what future space-ladies will wear in the year two thousand. Plastic covers and capes, helmet-hats, and transparent boots are all highlighted in this “space-age” style show.
Bringing Outer Space to the Home
From Universal News 9/5/1967 ELECTRONIC BEDS Tokyo’s annual Bed Show displays everything from a “Space Bed” with stereo and TV to a bed that tosses and turns you, to help find the most comfortable position. Also: twin beds which slide into a “double” at the press of a button.
One thought on “Looking to the Future: Space Culture on Film”
I love the fashion that was supposed to take off by the year 2000. And that people would be living on Venus. I wonder what people will say about today’s news broadcasts in fifty years.
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