This bicycle, designed by Benjamin Bowden, was included in the “Britain Can Make It Better” exhibition of 1946. Known simply as the Classic (and later the Spacelander), Bowden’s initial design for the bicycle included a motor that gave riders a little extra oomph while traveling uphill.
According to the LA Times in 1923, it took streetcars 30 minutes to move just six blocks in downtown LA that summer. The automobile had invaded the city, and the streetcars were owned by private companies that didn’t want to spend any money on improvements. The dream? Elevating mass transit, like in the 1923 model above by Los Angeles inventor Fletcher E. Felts.
Today, roughly 75 percent of American households have a dishwasher. But this wonder of modern kitchen science still lags well behind refrigerators and microwaves — which are both over 95 percent. The automatic dishwasher was the high-tech promise of the 1920s. And the 1950s. And the 1970s. So why has the dishwasher taken so long to become mainstream?
Every generation has its shiny new technology that’s supposed to change education forever. In the 1920s it was radio books. In the 1930s it was television lectures. Here in the second decade of the 21st century, it seems the Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) is the education tech of tomorrow. Let’s hope it pans out better than previous attempts.