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Dr. Andrew Wood
Office: HGH 210; phone: (408) 924-5378

City of Tomorrow

New York World's Fair postcard
"Here in these halls of science
Here in these towers of art
We have built the true defiance
And girded the nation's heart.
Not with enduring stone
Or muscles that twist with pain
But with fires that burn
A vision in the brain
A tri-colored flag was cut
For us with subtle sheers.
No doors we open can shut
In a hundred thousand years.

- Helene Margaret, Tomorrow America


We witness a retreat from the romantic ideal of public life. The Depression and impending war has shaken American notions of community to their core. Arcadian promises of open vistas and peaceful concord between self and society are bypassed as corporate and government planners focus the nation's attention to the future. Doubts about our ability to construct a better world are silenced; they must be, if the nation can face the adversaries of self-doubt within and totalitarianism abroad. Toward that end, we explore how fantasy themes of the good life chain themselves out in the form of postcards, pennants, and photographs from the "world of tomorrow."


The Astounding World of the Future [Scott Dikkers]

The Astounding World of the Future


The Middletons script excerpt

Dr. Wood's Additional Resources

Carousel of Progress



Magic Motorways [Notes on Paul M. Fotsch's essay]

The Middletons

Postcards from the Future


Tiny towns

Even More Resources

Guest Post: Shanghai World's Fair [Johnathan Huang]

Image Credit

New York World's Fair Postcard: Curt Teich & Co. [image from Andrew Wood collection]