Whimsical illustrations of the future from 1890

Albert Robida was a French illustrator and author who produced a series of fantastical drawings to accompany three futurist novels he wrote in the 1880s.  Often caricatured as derivative to Jules Verne's science fiction, the two are more fairly seen as contemporaries.  Whereas Verne's adventures took place in the proximity of scientists and engineers, Robida built his technological marvels into everyday life, and studied the effects they would have on the public at large.  La Vie Électrique includes a wonderfully French take on everything from videophones, flying machines, and functional foods, to chemical warfare, submarines, industrialisation, pollution, and much more besides.

La Vie Électrique

La Vie Électrique

 

 

 

 

 

Images taken from La Vie Électrique, Project Gutenburg

 

Tags

More like this

More details are coming out about Jacob Robida, the 18 year old who tried to kill 3 people in a gay bar in Massachusetts and then fled and was shot and killed by officers in Arkansas. Some of the details aren't surprising: Robida's mother told police her son had come home after the attack around 1…
So this guy walks into a bar and says to the bartender, "Hey, is this a gay bar?" I know, it sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it's not. After asking that question, 18 year old Jacob Robida went on a rampage: When the bartender told him it was, Mr. Robida pulled out a hatchet and struck a…
Gregorio Zara -- Filipino physicist and aeronautical engineer Creator of the first videophone ( a forerunner of such video telecommunication applications as Skype, Webcam and videoconferencing) and discoverer of the physical law known as the "Zara Effect." PLEASE SHARE IF YOU ARE INSPIRED BY THIS…
Only thirty minutes to go before the start of the World Cup Final. My prediction is 1-0 for France. We'll see ... 00:00 - France win the battle of the anthems. Obvious. 01:00 - First blood to the Italians. Henry goes down, is shaky getting up. Wont be good if he goes off. 05:13 - Penalty for…

I love these.

By Gabe Acock (not verified) on 16 Jun 2012 #permalink

These are brilliant! Thanks for sharing them.

By Matthew von der Ahe (not verified) on 16 Jun 2012 #permalink

Thanks for posting - the link you have provided goes to a French translation of Benjamin Franklin's work on electricity - This is the link for Robida's book:
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/35103

By Mark Bells (not verified) on 16 Jun 2012 #permalink