Atomic Cars of the 1950s

Illustration for article titled Atomic Cars of the 1950s

"Engine in rear? Tricycle wheels? Polaroid Plastic top? Atomic power? Just as at home in the water or in the air as on the highway?" This car of the future was designed and illustrated by Detroit-based commercial artist Arthur Radebaugh for a 1952 ad for National Oil Seals. Click through for a look at Radebaugh's commuter monorail from 1953.

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Illustration for article titled Atomic Cars of the 1950s

From the 1930s to the 1960s, Radebaugh's detailed visions of the future appeared in ads for businesses as diverse as Coke, United Airlines, and National Motor Bearing. His syndicated cartoon column, "Closer Than We Think" ran from 1958 to 1962. Be sure to check out The Palace of Culture's awesome online exhibit "Radebaugh: The Future We Were Promised" for more about this retro-futurist visionary.

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DISCUSSION

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It looks like a great future with nuke cars and men wearing a suit and a hat everywhere we go. But even in the future we'll complain about how hot it is when you get in your glass bubble-equipped car, and there'll be that moron who insists on only going 400 mph in a 500 mph zone.