Illustration for article titled The Fascistic, futuristic linoleum products of the 1930s

You can see the weird idea of what the future would look like in a handful of bizarre, forgotten images from a 1933 catalog advertising linoleum products in Italy. The cool, blue lines you see here are part of a school, or possibly an orphanage. The images get really interesting when you see how the catalog designers depicted the schoolchildren who use this space.

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Over at Ptak Science Books, John Ptak writes:

All of these photographs come from a delightful manufacturer's catalog for linoleum products (Il Linoleim nelle Costruzioni Scolastiche), which was printed in Milano in 1933 . . . Now I'm no fan, necessarily, of linoleum, but if I had to live on a linoleum island far removed from civilization and I had to choose a design for my world, I would choose the designs from this catalog, without hesitation. They're spare, well-proportioned, beautifully design utilitarian designs; they are also very shiny and cold with a dispirited order, but so it goes. The catalog seems to speak for its times . . .There is something just wrong in the child-straight lines and seamless expanse of linoleum, something that looks as though details have been left out, that there is a ground-in sameness to everything, that the indifference to difference is so to make the children of a sort of sameness.

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See more of these images, and read more of what Ptak has to say about them, on Ptak Science Books.

Illustration for article titled The Fascistic, futuristic linoleum products of the 1930s
Illustration for article titled The Fascistic, futuristic linoleum products of the 1930s
Illustration for article titled The Fascistic, futuristic linoleum products of the 1930s
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Illustration for article titled The Fascistic, futuristic linoleum products of the 1930s

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