These days you can get just about anything from a food truck: pulled pork waffles, cheeseburger sushi, and even snail lollipops. But how about freshly baked bread, made to order in just nine seconds? That was the vision of a 1956 ad for, of all things, ball bearings.
No matter how mundane the product, modern advertisers love associating themselves with images of futuristic wonder. Today you might notice a fresh crop of robots gracing your TV screen, but in the mid-1950s the streamlined push-button machines of the near future were all the rage in print advertising. These mechanical promises of tomorrow graced the pages of serious-minded magazines like Scientific American, where General Motors' New Departures ball bearings granted readers a little levity with some brightly illustrated tech that was supposedly just over the horizon.
This 1956 ad comes from the always amazing Modern Mechanix blog and shows off the Bake-O-Mat truck of the year 1960:
Place your order at your door. In seconds, Bake-O-Mat mixes and processes the ingredients, electronically bakes, slices, and wraps any of a wide variety of hot breads and pastries as you watch!
When? 1960? Could be! But, one thing is sure. Then, as now, New Departure ball bearings will reduce costs by simplifying machine design... increase customer satisfaction with added product dependability.
If you’re “cooking up” a new machine -- or improving a present one -- New Departure’s engineering service provides the right bearings for you!
Sure, this thing can bake bread, but wake me up when it figures out Korean BBQ.
Image: July 1956 issue of Scientific American by way of Modern Mechanix